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Coumarin in Cassia Cinnamon and why Ceylon Cinnamon is Better

Posted by on 11/23/2017 to Ceylon True Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very popular herb that has been in existence for a long time in history. Harvested from a variety of leafy green trees (Cinnamomum) native in Sri Lanka, this herb has a lot of health benefits to most people who trust its power. In addition to that, cinnamon is the main ingredient in most products such as toothpaste, lipstick, perfumes and cola drinks. For those readers who don’t know much about the cinnamon tree, let me mention that this tree has a thick reddish-brown bark with yellow flowers and leathery leaves with a strong spicy smell.

If we look at the health benefits of cinnamon herb, you’ll discover that there’s much to talk about. With the presence of active ingredients into the formula, cinnamon offers vast antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties that fight against bacteria, fungal and viruses.

Although cinnamon offers vast health and medicinal properties, consuming high doses of cassia cinnamon can cause negative health effects to most sensitive people. Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is a spice harvested from the barks of a Chinese tree and is largely found in most Supermarket stores. Although it’s recognized for its vast health benefits, cassia cinnamon contains substantial amounts of coumarin which is the main cause of danger when cassia is consumed in large amounts.

What is coumarin?

Coumarin is a fragrant organic chemical substance largely found in cassia cinnamon in a very high concentration. Known to exist in a colorless crystalline form, coumarin is not only found in cassia cinnamon but it’s also present in most other plants such as Tonka beans, Sweet Woodrush, Mullein, Vanilla grass, and Sweetgrass.

Coumarin was first discovered in 1820 where it was extracted from the Tonka bean. From there on, this substance was named coumarin—a name that resembles the botanical name of Tonka bean (coumarou). After its discovery, coumarin was found to contain a very sweet odor which made it a primary ingredient in the manufacture of sweet flavored perfumes. Apart from being used as an ingredient in the manufacture of perfumes, coumarin is used as an aroma enhancer in certain drinks and piped tobacco.

Side effects of coumarin in cassia cinnamon

Cassia cinnamon is the most commonly used type of cinnamon in the United States and the entire Europe at large. This is because cassia is cheaper and largely available in the market as compared to Ceylon cinnamon. Although these two spices do look alike, there is a huge difference when it comes to the coumarin content.

According to studies conducted in Germany, it was discovered that cassia cinnamon contains the highest coumarin concentration as compared to Ceylon cinnamon. These statistics revealed that cassia cinnamon powder contained over 63 times more coumarin levels than Ceylon while cassia sticks contained up to 18 times more coumarin than Ceylon sticks.

Now, according to most studies across the globe, it has been revealed that coumarin found in cassia cinnamon is the main cause of liver disease, damage, and failure. In the United States alone, over 30 million cases of liver damage have been reported. This simply tells us that cassia cinnamon—which is largely consumed by most people in the United States—is the main cause of such illnesses considering it has substantial amounts of coumarin which is dangerous.

Following these statistics, health officials have largely advised consumers to consider using Ceylon cinnamon due to its low coumarin levels as compared to cassia cinnamon.

Just to add on to this, studies in rats have revealed that consuming substantial amounts of cassia cinnamon over a long period of time can provoke cancer-causing cells. Although these studies are not evidenced in humans, I think such a study should stand as a stunning warning to those people who consume cassia in large quantities.

Why is Ceylon cinnamon the best alternative?

There are four major types of cinnamon species namely Ceylon, Cassia, Saigon and Korintje cinnamon. Saigon and Korintje cinnamon are mostly classified under cassia due to their similarity in terms of color, taste, and shape. These three types of cinnamon (with exception of Ceylon) are hard and contain substantial amounts of coumarin which is harmful to the liver if consumed in large amounts over a long period of time.

Ceylon cinnamon—also known as “true cinnamon”—is the best between the four cinnamon species and is usually the most expensive. Credited for being the first spice to be introduced in Europe during the colonial era, Ceylon cinnamon has lost its popularity over the dominant cassia cinnamon due to its high price and unavailability.

Despite of its scarcity, Ceylon cinnamon continues to be the one true cinnamon spice due to its high health and medicinal value. What really makes Ceylon a better choice over cassia is the low coumarin levels present in the formula. As we stated earlier, coumarin is a chemical substance that causes serious health issues if consumed in large amounts. Since Ceylon cinnamon contains low coumarin levels, users are free to consume large amounts of this herb as compared to cassia cinnamon.





 Fine Ceylon Tea
 Ceylon True Cinnamon

 Coumarin in Cassia Cinnamon and why Ceylon Cinnamon is Better
 Health Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon
 What is Ceylon Cinnamon?
 Ceylon Cinnamon for Cholesterol
 Ceylon True Cinnamon - Yeast infection fighter

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