Cinnamomum cassia (L.) J.Presl

Last updated: 06 April 2016

Scientific Name

Cinnamomum cassia (L.) J.Presl 


Camphorina cassia (Nees & T.Nees) Farw., Cinnamomum aromaticum Nees, Cinnamomum cassia (L.) D.Don, Cinnamomum longifolium Lukman., Cinnamomum medium Lukman., Cinnamomum nitidum Hook. [Illegitimate], Laurus cassia L., Laurus cassia Nees [Invalid], Laurus malabathrum Reinw. ex Nees [Unresolved], Neolitsea cassia (L.) Kosterm., Persea cassia (L.) Spreng. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kayu manis [2]
English Bastard cinnamon, cassia, cassia bark, cassia bark tree, cassia lignea, Chinese cassia, Chinese cinnamon, cinnamon tree, cinnamomum cassia [2]
China Ch’un kuei, gui zhi, kuei, mou kuei, rou gui [2]
India Coca, dalchini, daruchini, elavangappattai, gudatvac, gudatvak, ilavankappattai, karuvappattai, lavanga pattai, lawangapttai, lowangapattai, qirfa (taj), sajaz hibdi, saleekha, salikha, sazaj hindi, taj, taj qalmi, taj qalmi nim kofta, tezpat, tezpat nim kofta, thracham, thwak, tvak, twak, varanga, varangam [2]
Indonesia Kayu manis cina [2]
Thailand Kaeng [2]
Laos S’a: chwang [2]
Tibetan Shing tsa (=hot wood), shing tsha, twa dza [2]
Vietnam May que, que, qu[ees], thanh, qu[ees] d[ow]n, qu[ees]qu[ar]ng [2].

Geographical Distributions

Cinnamomum cassia is an aromatic spice that has been found in Indochina, Laos, China, and Vietnam. [2]

Botanical Description

C. cassia is a tall, slender evergreen plant that grows up to 20 metres in height bearing fruits or Cassia buds. In addition to uses listed herein, it is grown as a shade tree. [3]


This plant is cultivated in Vietnam and China and somewhat in Java region. [3]

Chemical Constituent

C. cassia extract has been reported to contain D-limonene, ß-phellandrene, bicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one 1,3,3-trimethyl-2-norbornanone, α-α-4-Trimethyl-3-cyclohexene- 1-methanol, benzenepropanal, (Z)-cinnamaldehyde, p-propenylanisole, α-cubebene, ß-elemene, (E)-cinnamaldehyde, caryophyllene, γ-muurolene, ß-eudesmene, α-amorphene, ß-bisabolene, δ-amorphene, α-longipinene. [4]

C. cassia extract has been reported to contain trans-cinnamaldehyde, o-methyoxy cinnamaldehyde and trans-cinnamyl acetate. [5]

Stem barkextract of C. cassia has been identified to contain cinnamaldehyde (CNA), 2-hydroxycinnamaldehyde (2-CNA), coumarin and cinnamyl acetate. [6]

Plant Part Used

Bark, essential oil [6][7]

Traditional Use

The bark of C. cassia has been traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine to treat dysentery, spasmodic, infectious enterocolites, typhoid fever, tropical infections, fevers, ameabiases, amoebic cysts, urinary colibacillosis, bacteria cystitis, leuchorrhoea, vaginitis, oligomenorrheas, bronchitis, pleurisy, drowsiness, asthenia, depression, male functional impotence, blood clots and cardiovascular disorders. [7] C. cassia was also was effective as insecticide as well as an embalming agent in the mummification process in ancient Egypt according to history. [8][9][10]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

C. cassia bark extract has been demonstrated to exhibit a potent antimicrobial activity against various isolated bacteria. The result obtained showed that both cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde were equally effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria with MIC range from 75-600 µg/mL. [11]



No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Side effects

No documentation.

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation.

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.

Interaction with drug

No documentation.

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.


The safety of cassia oil is suspect and should not be used without a trained professional.  Cinnamon oil would be an adequate substitute. [7]

This essential oil is dermocaustic. Do not apply it in its pure form directly onto the skin. Not to be administered on children nor should its aroma be used around babies as there have been reports of severe toxicity. [7]

While there remains a debate as to the safety of C. cassia during pregnancy and lactation, it is advisable to avoid use or to consult a healthcare practitioner prior to using. [7]

A major component of C. cassia, cinnamaldehyde, has shown to deplete glutathione in animal studies. [8]

A potential/theoretical interaction with tetracycline and similar drugs is suspected as C. cassia may slow the absorption of the drug. [11]

Case Report

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Cinnamomum cassia. 2013 ver1.1 [updated 2013, cited 2016 April 06] Available from
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms and Etymology; Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. P.255-256
  3. Duong NV. Medicinal Plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Santa Ana, California: Mekong Printing; 1993. p.528
  4. Su S, Hua Y, Duan J-A, et al. Hypothesis of Active Components in Volatile Oil From a Chinese Herb Formulation, ‘Shao-Fu-Zhu-Yu Decoction’, Using GC-MS and Chemometrics. J Sep Sci. 2008;31:1085-1091
  5. Giordani R, Regli P, Kaloustian J, Portugal H. Potentiation of Antifungal Activity of Amphotericin B by Essential Oil From Cinnamomum cassia. Phytother Res. 2006;20:58-61
  6. Choi J, Lee K-T, Ka H, Jung W-T, Jung H-J, Park H-J. Constituents of The Essential Oil of The Cinnamomum cassia Stem Bark and The Biological Properties. Arch Pharm Res. 2001;24(5):418-423
  7. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatheraphy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. Great Britain: Pharmaceutical Press, 2006; p.141-143.
  8. Lee EJ, Kim JR, Choi DR, Ahn YJ. Toxicity of Cassia and Cinnamon Oil Compounds and Cinnamaldehyde-Related Compounds to Sitophilus oryzae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). J Econ Entomol. 2008;101(6):1960-1966
  9. Kim SI, Kim HK, Koh YY, Clark JM, Ahn YJ. Toxicity of Spray and Fumigant Products Containing Cassia Oil to Dermatophagoides farina and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyhidae). Pest Manag Sci. 2006;62(8):768-774
  10. Buckley SA, Evershed RP. Organic Chemistry of Embalming Agents in Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman Mummies. Nature. 2001;413(6858):837-841
  11. Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE. Antimicrobial Activities of Cinnamon Oil and Cinnamaldehyde from The Chinese Medicinal Herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(3):511-522