Cinnamon. Cinnamon bark
Specification & Spread
Cinnamon bark — cortex cinnamomi veri
Chinese cinnamon bark – cortex cinnamomi aromatici
Ceylon cinnamon — cinnamomum verum j. Presl. ( = c. Zeylanicum blume)
Chinese cinnamon — cinnamomum aromaticum nees ( = c. Cassia blume) Laurel family— lauraceae
Ceylon cinnamon is an evergreen tree, usually a shrub in culture.
The branches are cylindrical, trihedral to the apex.
The leaves are opposite, whole, leathery, elliptical, with 3-7 veins.
The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, gathered in loose paniculate inflorescences.
The fruit - a juicy berry.
Spreading and habitat. Cinnamon grows in Sri Lanka, South-West India, South China, Burma, Vietnam. It is cultivated throughout the tropical zone. The main supplier to the international market is Sri Lanka.
Chinese cinnamon comes from southern China and is currently known only in culture. It is bred in East and Southeast Asia and in tropical America.
The chemical composition of cinnamon
The aroma of Ceylon cinnamon is thinner than that of the Chinese cinnamon, so it is valued much higher.
Essential oil (1-2%) consists of:
- cinnamic acid aldehyde (65-75%),
- cineole and
- eugenol (about 10%).
Chinese cinnamon essential oil consists mainly of cinnamic acid aldehyde (about 90%).
In the bark there are:
- calcium oxalate.
Cinnamon bark substitutes:
as cinnamon substitutes, other wild-growing species of cinnamon are used, the bark of which is thicker and rougher and has a less pleasant aroma:
- Cinnamomum obtusifolium Nees and C. laureirii Nees from Vietnam;
- Cinnamomum burmanii Blume from Java and others.
From the Antilles there are imported:
white cinnamon bark - Cortex Canellae albae, or Cortex Winterani (Canella alba Murr., Canellaceae).
The bark taken from the branches of the tree is freed from the cork layer and is a grooved piece, reddish-white on the outside; the inner surface is white; the smell is fragrant, similar to the smell of cinnamon; the taste is spicy, bitter.
- essential oil (up to 1.3%),
- resin (about 8%) and other substances.
It is used the same way as cinnamon.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting and drying. The first harvest is harvested two years after pruning.
The cleaning is carried out in a period when the bark is easily separated.
The shoots 1-2 m long and 1.2-1.3 cm thick with dark brown bark are cut.
The bark is cut off with a copper knife and the outer layer is removed. After that, the bark is rolled into double or triple tubes and dried in the sun.
External signs of raw materials
Tubular or fluted pieces of various lengths, very thin, 0.2–0.5 mm thick, light brown in colour.
The smell is fragrant, pleasant.
The taste is sweet, slightly astringent.
Chinese cinnamon is a piece of bark 1-3 mm thick, dark brown on the outside, covered with cork in places, but more often it is removed.
The smell is rougher than that of Ceylon cinnamon, so it is valued less.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Antiseptic and digestive stimulant (appetite stimulator).
Application of cinnamon
Ceylon and Chinese cinnamon are applied like spice:
- as a means of stimulating the activity of the digestive organs,
- as an antiseptic,
- to give medicines a pleasant taste and smell.
It is included in the British herbal pharmacopoeia and the pharmacopoeia of Southeast Asian countries. Trimmings and other bark waste are used to produce cinnamon essential oil (Oleum Cinnamomi).
- Pregnancy and lactation,
- individual intolerance.
- peptic ulcer,
- increased acidity - with caution.