When we talk about Cinnamon cassia vs. Cinnamon bark
, there is a difference in both of these. Many people get confused between the two and consider them to be the same. Cassia and Cinnamon are the bark from the same family of plant “Laurel” and the same family “Cinnamom” but the different plant.
Cassia and Cinnamon are both related, but you should not mix them for being the same spice as both of these spices are different in health, nutritional values, and coumarin content.
Varieties of Cinnamon
Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark are both labeled as Cinnamon found in many countries. Cassia bark is also known as “Chinese cinnamon” and “False cinnamon.” Cassia is harvested from the barks of Cinnamomum aromaticum, which is native to China, southern Bangladesh, Uganda, India, and Vietnam. Cassia is cheaper in production and has less subtle flavor than the True Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. Cinnamon bark is also known as “Ceylon cinnamon” as a reference to Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). Cinnamon is commonly grown in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Vietnam, and other countries. It gives delicate and characteristic flavor, works well in both sweet and savory foods.
Other varieties include Indonesian Cinnamon (Cinnamon burmannii), Malabathrum (Cinnamon Tamala), Saigon cinnamon (Cinnamon laureiroi), and Cinnamomum aromaticum (a close relative of Ceylon cinnamon)
Similarities between Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark
Cinnamon cassia ad cinnamon bark both are two types of species originating from the inner bark. Both have the main component cinnamaldehyde, responsible for their similar aroma and flavor. Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark both reduce blood sugar levels while increasing insulin sensitivity, which is good for diabetics.
Different Physical Features of Cinnamon cassia vs. Cinnamon bark
· Aroma: The aroma of both spices is almost similar. Cassia has a strong but pungent aroma, while Ceylon cinnamon bark has a delightful exotic aroma.
·Flavor: Cassia has sweet but too much peppery flavor, and Ceylon cinnamon has a warm, aromatic, and sweet taste.
· Texture: Cassia has a rough and uneven texture, while Ceylon cinnamon has smooth and even.
· Color: Cassia is reddish-brown to dark brown, and Ceylon has light brown to tan color.
How to differentiate between powdered Cassia cinnamon and Cinnamon bark?
To determine the difference between Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark, we can perform a test called “Test of Starch.”
In this test, when we mix a good quality powdered cinnamon bark with a tincture of Iodine, the effect is less visible while, when Cinnamon cassia is mixed with the same, a deep blue color appears in the mixture, and the intensity of coloration depends on the amount of cassia powder added.
Which has more Health Benefits?
The comparison between Cinnamon cassia vs Cinnamon bark claims that they vary slightly in health benefits. The difference in the health benefits is due to the difference in their essential oils ratio. Cinnamon cassia contains coumarins, which, when ingested in large quantities, worsen the liver condition in those with that condition.
Coumarin, a natural ingredient present in both Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark but present in large amounts (0.4-0.8%) in Cinnamon cassia carries. Hence, it causes serious risks of liver damages or failure in sensitive individuals. For an individual, 275 mg/kg of body weight coumarin is considered lethal.
Cinnamon bark is used as an alternative medicine giving its health benefits. These treatments include digestive problems, colds, cough, and menstrual pain. In traditional medicine, Cinnamon bark has been used for bronchitis.
What to do if you have consumed too much Cinnamon cassia?
For coumarin overdosing, Vitamin K supplementation is used. Also, you should stop eating Cinnamon cassia immediately. You should consult your physicians and try to add foods that are rich in Vitamin K.
Benefit for Cinnamon cassia over Cinnamon bark
It is okay if you use Cinnamon cassia in small amounts occasionally. But if you are a daily user, a switch to Ceylon cinnamon bark is good. You can use cinnamon bark in moderation for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Both Cinnamon cassia and Cinnamon bark are delicious and healthy, but you should be very careful about the amount of Cassia cinnamon because increased coumarin content can be very harmful and cause excessive bleeding in the worst scenario.