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Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of cinnamon trees from the species Cinnamomum zeylanicum. It is used in both sweet and savory foods. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a small Southeast -Asian evergreen tree, and trees grow in a number of tropical areas, including parts of India, China, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. Cinnamon is an ancient herbal medicine mentioned in Chinese texts as far back as four thousand years.

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Botanical Names
Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Chadana, Pattra, Sthula tvak, Tamaala patra, Tamaalaka Marathi : Dalchini Hindi : Dalchini Gujarati : Tuj, Dalchini Bengali : Darchini Telugu : Dalchini
Chemical Constituents
Cinnamon is a very beneficial plant its components possesses very important medicinal value. It is also used for flavoring. Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. The pungent taste and scent of cinnamon comes from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (1). Other chemical components of the cinnamon oil include ethyl cinnamate, eugenol (found mostly in the leaves), beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol. (E)-Cinnamyl acetate and (E)-caryophyllene are found to be major compounds in cinnamon oil (2). Main constituents of leaves bark and root are eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and camphor, respectively. Besides these, several other significant differences were observed. -Ylangene, methyl and ethyl cinnamate in leaf oil, benzyl benzoate in bark oil and 4-terpinene-1-ol in root-bark oil are reported for the first time. Major compounds present in stem-bark oil and root bark oil are cinnamaldehyde and camphor (3). Thirty-four compounds have been identified in cinnamon fruit with (E)-cinnamyl acetate and caryophyllene as the major components. Twenty-six compounds constitutes of the volatile oil from cinnamon flowers were characterized with (E)-cinnamyl acetate trans-α-bergamotene and caryophyllene oxide as the major compounds. Cinnamon bark oil possesses the delicate aroma of the spice with a sweet and pungent taste .
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Cinnamon possesses very beneficial activities. It is proved to be very effective in case of type 2 diabetes treatments. In vitro and in vivo animal studies have reported strong insulin-like or insulin-potentiating effects after cinnamon administration. Recently, a human intervention study showed that cinnamon supplementation strongly reduced fasting blood glucose concentration (30%) and improved the blood lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes. The isolation of bioactive compound from C. zeylanicum produced a compound called cinnamtannin B1. Cinnamtannin B1 may have insulin-like activity similar to insulin by binding to the α-subunit of the receptor in the cell membrane and then tyrosine residues of β-subunit undergo autophosphorylation (7). Cinnamon also possesses anti cancer activity. In cultured human skin cells, CA i.e. trans-cinnamic aldehyde displayed photo-chemopreventive activity by suppressing reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced photo oxidative stress. In addition, anti-melanoma activity of orally administered trans-cinnamic aldehyde was demonstrated recently in a murine xenograft model of the disease (8). Oral administration of cinnamon has recently been shown to suppress azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis in a mouse model. (3) Cinnamomum zeylanicum also possesses antibacterial activity. Antimicrobial screening of C. zeylanicum essential oil against P. larvae, showed it possesses strong antibacterial activity. Cinnamon oil have been reported by many researchers as a good source of antifungal compounds.
Health Benefits
The German health authorities recognize cinnamon as treatment for loss of appetite, dyspepsia, bloating, and flatulence. In vitro and animal data demonstrate that cinnamon increases insulin receptor sensitivity and/or directly stimulates insulin-producing cells (10). Cinnamon also reduces cholesterol and triglycerides levels. The results showed that the essential oil of Cinnamomum oil possess great antimicrobial properties than aqueous decoction and infusion because of cinnamaldehyde is major volatile and divers constituent present in it and also has variety of active components (11). It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, which can aid in the preservation of certain foods. Cinnamon could have some pharmacological effects in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath and its regular use is believed to stave off common cold and aid digestion. Pharmacological experiments suggest that the cinnamon-derived dietary factor cinnamic aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) represent an experimental chemo preventive dietary factor targeting colorectal carcinogenesis .
Research References
Guddadarangavvanahally K. J., Lingamallu J. R. and Kunnumpurath K. S. Chemical Composition of Volatile Oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Buds Eugen J. V., Katrin B. and Eckhard N. Antidiabetic effect of Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum In vivo and In vitro Phytotherapy Research 2005 19(3):203–206 Guddadarangavvanahally K. J., Lingamallu J. M. R. and Kunnumpurath K. S. Volatile Constituents from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Fruit Stalks and Their Antioxidant Activities J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51(15):4344–4348 Wijesekera R. O. B., Jayewardene A. L. and Lakshmi S. R. Volatile constituents of leaf, stem and root oils of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 1974, 25(10):1211–1220 Bruno M., Alessandra P., Silvia P., Enrica T., Enrico S., Massimo M., Francesca S., Paolo Z. and Antonio R. Supercritical CO2 Extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum: Chemical Characterization and Antityrosinase Activity J. Agric. Food Chem., 2007, 55 (24):10022–10027 Georg T. W., Nicole F. V., Sarah D. L., Alexandra S. B., Tao J. and Donna D. Z. The Cinnamon-Derived Dietary Factor Cinnamic Aldehyde Activates the Nrf2-Dependent Antioxidant Response in Human Epithelial Colon Cells Molecules 2010, 15, 3338-3355 MUHAMMAD T., FADZILAH A. A. M. and MOHAMAD R. S. A PROANTHOCYANIDIN FROM CINNAMOMUM ZEYLANICUM STIMULATES PHOSPHORYLATION OF INSULIN RECEPTOR IN 3T3-L1 ADIPOCYTES Jurnal Teknologi, 44(F) Jun 2006: 53–68 Liesel B. G., Ignazio F., Rosalia F., Martin J.E., Antimicrobial activity of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) essential oil and its main components against Paenibacillus larvae from ArgentineBulletin of Insectology 61 (1): 1-4, 2008 Ranasinghe L., Jayawardena1 B. and Abeywickrama K. Fungicidal activity of essential oils of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (L.) and Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr et L.M.Perry against crown rot and anthracnose pathogens isolated from banana Letters in Applied Microbiology 2002, 35:208–211 Tieraona L. D. A REASON TO SEASON: THE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF SPICES AND CULINARY HERBS EXPLORE Diet and Nutrition 2006(2)5 NAZIA M. A. C. AND PERWEEN T. ANTI-MICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF CINNAMOMUM CASSIA AGAINST DIVERSE MICROBIAL FLORA WITH ITS NUTRITIONAL AND MEDICINAL IMPACTS Pak. J. Bot., 38(1): 169-174, 2006. Akram R., Sara G., Hosnieh Z., Ali A. M., Akram B., Azadeh M., and Mohammad A. Antioxidative stress potential of Cinnamomum zeylanicum in humans: a comparative cross-sectional clinical study January 2006 3(1):113-117 John M., Quale D. L. M., Zaman S. B. and Sadhana S. S. In Vitro Activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Against Azole Resistant and Sensitive Candida Species and a Pilot Study of Cinnamon for Oral Candidiasis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (AJMC) 24(2):103-109 Jagadish V. K., Rana A. C. and Anirban R. C. Pro-healing effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark Phytotherapy Research 2003 17(8):970–972 Mancini-Filho J, Van-Koiij A, Mancini DA, Cozzolino FF, Torres RP. Antioxidant activity of cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Breyne) extracts Boll Chim Farm. 1998 137(11):443-7.