What is Cassia Essential Oil?
Cassia essential oil, is that obtained by steam distillation of leaves, twigs and inner layer from the dry bark of the tree. Its color is yellowish brown, with a warm, slightly harsh and spicy smell.
This plant is considered one of the 50 most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It is similar to the original cinnamon (Cinnamon Verum), and both share some benefits, as well as uses.
Both are from the same botanical family and have a warm spicy aroma, although cassia oil is sweeter than cinnamon.
The cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum Aromaticum), is an evergreen tree from southern China and Indochina. This grows around 32 feet in height. Its bark is gray and the leaves are strong and elongated, growing to about four inches long.
There are many different types of cinnamon. Cinnamomum Verum (Ceylon Cinnamon) is the type of cinnamon that is commonly used in the Western world. Cinnamomum Aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon), is also commonly used.
In many cases, cinnamon that is bought in the supermarkets contains a combination of these different types of species.
Cassia is cultivated in eastern and southern Asia, including India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In the United States, United Kingdom and India, cassia is the most common and cheap type of cinnamon used.
culinary, both powder and branch, the cassia is used as a flavoring agent for pastries and meats; It is also an ingredient in many curry recipes. Normally, cassia is sold as pieces of bark or on branches and is very easy to find in supermarkets.
Cassia oil combines well with the essential oils of balsam fir, black pepper, caraway, chamomile, coriander, frankincense, ginger, geranium, nutmeg, rosemary and some citrus oils such as orange, neroli and lemon.
Cassia Essential Oil and its Components
The main components of cassia oil are benzaldehyde, chavicol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and linalool.
Flavonoids and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds in particular, are known to neutralize the formation of free radicals, and have great potential to alleviate disease processes such as cancer and diabetes.
Properties of Cassia Essential Oil
Cassia essential oil contains a chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which has antiseptic, anti-infective and antibacterial properties.
This magnificent oil is known to enhance the immune system, helping the whole body to function properly.
In addition, it is an excellent natural remedy against depression, improves blood circulation and helps maintain a healthy and functional digestive system.
On the other hand, cassia essential oil has been widely used in traditional indigenous medicine. Within the Indian healing customs, the plant has been documented as thermogenic, purgative, expectorant and diuretic, and has been applied in the treatment of leprosy, erysipelas, ulcer symptoms, cough, flatulence, dyspepsia, menstrual problems and tuberculosis. It has also been used as a natural remedy for bronchitis, anemia and to relieve constipation.
Besides, cassia oil is a potent nervous system tonic, an integral stimulant and a subtle aphrodisiac.
So far, cinnamon cassia has only been shown to have an effect on the blood sugar levels of human beings.
Benefits of Cassia Essential Oil
Diarrhea is a natural reaction against toxins that must be expelled from the digestive system. Cassia oil is an antidiarrheal agent that can act on the intestines and stop unpleasant symptoms.
Diarrheic conditions produce excessively soft or watery stools, which can be dangerous if it persists, as it dehydrates and weakens the body.
The frequent reasons that cause diarrhea are: dehydration, viral stomach flu, infection (as a result of eating something with parasites or harmful bacteria) or even altered nervous state.
Cassia oil mitigates diarrhea naturally due to its bactericides and anti-inflammatory properties, among others.
Improves Blood Circulation
By improving circulation, the obtaining of adequate amounts of nutrients and oxygen, is ensured for optimal body performance.
Muscular pains, for example, are partly caused by circulatory conditions. Also, the increase in physical activity, stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, dehydration, etc., can be a reason for poor circulation.
Cassia oil improves blood circulation, creating a sensation of heat in the body. Additionally, it relieves pain, reduces inflammation due to diseases and promotes urinary evacuation, allowing the body to eliminate toxins.
On the other hand, by improving circulation, cassia oil also decreases stroke risk, heart attack and the appearance of varicose veins.
Alleviates Menstrual Symptoms
Cassia essential oil helps clear obstruct menstrual pathways, thus relieving the typical menstrual cramps. In addition, it naturally relieves PMS colic and menstrual symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, muscle pain, moodiness and swelling.
It is the emmenagogue and analgesic properties of cassia oil that allow to combat irregular periods and painful symptoms.
Besides, it is also an antiemetic oil, known as a natural remedy for nausea, which helps reduce the appearance of vomiting.
It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 67 million Americans over the age of 18 suffering from arthritis. This disease is characterized by stiffness, pain and difficulty moving the joints, which also causes inflammation in the affected area.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cassia essential oil, reduce all these arthritis symptoms, naturally.
A study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Research and Technology, tested the active components of cassia oil and found that a compound called Cinnamaldehyde, not only inhibited inflammatory mediators, but also activated anti-inflammatory mediators.
It has been found that inflammation is associated with almost all health conditions. Cassia essential oil not only relieves arthritis symptoms, but also positively affects all bodily functions and systems.
Cassia essential oil is an effective antidepressant that has the ability to break with stress, giving the body a feeling of warmth and tranquility.
This oil contains cinnamic aldehyde, a component that has been studied and is known to alleviate behaviors and conditions induced by stress.
Stress and anxiety have a much greater impact than most people think. They can influence every system of the body and wreak havoc on their daily functions, while chronic stress can destroy the quality of life.
When inhaling from the bottle, or spreading two or three drops of cassia oil with a diffuser, the nervous system will be calmed, allowing the body to return to harmonic levels.
Improves Immune System
It acts as an antimicrobial and antiviral agent, and also works as a febrifuge, fighting the infections that cause fever.
This powerful oil protects the urethra, colon, kidneys and urinary tract from microbial growth and infections. In addition, it protects the body from viral diseases and conditions such as flu, cough and common cold.
Cassia essential oil, has a heating effect on the body, so it relieves tension and lowers body temperature. At the same time, it eliminates infections that cause inflammation and fever.
Besides, it works as a stimulant that keeps the brain alert and activates bodily functions.
A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, found that both, oil and pure Cinnamaldehyde, (the organic compound that gives the taste and smell to cassia) were equally effective in stopping the growth of different bacterial isolates.
The study tested the efficacy of cassia against bacteria, including: Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella typhymurium. In addition, yeasts that include fungi (four species of candida), molds and dermatophytes.
These findings show that cassia oil serves as an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent that protects the body from dangerous infections.
It works as an Astringent
Due to its astringent properties, cassia oil cures throat pain, peptic ulcers, diarrhea and external and uterine hemorrhages.
Causes contraction of mucous membranes or exposed tissues. Internally, it can stabilize the discharge of blood serum or mucous secretions.
The astringent properties of cassia oil also make it a useful oil for skin and hair health. It protects the skin and can be used to naturally treat acne, heal wounds and sores, naturally eliminate rashes and heal irritated skin. It also strengthens hair roots, gums and helps harden muscles.
Treatment for Diabetes
Cassia essential oil, has been in the spotlight for its ability to treat diabetes, naturally lowering blood sugar levels.
Some studies suggest that this is true, but others find little evidence of this claim.
A research in 2003, was designed to study the effect of cassia flower extract on glycolytic and gluconeogenic liver enzymes in diabetic rats.
After 30 days of treatment, blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin and gluconeogenic enzymes decreased significantly; while it increased insulin activity in plasma, hemoglobin and hexokinase.
The study concluded that cassia flower extracts were as effective as glibenclamide, a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.
In 2005, another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, involved 15 diabetic men and women, who were given either a cassia fiber supplement, or placebo, twice a day for two months .
The results showed that the levels of serum triglycerides and low density lipoprotein cholesterol tend to decrease more in the group that was supplemented with cassia.
On the other hand, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and enzyme activities were not changed by fiber supplementation.
More research is needed to determine the potential of cassia oil as an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes, but the growing interest in the ability of this oil to naturally treat these problematic conditions, is very promising.
Natural Insect Repellent
A study published in Pest Management Science, proved the effectiveness of cassia oil in repelling yellow fever mosquitoes.
Four human volunteers were exposed to mosquitoes in an indoor test that lasted 30 minutes.
The use of cassia essential oil during these 30 minutes led to 94% protection; at 50 minutes cassia oil provided 83% protection, and at 70 minutes it provided 61% protection.
Finally, results indicate that cassia oil is effective as a mosquito repellent and works as a totally natural remedy, that is, without artificial agents toxic in its composition.
How is Cassia Essential Oil Used?
Cassia oil can be used just like ordinary cinnamon oil, ingested or topically.
When consuming cassia oil, it is advisable to start with small doses (one or two drops) and gradually increase. This oil provides a condiment warm flavor, perfect for tea, coffee and spicy recipes.
Here are some home uses of cassia essential oil to:
Cure cold and flu: Spread 2-3 drops of cassia oil with a diffuser or inhale from the bottle, twice a day.
Digestive health: Rub on the feet or abdomen 2-3 drops of cassia oil mixed, in equal parts, with a carrier oil.
Eliminate infection caused by fungi: Blend 1 or 2 drops of cassia oil in equal parts of carrier oil, and rub in the affected area twice a day.
Improve the mood: Spread with a diffuser 2-3 drops of cassia essential oil or add the oil to a hot bath.
Treat nausea and avoid vomiting: Put 3-5 drops of cassia oil in a handkerchief and inhale when nausea symptoms appear.
For internal use: Start with a small amount (a drop of cassia oil is advised), and add it to coffee, tea, oatmeal or any other spicy food.
Warnings and Side Effects of Cassia Essential Oil
Normally, cassia essential oil is safe for topical and internal use. However, it is important to take some precautions like the ones described
- It should be avoided during pregnancy, as it can produce irrigation and sensitization on the skin and mucous membrane.
- Due to its anti-galactagogue property, cassia oil can reduce milk secretion. Therefore, it is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
- Cassia oil contains large amounts of a chemical called coumarin, and some people are sensitive to it. In addition, prolonged and excessive consumption of this substance can cause liver problems.
- It is recommended, before applying topically with full confidence, to perform a patch test to prevent allergic reactions.
- Try to avoid the consumption when being under treatment and medication for diabetes, since cassia oil can lower blood sugar. So taking it along with diabetes medications can drastically lower blood sugar levels causing health complications.
- In general, essential oils should be kept away from children and pets.
- In the case of using both, blood sugar level should be closely monitored. Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), etc.
- Ingesting large doses of cassia cinnamon can damage the liver, especially in people with existing liver disease.
- Do not take large amounts of cassia cinnamon if you are taking a medication that can damage the liver.
Some medications that can damage the liver include: acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), Erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor) and many others.
Where to buy Cassia Essential Oil?
Generally, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
If you can not reach a trusted naturist or herbalist shop near you, here are some recommendations:
Scent Characteristics:Strong, spicy-sweet, warm, and woodsy scent with an earthy aroma.
Our 100% Pure Essential Oils are extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf, or flower of a freshly harvested plant.
We source only the finest quality essential oils from highly regarded suppliers and distillers from around the world, many with whom we’ve worked with for decades.
Many of our oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed, therefore retaining the essential odor, aroma, taste, medicinal, and therapeutic properties of the plant, resulting in a superior quality, and highly concentrated essence. Shop here.
Tips for a better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.