In my first article on the sweet spice of cinnamon, I discussed its immune, blood sugar, and metabolic benefits. I also highlighted the differences between Cassia vs. Ceylon cinnamon and their essential oils. Although both share the wellness-boosting compound of cinnamaldehyde, cassia also contains coumarin.
In part two, I detailed several concerns regarding cassia’s coumarin content. These included potentially negatively impacting the liver, if taken in high amounts, enhancing blood thinning effects, and dosage warnings for certain populations. If one is an avid cinnamon consumer, on blood thinning medications, pregnant, or has liver compromise, they may wish to achieve the health aspects of this spice through Ceylon cinnamon and cinnamon bark oil.
Thankfully, for most people, if cassia is used mindfully and in small, appropriate medicinal amounts, its distinct properties can still be enjoyed.
In this post, I will finish off with uses of Cassia cinnamon and why, beyond its cautions, it should not be overlooked. I will also report on several studies on the essential oil.
The Traditional Roots of Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon has powerful therapeutic characteristics that far bypass its use as a condiment and taste enhancer. Its use as a healing modality stems back to its ancient origins in biblical and traditional medical recipes. (source, source, source) After spending several weeks studying cinnamon, and this particular species, it is easy to understand why it continues to be implemented in modern times.
According to a 2019 article in Molecules, “Cinnamomum cassia Presl: A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology,” cassia has deep roots in Chinese medicine. It is believed to support cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and inflammatory issues. It also has been reported to have many other pharmacological effects. These are summarized in the excerpt below and in this accompanying table:
In Asia, Cinnamomi cortex is usually used as a drug. Cinnamomi cortex is a common traditional Chinese medicine in China. Since 1963, Cinnamomi cortex has been listed in the Pharmacopoeia of the People‘s Republic of China (CH.P), and there are more than 500 formulas containing Cinnamomi cortex used to treat various diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic gastrointestinal disease, gynecological disorders and inflammatory disease [2,3,4].
Currently, a lot of studies have been done on the pharmacological and phytochemical of C. cassia, and more than 160 chemicals have been separated and identified from C. cassia. More and more studies have confirmed that C. cassia has a wide range of pharmacological effects, including antitumour, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, anti-diabetic and anti-obesity, antibacterial and antiviral, cardiovascular protective, cytoprotective, neuroprotective, immunoregulatory effects, anti-tyrosinase activity and other effects [3,4]. So far, the CH.P still recognizes Cinnamomi cortex as a common traditional Chinese medicine, and the content of cinnamaldehyde is used as an evaluation index for evaluating the quality of Cinnamomi cortex.
Cassia has robust mechanistic, in vitro, and vivo evidence. Furthermore, it has extensive safety information and a long history of use. It also has human trials supporting it as a blood sugar and metabolic regulator. Still, the authors of this review believe that more clinical research is needed to confirm its traditional uses and safety.
Cassia Essential Oil Benefits
Unfortunately, there are not readily available human studies for cassia oil as there is the spice. However, one can elucidate the impact based on “looking at its compounds” which include cinnamaldehyde and coumarins, as was done previously. Below are some additional excerpts from in vivo and vitro studies further demonstrating the effects of cassia essential oil (CC-EO).
Antibiotic resistance is becoming more and more of a health threat. Some in vitro studies and small human trials have exhibited that essential oils are effective for inhibiting concerning superbugs. This is based on their multiple antimicrobial effects. When used in conjunction with antibiotics, they may also prevent resistance through inhibiting biofilm formation. (source)
In an in vitro study on the impact of Cassia cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde on several different bacteria and funguses, the authors stated, “The antimicrobial effectiveness of C. cassia oil and its major constituent is comparable and almost equivalent, which suggests that the broad-spectrum antibiotic activities of C. cassia oil are due to cinnamaldehyde.” Additional benefits beyond the microbial impacts could be gained when this compound is in synergy with all the other metabolites of the essential oil.
According to an in vitro study published in Environmental Toxicology, Cinnamomum cassia essential oil (CC-EO) has been reported to be anti-microbial, hypouricemc, anti-tyrosinase, and have anti-melagenesis activities. This particular study demonstrated that CC-EO and cinnamaldehyde led to decreased survival of oral cancer cells. (Essential oils tend to modulate impacts based on the cellular environment.)
Lowering Uric Acid in Gout
An in vivo study with rodents testing CC-EO validated its hypouricemic effect. It was found to be as effective as allopurinol, a common medicine used in gout, in decreasing uric acid.
Dust Mites and Mosquito Repellent
Interestingly, CC-EO may also be your oil of choice for dusty rooms during spring cleaning. One study found it was protective from dust mites.
It may also help repel mosquitos:
In indoor tests with four human volunteers, 5% cassia oil cream provided 94, 83 and 61% protection against A. aegypti females exposed for 30, 50 and 70 min after application respectively. Cassia oil cream was a slightly less effective repellent than MeiMei cream. Repellan S aerosol provided 91% repellency at 120 min after application. Products containing cassia oil merit further study as potential repellents for the protection of humans and domestic animals from blood-feeding vectors and the diseases they transmit.
Conclusion on Cinnamon Cassia Oil
The many benefits of cassia oil are most likely due to its high cinnamaldehyde content, and also its synergistic constituents that may differ from other varieties. It has a long history of use stemming from biblical times, traditional Chinese medicine, and into modern day.
One should be cautious of the dosage and take into consideration the anticoagulant and liver impacts of the essential oil. Still, most can enjoy how cassia and its essential oil can modulate immune health, balance blood sugar and metabolism, and may have cleaning and outdoor pest uses.
Mental Health Resources
*If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and/or are suicidal, please seek professional mental health support:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) — Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line — Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor
- Lifeline Crisis Chat — Chat online with a specialist who can provide emotional support, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services at www.crisischat.org
Other Helpful Links
Below are some of the highlights of the many free emotional health resources on this website:
- Four Essential Oils Blends for Supporting the Mind-Body and Easing Tension
- VIDEO: How Your Brain and Body Suffer with Too Much Stress & Naturopathic Medicine Tips for Calming the Mind and Relieving Overwhelm
- Video Recap: Essential Oils to Ease the Stress & Anxiety of Back to School
- The Importance of Fun, Music, & Play for Mental Health
- Video Recap: Essential Oils for Brain and Mental Health & Soothing Stress
- 10 Natural Ways to Relieve Stress and Calm the Mind-Body During Trying Times
- Video: A Naturopathic Doctor’s Approach to Thyroid Health Using Essential Oils: Video Recap & Additional Resources
Additional Supportive Techniques & Tools
- The Tapping Solution, A Technique to Lower Cortisol and Reduce Stress- Podcast interview by Dr. Kara Fitzgerald with Nick Ortner.
- Stress management tips and resources
If you need more individualized wellness support, please click the links for more information on essential oils or naturopathic consults.
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and Canva.