Below are the most common types of cinnamon and how they can impact your health.
Ceylon is also known as old fashioned cinnamon and it is the preferred form of spice in many areas around the world. This is because it is known to be the true spice as well as having low levels of coumarin. It is referred by its scientific name as cinnamomum zeylanicum. Coumarin is known to be a substance that causes liver damage. When compared with other varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon has the lowest level of coumarin. Experts believe that the spice originated from Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. It has a light to medium reddish brown color and has a mild sweet taste. It is usually packaged in form of rolled sticks which look similar to cigars. On top of having ultra low levels of coumarin; it is also soft, its crumbles easily, has a subtle taste, has antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body, improves glucose metabolism, and regulate one’s weight.
Cinnamomum burmanii as it is known by its scientific name, is one of the most common spice that is found in stores and supermarkets around the world. It originates from China and Indonesia. A majority of bakeries and other commercial enterprises prefer korintje because it is cheap. A problem with this type is that it’s known to have high levels of coumarin, with the sample content measuring 2.15 g/kg. Apart from Korintje, it is also referred to as padang cassia. The tree where it is found grows to a height of 22 feet. The spice is dark reddish brown in color and has a spicy taste. There are several grades sold to consumers starting from Grade A, B and C. There are several benefits which include boosting one’s memory, protecting your brain, and also supporting healthy blood clotting.
It is native to Vietnam and it’s produced both for domestic and export purposes. It is known to have 1% to 5% essential oil in content and 25 percent cinnamaldehyde in essential oil which has been found to be the highest in all species. It is reffered to by its scientific name cinnamomum loureirii which is a name that was derived from a botanist known as Joao de Louriro. This type, however, contains the highest levels of coumarin among all types of cinnamon used for commercial purposes. The coumarin sample measures up to 6.97g/kg. It is known to have a dark reddish brown color and a spicy sweet taste. It has benefits which include high levels of oil content, it helps to eliminate fungus, as well as having a strong spicy taste.
It is referred to by its scientific name as cinnamomum cassia and it originates from China and other South East Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand. Among the four types, it is primarily grown for its aromatic bark. The tree is known to grow to heights of between 10 to 15 meters and it has a grayish bark with hard elongated leaves which can grow to a length of 10 to 15 cm. The buds from the tree are used as spice too. It is usually sold in form of bark pieces which helps to differentiate it between other types. It is dark reddish in color and has a bitter spicy taste. Coumarin levels vary, but on average cassia cinnamon sticks have 18 times more coumarin than Ceylon sticks, according to the American Chemical Society. It has several benefits which include helping to lower one’s cholesterol levels, helps to improve digestion, and also helps to fight bacteria. Whether you use plan to use cinnamon for aromatherapy, medicinally, or as an ingredient in you meals and snacks; I hope this list will help you determine which type of cinnamon is best for you.
Sources http://cinnamonvogue.com/Types_of_Cinnamon_1.html http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/salts/cinnamon.asp