Cinnamon — almost all people know and love its aroma. A cinnamon combination to the baked apple, apple pie, mulled wine, beer... The aroma of this spice weakens, bears with itself pleasant mood and also helps digestion and can lower sugar level in blood. However it was revealed that the excessive use of cinnamon can do harm of a liver and to kidneys because of the high content of coumarin. We will try to understand this article, than cassia cinnamon (it is a cassia) differs from Ceylon what advantage and harm is born by this spice and whether health hazard of the person from its use is real.
What differs from cinnamon Ceylon in
Spice source — an evergreen tree with oval leaves, thick bark and medium-sized fruit. When harvesting, bark and leaves are the main used parts.
Whether you know? Cinnamon is known as one of the most ancient spices. It it was mentioned in the Bible, it was known in Ancient Egypt as aromatic seasoning for cooking in rich houses and also was used in structures for embalming. In those days cinnamon was appreciated above, than gold.
The tree is grown up within two years, then young escapes are used for receiving bark of which further the known spice will be made by everything. Often, buying this spice in shop, we do not know, Ceylon it is cinnamon or Chinese.
There are several features, paying attention to which, it is possible to distinguish them from each other:
- Type of a cinnamon stick — the cassia is twisted in smooth sticks in one leaf, and the Ceylon cinnamon curls on both sides of bark form a double tube, in cross section reminding a cigar.
- Color — the cassia has the dark color giving to rust or to redness, and the Ceylon version has light, yellowy-brown color.
- Aroma of spices — spice from China has unpleasant, burning and tart taste, and at Ceylon gentle, sweet and the spiciness which is slightly burning down the sky.
Whether you know? For most of Germans the cinnamon long since is associated only with Christmas pastries, and in modern Sweden rolls with cinnamon (Kanelbullar) became a national dish.
Each type of cinnamon contains coumarin, but not in all versions equally large amount of this substance. Its most high content which is negatively influencing a liver is revealed in the Chinese cassia (Cinnamomum cassia), the smallest — in the Ceylon version (Cinnamomum verum). Trees of these cinnamon plants are similar at each other, but they have different properties. The Chinese cassia — aromatic bark which has less noble qualities in comparison with the Ceylon spice and therefore costs cheaper.
Learn more about advantage of cinnamon.
Caloric content and chemical composition
Nutrition value of cinnamon in 100 grams:
253 kcal / 1.060 kJ
Chemicals in 100 g of cassia cinnamon:
- essential oil (1–3%);
- aldehyde of cinnamon acid (90%);
- group B vitamins;
- irreplaceable and replaceable amino acids;
Harm and advantage
Considering coumarin content in the Chinese cassia, this spice should be eaten not more often than once a week. The weekly dose should not exceed 0.1 mg on kilogram of body weight.
The extreme value of a dose for reception by the adult is about 0.5 mg on kilogram of weight, thus that one flat teaspoon contains about 3 grams of cinnamon.
Whether you know? Besides addition of cinnamon in dishes, from it it is possible to make cinnamon tea. Process of preparation is very simple: the cinnamon stick is filled in with boiled water and insisted in the closed ware within several minutes. The stick can be replaced with cinnamon powder.
Special attention is paid to its contents in baby food. In this case the correct dose makes 0.1-0.2 mg of a cassia on kilogram of weight of the child. In the European countries begin to limit application of the Chinese cassia in production of hypoglycemic means for diabetics.
Video: advantage and harm of a cassia
What it is dangerous to an organism by
The list of negative qualities of a cassia looks seriously:
- Some medical sources claim that the use of bigger quantity of cinnamon is undesirable or at all it is forbidden during pregnancy because it can cause fights.
- It is necessary to show care in consumption of this spice at ulcer of stomach and duodenum.
- The eugenol which is contained in spice can modify properties of bile therefore it should not be used by people with hepatic stones and dysfunctions of a gall bladder.
- The use of a cassia can cause problems with a liver. Hepatitis cases connected with use of cinnamon additives are known. Coumarin is the reason of hepatotoxicity.
- Special attention should be paid to the people using medicines for decrease in level of cholesterol in blood as in their case the risk of emergence of problems with function of a liver considerably increases.
- Speaking about harmful consequences of the Chinese cassia for health, it is impossible to forget about benzoic acid. This connection is formed naturally in plants, and works as the toxin fighting against bacteria, a mold and yeast. It is undesirable also for the person.
- As a result of overconsumption it is possible to cause or aggravate asthma, urticaria and rhinitis. Moreover, cinnamon has the irritating properties, causes a contact sensitization.
- Spice is both contact, and digestive allergen. Its consumption by sensitive people can cause atopic changes in area of lips, hypostasis of gums and also problems with skin. The main identified allergen of spice is cinnamon aldehyde, a component of cinnamon oil.
It is important! Though the injuriousness of coumarin is not confirmed by researches on the person, it is known that too high content of this substance in food can make toxic impact on a liver. Tests on rats and dogs showed its pathological impact on their organism, causing hepatocellular problems with the developing jaundice and the subsequent death.
In principle, the reasonable and moderate use of a cassia is quite safe for human health. For example, the American commission for the control of products and drugs (FDA) provided cinnamon the status of GRAS. It means that substance received the status of absolutely safe food for Americans. Results of many scientific research demonstrate that cinnamon:
- lowers sugar level in blood;
- reduces quantity of lipids;
- lowers pressure in blood arteries;
- has antimicrobial properties;
- has the high content of polyphenols;
- it is known for high antioxidant potential;
- possesses strong fungicide, bactericidal and disinfecting action.
At what diseases helps:
- This spice is applied as medicine in case of lack of appetite, diarrhea and an abdominal distension. Researches show that its consumption can promote decrease in level of the general cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time consumption of a cassia leads to increase in LPVP, thanks to it positive impact on a cardiovascular system is had.
Decrease in cholesterol is also promoted by the use: pumpkin honey, clover meadow, artichoke, dyagilya, peas, seeds of a flax, apples, oil of a thistle, immortelle sandy, dogrose and spirulina.
- In a cassia there are polyphenols which presence at an organism is necessary for health.
- The Chinese cassia, thanks to the minerals which are contained in it, can counteract development of inflammatory reactions and developing of such diseases as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis and heart failure.
- Has the calming effect, relaxes smooth and cross muscles and also has antineoplastic and analgetic effect.
- Use of this substance can help to struggle with insomnia, gripes, locks and the complicated urination.
- Spice interferes with development of pathogenic microorganisms. Besides, coumarins can prevent oncological new growths.
- Increase in appetite — essential oils of cassia cinnamon promote appetite reflexively, thanks to sense organs: to eyes, nose or language.
Whether you know? Hypocras is the well-known Greek spicy wine with cinnamon. This drink is called in honor of the healer Hippocrates who, according to historians, and invented it in the 5th century BC.
Advantage of coumarin
Coumarin is substance as a part of a cassia which aroma is applied not only in cookery, but also in cosmetics. Its smell reminds a smell of slanted hay in combination with vanilla.
Coumarins make big group of biologically active connections and are widely used in natural medicine. Thanks to researches it is known that coumarins make therapeutic impact including as:
- antibacterial and anti-inflammatory means;
- diastolic agents.
Important! Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell surely about any foodstuff that its use is absolutely safe for health. Consumption of cinnamon, despite its numerous improving properties, also bears in itself a certain risk.
Scope of application
Cinnamon — widely used spice and also folk remedy. During thousands of years it was used in the Indian Ayurveda and in traditional Chinese medicine as medicine at treatment of many diseases, such as impotence, eels, menstrual pain and rheumatism.
The cassia is often added to foodstuff. In modern cookery this spice is used as additive to chocolate, alcohol, soft drinks, desserts and bakery products. Cinnamon is only spice — we do not eat it in large numbers daily therefore you should not be frightened and hurry to exclude it from the diet. It impacts remarkable relish to desserts and drinks. This spice applied in reasonable quantities does not cause deterioration in health, but stimulates appetite.