Herbs & Plants

Cinnamomum burmannii

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Botanical Name ; Cinnamomum burmannii
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. burmannii
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Indonesian cinnamon, Padang cassia, or korintje,Cinnamon, Cassia vera

Habitat : Cinnamomum burmanii is native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. It is normally found in West Sumatra and western Jambi province, with the Kerinci region being especially known as the center of production of quality, high essential-oil crops. C. burmanii grows in wet, tropical climates, and is an introduced species in parts of the subtropical world, particularly in Hawai?i, where it is naturalized and invasive. It was introduced to Hawai?i from Asia in 1934 as a crop plant.

Cinnamomum burmannii is an evergreen tree growing up to 7 m in height with aromatic bark and smooth, angular branches.The leaves are glossy green, oval, and about 10 cm (3.9 in) long and 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) wide. Small yellow flowers bloom in early summer, and produce a dark drupe.Fruit an ellipsoid berry, subtended by a small cupule that has the basal, truncate parts of tepals attached to the rim.

It is one of several plants in the genus Cinnamomum whose bark is sold as the spice cinnamon. The most common and cheapest type of cinnamon in the US is made from powdered C. burmannii. Cinnamomum burmannii oil contains no eugenol. It is also sold as quills of one layer.

Edible Uses:
Cinnamomum burmannii is the source of the spice called Cassia, similar to cinnamon yet different. Cassia is the powder obtained from the bark of the tree.
At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put to dry in the sun, where it curls into a specific form called “quills.”

The quills are dried and cut into thin strips or ground into powder.Cassia is less costly than cinnamon and is often sold ground as cinnamon.
The difference between Cassia and cinnamon is that cinnamon is used for sweet dishes that are requiring a subtle flavor, while cassia is used for strong, spicy, main dishes such as curries and spicy meat dishes. Dried Cassia leaves are the Indian herb called “tejpat” and incorrectly called “bay leaves”. Cassia is also an ingredient in Chinese five-spice.

Cassia buds are often used in stewed fruits, especially apples and with mixed spices for pudding spice, pastry spice and mulling spices.

Chemical Constituents:     Cassia bark can contains up to 4% oils, as well as tannins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, resins, mucilage, gum, sugars, calcium oxalate, cinnzelanin, cinnzelanol, and coumarin.

Medicinal Uses:
The properties of Cassia and Cassia oil are similar to those of cinnamon. Cassia is a tonic, carminative and stimulant. It is used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is also used alone or in combination to treat diarrhea.

Known Hazards:    It has been noted by the German Commission E that some people are in fact allergic to cinnamon, with side effects ranging from an allergic skin reactions to mucosa. It is not recommended for medicinal uses during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.