PEAS Health

Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health

How to Differentiate Between Ceylon and Cassia Cinnamon

I have listed all the differences between the two types of cinnamon. The images also illustrate how to identify the real one.

Ground powder

Cinnamon is one of those herbs which have been used in the traditional treatments and medicines for a wide range of ailments since ancient times. Among many other remedies and combination, cinnamon and honey is one of the most useful, effective and easy to use home remedies for several conditions.

But….You need to pay attention to a very important fact that all cinnamon is no good. Most people do not know it. There is a lot of discussion on the internet on topics like benefits, uses, remedies etc of cinnamon. There is either no or little information about the fact that all cinnamon is not good. There is fake and real, good and bad, toxic and non-toxic! In this article, I have explained all about this and how to choose the right one.

Cassia Cinnamon

This is called cassia, Chinese or Saigon cinnamon. Some people also call it fake cinnamon. It is produced in countries such as Vietnam, China and Indonesia. It is very hot and by chewing a piece you can feel the pungent taste sizzle and flame in your mouth. It shares some of the characteristics with real cinnamon like being anti-microbial, anti-fungal, blood regulation etc. The real problem, however, with the fake cinnamon is that it has a high content of coumarin; in fact, nearly 1200 times higher than found in the real herb. Taking large amount of coumarin is highly toxic and a prolong use may pose several serious health damages.

According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Germany, coumarin can damage liver and kidneys if taken for longer periods. In case of sensitive individuals, only a small amount can cause damage.

BfR further advises that cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin and should not, therefore, be eaten.

Cassia Cinnamon is a lot cheaper than the real or Ceylon variety. Most cinnamon sold in the supermarket is the Chinese or Cassia variety.

Ceylon Cinnamon

This is also called real, sweet or good cinnamon. It is produced in Sri Lanka from the plant called Cinnamomum Zeylanicum. It is light brown in color and thin and soft in appearance. The sticks are filled like a cigar with several folded layers. The amount of coumarin content is only 0.0004% against 5 % found in Cinnamomum Cassia.

How to Distinguish Between the Two?

In case of ground cinnamon, it is very difficult to distinguish between the two unless you are an expert, especially at sniffing spices. Howler, there is no guarantee that the result will be one hundred percent accurate. However, in case of sticks, it is easier to differentiate between the two. The following table and pictures highlight some of the differences which shall help you to choose the correct type.

Ceylon Cinnamon Cassian Cinnamon
Soft texture, easily broken Hard texture Not easily broken
Soft and Sweet aromatic Pungent and very spicy flavor
Coumarin content 0.0004% Coumarin content 5%
Generally safe Toxic if taken in case of prolonged use
Expensive and not found everywhere A lot cheaper and found in supermarket
Native to Sri Lanka Native to China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia
Light brown in color Dark Brown or reddish in color
Soft in appearance Rough in appearance
Several folds of layer like a cigar only inward folded. Empty cavity

Most bottled or packaged ground cinnamon does not mention its type or origin. It is, therefore, difficult to ascertain its type and origin or the country or plant. The best course is to identify the sticks and make sure that you are buying the Ceylon variety. Once you get hold of the real “thing” , use your blender to crush it into powder.

The_difference_between_the_two


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  • Rupert

    You make some interesting points. However the key point is that ALL store-bought ready-ground cinnamon is stale old rubbish, whether it’s Ceylon or cassia. Buy FRESH cinnamon and grate it yourself. You won’t believe the difference!

    • SILK ROAD CINNAMON

      visit SILKROADCINNAMON.COM for the real deal Thanks

  • Shayrin Smith

    Hi Rupert,
    Thanks for your comment. What about the sticks sold at the stores? Are they stale and rubbish, too?

    • SILK ROAD CINNAMON

      There are shops who sell ceylon cinnamon. We import ceylon cinnamon from our farm in Sri Lanka. Please visit our online store silkroadcinnamon. Thanks

  • Ronnie

    You can find inexpensive Ceylon cinnamon easily in stick form at many big-name grocery markets. I only ever see it in stick form though and usually never see it organic–it usually isn’t labeled as being Ceylon either (which is prolly why it’s only $2 a bag).

    I just got some from the walmart “neighborhood market” the other day. I can always tell its real Ceylon for sure due to the appearance and texture. It crumbles and breaks very easily.

    • SILK ROAD CINNAMON

      Hi Ronnie- Walmart doesn’t sell ceylon cinnamon. They sell cassia under Mccormick spice brand. Thanks

    • rosehouse

      Don’t buy food from Wa-mart,please.

  • ADITYA MALL

    THANKS YOU GUYZ

    • SILK ROAD CINNAMON

      Hey I can help you with the ceylon cinnamon. Please send me a message.

      Thanks for sharing the information about Ceylon cinnamon

    • timsy singh

      The one which you bought from supermarket were sweeter in taste??

  • Geethika Dilruk

    I have a Cinnamon tree in my garden and thanks to show importance of cinnamon..

  • Bridgett Burroughs

    Does anyone know the brands that are the True Cinnamon. I am so sick of not being protected. I’ve been eating to wrong cinnamon for years. I am cutting everything with dyes, chemicals, and everything else that causes cancer , and other health conditions. Please help because i love cinnamon and I want to keep it in my diet due to the health benefits. Thank for telling us the truth.

    • Hemasiri Ratnayake

      Hi! I’m Hemasiri male from Sri Lanka. I have a lot of cinnamon trees in my garden.We have more than we require. If you are interested I can send you some pure natural cinnamon.

      • Abbey

        I’m interested! I could pay for shipping if you wouldn’t mind sending me some Ceylon cinnamon sticks. Thanks and let me know.

      • Robin Barnes Julian

        I am interested in some of your Cinnamon! Please contact me for details!

  • Solate Mariam

    Het the original Ceylon Cinnamon all d way here from Khartoum Sudan .inbox me for details thanks.

    • Diya

      Please how can i get the original in sudan?

  • rosehouse

    Thank you for your information. I just received my order and came here to find the difference between the real and fake. The Ceylon Cinnamon I ordered is exactly what the article stated: light colors, soft in appearance, and with several layers. It’s also correct that the real one is expenses but to consider 8oz can last awhile. Therefore it’s worth.

    • Mohomed Jiffry

      Hi. We have Sri Lankan Cinnamon and a variety of Sri Lanka premium spices. Search “Ceylon Exports” on facebook

  • Patrick OBrien

    I have found that Ceylon tastes much better. The writer makes a mistake early in the report saying, “You need to pay attention to a very important fact that all cinnamon is no good.” Obviously, they don’t mean that. It should be, “Not all cinnamon is good.”

    • John L. Odom

      Grammar IS important! The meaning is changed.

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