a fantastic spice that not only imparts a magnificent aroma to a wide
variety of foods, but it also considered to have all kinds of
fantastic healing benefits. Furthermore, as you will soon see, there
are all kinds of ingenious alternative uses of cinnamon.
is, however, a serious fly in the ointment as far as
cinnamon is concerned – much of the cinnamon consumed in
the world nowadays is not real cinnamon (aka Cinnamomum verum or
Cinnamomum zeylanicum), it is cassia! This is a potential
problem because cassia (also known as cassia cinnamon, Saigon
cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon or Cinnamomum aromaticum) contains much
higher levels of coumarins, substances that have strong
anticoagulant properties and may also be harmful to the liver when
consumed in quantity. It has been advised to go easy on cassia as it
may not be good for your health.
you are buying cinnamon powder, it is very difficult to tell the
difference between the two – however if you are buying cinnamon
sticks, it is easy to tell the difference when you know what you are
looking at. Be prepared to be seeing a lot of cassia, though. You’ll
be amazed how much of the so-called cinnamon around is actually
is how to tell the difference: 1) True cinnamon is a paler tan
brown color (see our pic), as opposed to the more reddish rust-brown
of cassia. 2) True cinnamon has a thin, paper-textured bark that
forms multiple thin layers when rolled up. Cassia bark is much
thicker, forming only a few layers. 3) True cinnamon is way more
fragile, and much more easily crumbled – with the ends often
appearing more broken up. Cassia is much tougher and more difficult
to grind. 4) True cinnamon has a delicate, sweeter aroma, whereas
cassia is more pungent and full bodied. 5) True cinnamon is up to
10x more expensive and harder to obtain.
part of the problem is that during the harvesting and drying process,
the thicker cassia is more prone to mold and so is typically treated
more heavily with pesticides!
you are using cinnamon, especially for its health benefits, it is
very important to get the real stuff. And now, you are in the know!
To see some pictures that illustrate this nicely, follow this
a google images search result for “cinnamon vs cassia”.
little point of safety out of the way, w can move on to today’s
discovery: We found a great article listing 20 Weird Uses and Health
Benefits of Cinnamon.