The leaf oil of Ceylon Cinnamon, which is different in composition from bark oil, is also used in tonics, antiseptics and in remedies for intestinal gas, nausea, colds, and hypertension.
Ceylon Cinnamon leaves
Ceylon Cinnamon is a tree of the Lauraceae family.
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Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), also known as "true cinnamon" is a tree that is indigenous to Sri Lanka, growing semi-wildly in moist lowlands. Spice obtained from its inner bark was the most sought after spice in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century as its quality is more superior than its close relative, Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia). Other than for culinary purposes, oil obtained from the cinnamom bark is also popularly used in flavoring and perfumery, as well as in dental and pharmaceutical products. In the global market, cinnamon is used in products such as Arthritin which is recommended for patients with arthritis and rheumatism. The leaf oil, which is different in composition from bark oil, is also used in tonics, antiseptics and in remedies for intestinal gas, nausea, colds, and hypertension. Currently, Sri Lanka and Madagascar are the major producers of cinnamon.
2.Plant description: Ceylon Cinnamon grows up to a height of 6 meters (20 ft) although occasionally, heights of up to 12 meter (40 ft) have also been observed. It thrives in sandy loam, loose moist soil with a lot of organic material. The trunk is stout, about 30-60 cm (2-3 ft) in diameter and when matured, is covered with a thick grey bark. The branches are low-set and very bushy. The young leaves are reddish in color, turning to lighter green and then finally to deep green. The deep green leaves are linear-elliptical in shape, measuring about 7-10 cm (3-4 in) long and 3-5 cm (1-2 in) wide. Flowers are small and yellow in color. The fruit is a black fleshy ovoid drupe, measuring about 1.5-2.0 cm (0.6-0.8 in) in length, when ripe.
Cinnamon is propagated either by seeds or by rootstock cuttings. The advantage of using rootstock is that the stems can be harvested in about 12-18 months, as compared to 3 years for seedlings. The stems are harvested during the rainy season as it facilitates peeling of the bark. The first harvest is normally of inferior quality, as compared to subsequent harvests. The best bark quality is obtained from the middle portion of the shoots that arise from the center of the tree. The yield decreases after 10 years. The chief pest attacking cinnamon is the boring caterpillar, which eats the shoots. Gall (due to mites) and leaf fungus have also been recorded to attack cinnamon leaves and twigs.
3.Medicinal properties of Ceylon Cinnamon: Ceylon Cinnamon has the following medicinal properties:
acute and chronic rheumatism, using volatile cinnamon oil which is rubefacient (substance for external application that produces redness of the skin, e.g. by causing dilation of the capillaries and increasing the blood circulation);
disorders of the digestive system:
cramps of the stomach, toothache, and paralysis of the tongue.