You may be thinking, “Why is cinnamon so special?” It is an everyday spice that we use in the kitchen. We are here to explain why cinnamon is a fantastic ingredient in our inventory. It is widely used in natural medicine, perfume, home fragrance, and beauty/ personal care products. There are different varieties and parts used. We use cinnamon bark oil and leaf oil. We don’t use powdered spice, which you may use in your kitchen or the whole bark.
First, let’s discuss types: Ceylon Cinnamon (true cinnamon) and Cassia Cinnamon (common cinnamon). Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of trees known as Cinnamomum. The inner bark is stripped and dried in strips and curls as it dries. The major compound in cinnamon is known as cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe cinnamaldehyde gives cinnamon medicinal benefits, including metabolism, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and immune modulation. However, when using cinnamon, high levels of cinnamaldehyde can cause eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, so it is best to use in lower potencies. As we always say, “it’s all about the dose!” Some studies are being done to verify cinnamaldehyde’s anti-carcinogenic effects. There is an article worth reading: “Immune Suppressive Effect of Cinnamaldehyde Due to Inhibition of Proliferation and Induction of Apoptosis in Immune Cells: Implications in Cancer.” https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108402
Cinnamaldehyde is an organic compound which can classified as an aldehyde. It also contains Cinnamic acid, which is a natural carboxylic acid. Without going into depth, unless you love chemistry, we will keep it simple. Maybe that could be written about in our journal, it is certainly worth the effort. All we can say is that cinnamon is yet another fantastic beauty found in nature. How magnificent is Mother Earth?
We use Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon or true cinnamon) bark and leaf in our:
Cinnamomum zeylanicum is mostly grown in Brazil, India, and Madagascar; approximately 90% is grown in Sri Lanka. It has a subtler, sophisticated aroma. It is much more expensive than your usual culinary cinnamon. The flavour is also a lot milder than cassia. If you are ever wondering what type of cinnamon you have a quick way to tell: Ceylon Cinnamon is lighter in colour, softer and easy to break, subtle & sweet flavour. Cassis Cinnamon is a dark, reddish brown, which is strong and spicy and very hard, difficult to break.
Other types but not limited to, include:
There are other types called ‘wild Cinnamon’. One that comes to mind is Malabathrum, which is known as Indian Bay, Cinnamomum tamala. The leaves are semi-dried and used in Ayurvedic medicine practice. The leaves were used in ancient Rome and Greece to make a fragrant oil. This was called oleum malabathri. The bark is sometimes used in cooking but is lower in quality than Ceylon (true) cinnamon.
Okay, now you might think there’s a lot to learn about cinnamon. You are right in thinking this. Next time you pick up the bark from your spice cupboard or drawer, you might think about it in a new light. You may also feel differently when you see products which contain cinnamon; hopefully, you will have a newfound respect for this unique ingredient.
Until next time, when we highlight another beauty from Mother Earth.
Many blessings to you and your loved ones.
The Malano Family xxx