WHAT IS CEYLON CINNAMON?
Cinnamon is a readily available spice found most often in sweet desserts, baked treats and as a sprinkled topping on teas and lattes. Its use in cuisine has been documented for centuries, but it has also been used for thousands of years in ancient medicinal practices in Asia for its many health benefits. However, there are two types of cinnamon available on the market: Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. And while they both may appear to be the same spice at first glance, there are distinct differences between them that should impact your choice of which one gets added to your pantry.
Ceylon Cinnamon: The Superior Spice
Ceylon cinnamon is native to the lush island of Sri Lanka, and is often recommended over cassia for its superior quality. With its delicate and sweet taste, light brown coloring and soft layers, Ceylon cinnamon is harvested from the Cinnamomum verum tree and is also known as pure, “true cinnamon”. The process of harvesting it is a laborious, time-consuming process, and that is part of the reason that it is more expensive than other types of cinnamon.
Meanwhile, Cassia cinnamon is more commonly grown in other Asian countries like China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Made out of the bark of the Cinnamomum cassia tree, it produces a harder, rougher-textured cinnamon that has a far stronger flavor than the delicate Ceylon variety, and is generally considered to be lower quality and more cheaply available in supermarkets.
The main reason that Ceylon cinnamon is favored over cassia, however, is that the latter plant contains high levels of coumarin. Coumarin is a chemical compound that is toxic to humans when taken in large doses. It can cause severe health issues like kidney, liver and lung damage, and has been shown to cause cancer in some studies. Daily consumption of as little as two teaspoons of cassia cinnamon will contain more than enough coumarin to cause these side-effects.
Ceylon cinnamon, however, contains less than 250 times the amount of coumarin that cassia does; the levels are so low that the compound is barely detectable in the plant. This makes large quantities of Ceylon cinnamon safe for regular consumption, and is the reason that the native Sri Lankan spice is often recommended over cassia.
Nature’s Rare offers pure Ceylon Cinnamon Hot and Bottled Brews that harvests organic Ceylon cinnamon straight out of lush Sri Lankan cinnamon plantations. Consuming these tea brews regularly is safe as they contain no added caffeine, preservatives or artificial flavors. Unlike other cinnamon teas that are available on the market, we use true organic Ceylon cinnamon in their sachets instead of cheaper cinnamon flavoring. Certified as USDA Organic, non-GMO and 100% vegan, you can enjoy a delicious cup of pure Ceylon cinnamon tea and rest easy knowing that you’re reaping the full health benefits of the spice.
The Health Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon
Both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon provide health benefits; however, Ceylon cinnamon is the far safer option for regular consumption and should be chosen whenever possible. Some benefits of consuming Ceylon cinnamon include:
- Managing cholesterol levels. There are two types of cholesterol in the blood: LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and HDL (“good” cholesterol). Taking cinnamon has been shown to reduce our levels of bad cholesterol while maintaining (and in some cases, increasing) levels of good cholesterol. This in turn can potentially protect us from the development of heart disease.
- Its anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation can lead to the development of major diseases like cancer, arthritis, and diabetes, and it could be triggered by anyone who regularly consumes processed foods. With its potent anti-inflammatory properties, Ceylon cinnamon may help prevent the development of these diseases.
- It increases insulin sensitivity. Monitoring blood sugar levels is important, and even more so for those who deal with diabetes. Cinnamon may help in controlling blood sugar by reducing our body’s resistance to insulin.