Cassia Cinnamon vs Ceylon Cinnamon

cassia vs ceylon cinnamon

Cassia Cinnamon vs Ceylon Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that’s been used for centuries for its warm, sweet flavor as well as for medicinal purposes. It comes from the bark of cinnamon trees, which is rolled into sticks and ground into a fine powder. But did you know there is more than one kind of cinnamon? And did you know that the different types of cinnamon will affect your health differently?

There are hundreds of types of cinnamon, but only 4 varieties are used for commercial purposes. These include Ceylon, Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje Cinnamon. Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje cinnamon are scientifically classified as Cassia Cinnamon, due to similarities in color, shape, and coumarin content. Hence, there are 2 main types of cinnamon; Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon. But what’s the real difference? Here, we’ll explore both types and important differences between Cassia and Ceylon Cinnamon.

Important differences between Ceylon Cinnamon Vs Cassia Cinnamon

The scientific name for Cassia is Cinnamomum cassia. The scientific name for Ceylon is Cinnamomum verum – “verum,” meaning ‘true’. However, the main difference is the presence of coumarin, a natural plant chemical that acts as a blood thinner. Ceylon varieties are very expensive and rarely found in the country of origin, and Cassia varieties are common and inexpensive. The color of Ceylon is tan brown, while the color of Cassia is dark reddish-brown. The bark of Ceylon cinnamon is relatively thin and curled up in a spiral. Cassia cinnamon has an uneven thickness and only forms a few layers if rolled up. Ceylon Cinnamon is fragile and can quickly break, while Cassia varieties are hard and difficult to grind. Ceylon Cinnamon is pleasant and delicate and has a good aroma and taste, but the taste of cassia is sour and powerful.

The link between Cassia, Coumarin, and Liver damage

Coumarin is present in much higher concentrations in Cassia than in Ceylon cinnamon. Even though Coumarin is a natural element, it carries a risk of causing liver damage or failure in sensitive individuals, and those who eat Cassia cinnamon regularly or in high doses. Cassia cinnamon has approximately 0.4 – 0.8% of coumarin, which is why some European countries have banned the Cassia variety. Those who use Cinnamon daily for health reasons should switch to Ceylon Cinnamon, which has a Coumarin content of only 0.03 – 0.04%.

Other benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon

Ceylon Cinnamon also contains antioxidant compounds called proanthocyanidins.  Proanthocyanidins are similar to the antioxidant compounds found in green tea and grapes, which have been shown to strengthen capillaries and offer antioxidant protection against heart disease and cancer. Additional benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon include antimicrobial and anti-parasitic activity, digestive health, and blood pressure reduction.

The lethal dosage of Cassia Cinnamon

While the Cassia variety can become an issue if you have pre-existing medical conditions, or are taking medications that may become a cause for concern, you may not need to be concerned if you’re not ingesting too much. But, how does one determine “too much?”

In this regard, studies vary from study to study and are studying recommended amounts of Cassia Cinnamon that can be taken daily to prevent liver damage, ranging from less than 1-5 grams (1 teaspoon) per day. For those who regularly consume more than this amount daily; switching to Ceylon Cinnamon may be a better option.

What to do if you may have consumed too much Cassia Cinnamon?

Vitamin K supplements are often used to treat overdose of warfarin (a coumarin drug). If you are worried about your past coumarin intake, stop eating cassia cinnamon immediately and consult your doctor to include foods high in vitamin K in your diet.

Finally, if you’re curious about where to buy Ceylon Cinnamon, RAVINE is the best place to buy True Ceylon Cinnamon for retail and wholesale prices.