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, real 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.

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Ceylon Cinnamon


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. 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.


Where to Buy Ceylon Cinnamon?

If you cannot find it locally, buy it here online.

  • Pingback: The Healing Benefits of CINNAMON & HONEY: update - Master Fitness 21()

  • 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!


      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?


      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.


      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.




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

      Thanks for sharing the information about Ceylon cinnamon

      • Amar Dhamane

        i m interested in buying ceylon cinnamon , please mail me the details at amardhamaneattherategmaildotcom

      • natesgrandma

        If you’re still able to help with finding or providing Ceylon Cinnamon I would greatly appreciate it if you would contact me at

        • mypeashealth

          Please check the links in the article

      • Isabela Seme Ndatu

        I am in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. How can you possibly send me 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!

      • natesgrandma

        Hello Hemasiri, I am extremely interested in your offer of sending some Ceylon Cinnamon. You are very lucky to have so many cinnamon trees in your garden! My family has always used the cinnamon sticks for a variety of health reasons but largely for digestive ailments.

        My Aunts and Grandmother all carry at least 1 cinnamon stick in their purses in case of emergency! 🙂 I love making Canela tea which is the Spanish word for cinnamon.

        For the last few months I’ve noticed all the stores I visit have had no Ceylon Cinnamon and only that hard decorative Cassia kind which I will NOT buy. I’m wondering if there was a problem with this years supply as it has been most difficult to find.

        I still have found none so if you have extra and had no problem with this years supply I would greatly appreciate it if you would contact me at

        I’m sure you’re aware of this but I brew a stick in boiling water until it turns that beautiful reddish color and drink it with or without sugar. This always works for any digestive ailment. It absolutely relieves nausea and vomiting which is a god send for me and my pregnant daughter in law.

        The other ailments it relieves is indigestion, diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach cramps, heartburn or gerd. It can also be used to treat infantile diarrhea. My 2 year old grandson loves it and has some every time I have a cup of Canela tea.

        if you’re having issues with your Stomach I would highly recommend brewing some Ceylon sticks in boiling water. I always use a few sticks and over the course of a few days I’ll add more water and continue to bring it to a rolling boil to get every last drop of flavor out of each and every stick. If you like honey you can add it which in itself has additional health benefits, but I don’t care for it so I drink it plain or use a bit of sugar.

      • That would be great! Laura Edgar PO box 412 Hawthorne, FL 32640. I would be glad to pay you once I see it’s for real. Is it Ceylon organic? What kind?

      • namita

        I want to buy pure cinnamon plant. I am from India.

    • Ngozika Christopher

      I am asking d same question ,where can I get d original Ceylon cinnamon n what brand pls help need it so badly

      • mypeashealth

        Hi Ngozkika,

        It depends where are you based. Please let me know your country and then I can suggest where to get it from?

  • 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

    • Bernadette Desalines

      If you dont mind, may i ask where did you order and what is the brand the real Cylon cinnamon?

  • 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.

    • Tony De Guzman Jr.

      Yeah, noticed that too – got a bit confused. We should probably differentiate now between real writers and fake writers, as well.

  • I would like to share few point related to real cinnamon vs fake cinnamon:

    A real cinnamon is a symbol of quality and exquisite taste.
    It is difficult to distinguish between the two unless you are an expert.

    Taste:-Real Cinnamon is delicate and sweet whereas
    fake cinnamon is strong and peppery

    Color:-The color of real cinnamon is tan brown
    in color whereas fake cinnamon has reddish dark brown color.

    Look:-Real cinnamon is fragile and can be easily
    broken easily while fake cinnamon is tough and difficult to grind in powder

    Feel:-The surface of real cinnamon is smooth
    whereas fake cinnamon has rough and uneven surface

    Origin:-Real cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka whereas
    fake cinnamon are produced in countries such as
    China and Indonesia

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