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Family Lauraceae
Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume

Xi lan rou gui

Scientific names Common names
Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume Canela (Tag., Span.)
Laurus cinnamomum Linn. Ceylon cinnamon (Engl.)
Cinnamomum verum J Presl Common cinnamon (Engl.)
  Xi lan rou gui (Chin.)
There is much disagreement among taxonomic databases on the synonymy of Cinnamomum species.
Quisumbing's compilation lists four cinnamomum species: C. iners (namog), C, mercadoi (C. zeylanicum F.-Vill, kalingag), C. mindanense (kami) and C. zeylanicum Blume (canela).

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Dâr sînî, Quarfa, Qirfah, Salîkhah.
ASSAMESE: Dalchini.
BENGALI: Daaracini.
BURMESE: Hman thin, , Hminthin, Thi ho thit kya bo, Thit -ja boh gauk, Thit kya bo.
CROATIAN: Ceylonski cimet.
CZECH: Skořice, Skořice cejlonská.
DANISH: Kanel, Ceylon-kaneltrae.
DUTCH: Kaneel, Kaneelboom .
ESTONIAN: Tseiloni kaneelipuu.
FINNISH: Aitokaneli, Kaneli, Kanelipuu, Ceyloninkaneli.
FRENCH: Cannelle de Ceylan, Cannellier de Ceylan.
GERMAN: Ceylonzimt, Ceylon-Zimt, Ceylonzimtbaum, Echter Zimt, Echter Ceylonzimt, Zimt, Zimtbaum.
GREEK: Kanéla, Kinnamomom.
HEBREW: Kinamon, Qinamon.
HINDI: Daalacinii, Daarciinii, Patrakam, Varaangam.
HUNGARIAN: Fahéj, Ceyloni fahéj.
ITALIAN: Albero della cannella, Cannella, Cannella del Ceylan, Lauro aromatico.
JAPANESE: Seiron nikkei, Shinamon.
KANNADA: Dalachinni, Dalachinni chakke, Lavangapatta, Lavangapatte, Lavangapatri.
KHMER: Chek tum phka loeng.
KOREAN: Kye pi, Sil lon gye pi.
MALAY: Kayu manis.
MALAYALAM: Erikkoloam, Ilavangam, Karun, Lavangapattai, Lavangpatram, Vayana.
MARATHI: Dalachini.
NEPALESE: Daalachiinii, Kukhii taaj.
PERSIAN: Dar chini.
POLISH: Cynamon cejloński, Cynamonowiec cejloński (plant).
PORTUGUESE: Canela, Caneleiro, Canelheira da India.
ROMANIAN: Scortisoara.
RUSSIAN: Korichnik tsyelonskii, Korihnoe derevo, Koritsa tseilonskaia.
SANSKRIT: Coca, Cocam, Darusita, Taj, Tvak.
SINHALESE: Curruva pattai, Kurundu.
SPANISH: Canela , Canelero de Ceilán.
SWAHILI: Mdalasini.
SWEDISH: Äkta kanel, Ceylonkanel, Kanel.
TAMIL: llavangam, Lavangapatri, Lavangapattai.
THAI: Op choei thet.
TURKISH: Seylan tarçını, Tarçın ağacı.
URDU: Dal ciinii (Dalcheeni), Tejpat.
VIETNAMESE: Cây quế, Nhục quế, Quế Srilanca, Quế hồi, Quế rành .

Canela is a medium-sized tree, reaching a height of 12 to 20 meters. Young parts of the plant are smooth, except for the buds, which have fine, silky hairs. Leaves are leathery, shining, oval or oval-lanceolate, 8 to 15 centimeters long, pointed at both ends. Blade is strongly 3- or 5-nerved. Panicles are usually about as long as the leaves, mostly clustered in the upper axils. Flowers are numerous, pale yellow, small, and covered outside with grayish hairs. Fruit is oblong-ovoid, about 1 centimeter long, dry or slightly fleshy, and surrounded by the enlarged, persistent perianth.

- Introduced from India or Ceylon, where it is native.
- Occasionally planted or cultivatedf in Manila gardens and other large towns.

- The bark yields cinnamon oil, 1/2 to 1 percent. The oil is a golden-yellow liquid, with a specific gravity of 1.035, with a powerful cinnamon odor, with a sweet and aromatic but burning taste. It deviates a ray of polarized light slightly to the left. The oil consists chiefly of cinnamic aldehyde, with variable proportions of hydrocarbons. Cinnamon contains sugar, mannite, starch, mucilage and tannic acid.
- Cinnamon leaf contains a larger percentage of eugenol than bark oil. It is used to adulterate bark oil, usually by putting the leaves in the still along with the bark. Leaf oil used to enter the market as root oil. Its high content of eugenol makes it useful in the perfume and flavoring industries, and is one of the sources of artificial vanilla.
- Cinnamon-root oil contains camphor and ither aromatic substances including cinnamic aldehyde, eucalyptol and safrol.
- Cinnamon seeds contain 33 percent fat which used to be made into expensive candles, still used in churches.
- While the chief constituent of the oil is cinnamic aldehyde, it also contains small quantities of phellandrene, pinene, linalol, caryophyllene, eugenol, among others.

- In medicine, cinnamon is considered a cordial and stimulant, with aromatic and mild astringent properties.
- Bark is considered carminative, antispasmodic, aromatic, stimulant, hemostatic, astringent, antiseptic and germicide.
- Oil is considered vascular and nervine; in large doses, irritant and a narcotic poison.

Parts used
Bark, oil.


Used as a spice and flavoring agent in beverages.
- In Johore medicine, used for colic and diarrhea.
- The bark - in infusion, decoction, powder or oil - is used for dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea and vomiting; also, as an adjunct to bitter tonics, purgatives, vegetable and mineral astringents.
- Used as uterine stimulant; also, for menorrhagia and in tedious labor due to defective uterine contractions.
- Powdered cinnamon in 10 to 20 grain doses is a reputed remedy for diarrhear and dysentery.
- Crystalline cinnamic acid is used as antitubercular and as injection in phthsis.
- Used as a stimulant; given for abdominal cramps, enteralgia, toothace and tongue paralysis.
- Essential oil used a stimulant in amenorrhea.
- Oil is applied locally for headaches and neuralgia.
- Used as an antiseptic injection in gonorrhea.
- As a germicide, used internally in typhoid fever.
- Used in massive doses for treatment of cancer and microbic diseases.
- A frequent ingredient in pillmasses.
Used for strengthening the gums and to perfume the breath.
In Antilles, used as a stomachic, aperitive and for dyspepsia.
Closely allied in medical properties and uses to cloves, for which it is substituted when the latter is not available.
- Cinnamon bark is a constituent of a multi-ingredient preparation, applied to the penis for premature ejaculation.
- Cinnamon oil used in the manufacture of personal and cosmetic products - mouthwashes, toothpaste, gargles, lotions, soaps, liniments and various cosmetics.

Antioxidant / Scavenging Activity:
The methanolic extract of C verum leaf exhibited free radical scavenging activity against DPPH radical and ABTS radical cation. The peroxidation inhibiting activity showed very good antioxidant activity. (3)
Toxicity Studies / Spermatogenic Effects: Study showed no acute or chronic toxicity or mortality. There was a significant increase in reproductive organ weights, sperm motility, sperm count, and failed to illicity any spermatotoxic effect.
Mould Inhibitory Effect: Study showed the intense antimould potential of C zeylanicum essential oil and b-pinene which could find rational use in pharmaceutical formulations used to treat some mycoses, especially dematiaceous moulds.
Antidiabetic: Oral administration of ethanolic extract of C. zeylanicum leaves to alloxan-induced diabetic rats sigificantly reduced their blood levels under acute and subacute studies.
Antiparasitic: Study investigated the possible antiparasitic effect of Czd bark oil in rabbits with sarcoptic mange. Rabbits showed improved oxidative status after recovery and restored reproductive performance.
Trans-cinnamaldehyde / C. difficile Therapy Potentiation: Trans-Cinnamaldehyde from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Bark Essential Oil Reduces the Clindamycin Resistance of Clostridium difficile in vitro: The essential oil of C Zeylanicum bark enhanced the bactericidal activity of clindamycin. The active fraction from the oil was identified aqs trans-cinnamaldehyde. (13)
• Antifungal / Azole-Resistant and Azole Susceptible Candida: In a study evaluating the in vitro activity of C. zeylanicum against fluconazole-resistant and susceptible Candida isolates, the MICs of the bark of Cz were slightly better than commercially available cinnamon powder. Trans-cinnamaldehyde and O-methoxycinnamaldehyde had MICs of 0.03-0.5 mg/ml. Three of five patients had imporvement of their oral candidiasis. (14)
Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro: Study showed the cassia extract has a direct antidiabetic potency. (15)
Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by essential oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum: Study suggests the essential oil of CZ to be bactericidal against E. coli. (16)
• Toxicity Studies: Chronic treatment of ethanolic extracts caused reduction in liver weight, fall in hemoglogin level, increase in reproductive organ weights, sperm motility, sperm count and no spermatotoxic effect. (17)
• Antioxidative Stress in Humans: In a study to determine the antioxidative stress capacity of cinnamon in humans, results showed cinnamon has a marked antioxidant potential and may be beneficial in alleviating the complication of illnesses related to oxidative stress in humans. (18)
• Antibacterial: In a study selected medicinal plants for antibacterial activity, C. zeylanicum showed inhibition of S. aureus, B subtilis, B cereus and B thuringiensis.
• Antioxidant Supplement / Broiler Chicken: Study showed cinnamon essential oil exhibited significant antioxidant activity in fattening chickens and can be used as a source of antioxidant in dietary supplement. (20)
• Phenolic Constituents / Antioxidant / Radical Scavenging / Fruits: Study of several extracts showed the concentrated water extract to contain the maximum amount of phenolics and showed the highest antioxidant activities. The study yielded five purified compounds – protacatechuic acid, cinnamtannin B-1, urolignoside, rutin and a quercetin – all showing antioxidant and radical scavenging activities. (22)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study investigating the anti-inflammatory activity of an ethanol extract of C. zeylanicum showed suppression of intracellular release of TNF-a in murine neutrophils. The extract inhibited TNF-a gene expression in LPS-stimulated human PBMC. The potent anti-inflammatory activity of the extract suggests an anti-anthritic activity which can be used in various models of arthritis. (23)
• Immunomodulatory: Study was done on the immunomodulatory effect C zeylanicum bark. At low dose, only an increase in serum immunoglobulin levels was noted; in high dose, there was decreased Pasturella multocide-induced mortality by 17%, increased phagocytic index and increased neutrophil adhesion, increased serum immunoglobulin and antibody titer values. (24)
• Wound Healing: Study showed the ethanol extract of the bark of C. zeylanicum to significantly enhance the wound breaking strength, the rate of wound contraction and the period of epithelization of excision wound. (25)
Acaricidal: Study investigated the in vitro and in vivo acaricidal effects of an essential oil of C zeylanicum leaves on Psoroptes cuniculi, a mange mite. All concentrations of the essential oil showed a good in vitro acaricideal efficacy compared with untreated controls. In vivo, essential oil treatment cured all infested rabbits, with no statistical differences with the treatment control group. (26)
Blood Glucose, Food Consumption and Lipid Effects: Study investigated the short- and long-term effects onf C. zeylanicum on food consumption, body weight, glycemic control, and lipids in healthy and diabetes-induced rats. Results showed a lowering of blood glucose, reduced food intake, and improved lipid parameters in diabetes-induced rats. (27)
• Diabetes: A search for ways to help keep blood sugars normal led to finding MHCP (methylhydroxy chalcone polymer) in cinnamon. MHCP is a chalcone, a type of polyphenol or flavanoid, found to imake cells more sensitive to insulin in the test tube. It was also found to have antioxidant properties that can slow down various other complications in diabetes. MHCP is water soluble and is not found in the spice oils or oil extracts sold as food additives. (New Scientist, Aug 2000) (2) A USDA research also found that daily cinnamon supplements reduced blood sugars by 20-30%. It also reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides from 13-30 percent in a study of 60 patients with type 2 diabetes, an effect comparable to that obtained from statin drugs. The author suggested that it may also be useful for healthy people. The spice has no known risks and negligible calories. Half a teaspoon a day seems to be beneficial. Avoid the oils as the phenophenols are removed in processing.
- Suggested use: 1/4 teaspon of cinnamon a day added to coffee, fruit juice or cereal. It may also delay the onset of type of diagetes.

Aromatic bark sold in herbal markets for medicinal purposes.
Essential oil, teas, tincture, powders in the cybermarkets.

Last Update June 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:Koeh-182.jpg / Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen / 1897 / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Health Benefits of Cassia Essential Oil / Organic Facts
In vitro antioxidant activity and scavenging effects of Cinnamomum verum leaf extract assayed by different methodologies / Sindhu Mathew and T Emilia Abraham /
Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol 44, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 198-206 / doi:10.1016/j.fct.2005.06.013 |
Toxicity studies in mice of common spices, Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark and Piper longum fruits / A H Shah et al / Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 52: 231-239, 1998
Inhibitory effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume (Lauraceae) essential oil and b-pinene on the growth of dematiaceous moulds / Ana Carolina Pessoa Moreira et al / Braz. J. Microbiol. vol.38 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2007 / doi: 10.1590/S1517-83822007000100008
Cinnamon Stick A Day Keep the Doc Away? Health Magazine, May 2004
Antidiabetic Activity of Alcoholic Extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Leaves in Alloxon Induced Diabetic Rats / Mukul Tailang, Bhaskar K Gupta, Amrish Sharma / People’s Journal of Scientific Research 9 Vol 1 - July 08
Aromatherapy of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Bark Oil for Treatment of Scabies in Rabbits with Emphaes on the Productive Performance / Emtenan M Hanafi, Nagwa A Maghraby et al / American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ Sci., 7(6): 710-727, 2010
Professional Guide to Complementary & Alternative Therapies: Springhouse, 2001
Effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Essential Oil on Antioxidative Status in Broiler Chickens / Stefan Faix, Zita Faixova, Iveta Placha, Juraj Koppel / ACTA VET. BRNO 2009, 78: 411-417 / doi:10.2754/avb200978030411
Cinnamon Extracts Boost Insulin Sensitivity Agricultural Research Magazine. JULY 2000
Sorting Cinnamomum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

Trans-Cinnamaldehyde from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Bark Essential Oil Reduces the Clindamycin Resistance of Clostridium difficile in vitro / A R Shahverdi et al / Journal of Food Science • Volume 72 Issue 1, Pages S055 - S058

In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive Candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis. / Quale JM, Landman D, Zaman MM, Burney S, Sathe SS. / Am J Chin Med. 1996;24(2):103-9.
Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum in vivo and in vitro / Verspohl Eugen J et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research • 2005, vol. 19, no3, pp. 203-206
Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by essential oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum / Senhaji O et al / Braz J Infect Dis. 2007 Apr;11(2):234-6.
Toxicity studies in mice of common spices, Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark and Piper longum fruits / Plant Foods for Human Nutrition • Volume 52, Number 3 / September, 1998 / DOI 10.1023/A:1008088323164
Antioxidative stress potential of Cinnamomum zeylanicum in humans: a comparative cross-sectional clinical study / Akram Ranjbar et al / Summary Therapy, January 2006, Vol. 3, No. 1, Pages 113-117 , DOI 10.2217/14750708.3.1.113 / (doi:10.2217/14750708.3.1.113)
Antibacterial Property of Different Medicinal Plants: Ocimum sanctum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Xanthoxylum armatum and Origanum majorana / Bishnu Joshi et al / KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 5, No. I, JANUARY, 2009, pp 143- 150 /
/ Egberto Santos Carmo et al / Brazilian Journal of Microbiology (2008) 39:91-97
Effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Essential Oil on Antioxidative Status in Broiler Chickens / Stefan Faix et al / ACTA VET. BRNO 2009, 78: 411-417; doi:10.2754/avb200978030411
Phenolic Constituents in the Fruits of Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Their Antioxidant Activity
/ G K Jayaprakasha et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (5), pp 1672–1679 / DOI: 10.1021/jf052736r
Cinnamomum zeylanicum extract inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF∝: In -vitro and -vivo studies / Sameer Walunj et al / Research In Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Vol. 2(2), pp.14-21, April, 2010
Immunomodulatory activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark / Samir Ramchandra Niphade et al / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology, Dec 2009, Vol. 47, No. 12, Pages 1168-1173 / DOI 10.3109/13880200903019234
Pro-healing effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark / Jagaddish V Kamath et al / Phytotherapy Research
Volume 17 Issue 8, Pages 970 - 972 / Published Online: 11 Sep 2003 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.1293
Efficacy of an essentifal oil of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against Psoroptes cuniculi / G. Fichi, G. Flamini, L. Zaralli, S. Perrucci / Phytomedicine, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 227-231


Effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) on blood glucose and lipids in a diabetic and healthy rat model / Priyanga Ranasinghe, Sanja Perera, Mangala Gunatilake,1 Eranga Abeywardene, Nuwan Gunapala, Sirimal Premakumara,3 Kamal Perera, Dilani Lokuhetty,2 and Prasad Katulanda / Pharmacognosy Res. 2012 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 73–79. / doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.94719

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