Cinnamomum verum J.Presl

Last updated: 3 May 2016

Scientific Name

Cinnamomum verum J.Presl


Camphorina cinnamomum (L.) Farw., Cinnamomum alexei Kosterm., Cinnamomum aromaticum J.Graham, Cinnamomum barthii Lukman., Cinnamomum bengalense Lukman., Cinnamomum biafranum Lukman., Cinnamomum bonplandii Lukman., Cinnamomum boutonii Lukman., Cinnamomum capense Lukman., Cinnamomum cayennense Lukman., Cinnamomum cinnamomum (L.) H.Karst. [Invalid], Cinnamomum commersonii Lukman., Cinnamomum cordifolium Lukman., Cinnamomum decandollei Lukman., Cinnamomum delessertii Lukman., Cinnamomum ellipticum Lukman., Cinnamomum erectum Lukman., Cinnamomum humboldtii Lukman., Cinnamomum iners Wight [Illegitimate], Cinnamomum karrouwa Lukman., Cinnamomum leptopus A.C.Sm., Cinnamomum leschenaultii Lukman., Cinnamomum madrassicum Lukman., Cinnamomum maheanum Lukman., Cinnamomum mauritianum Lukman., Cinnamomum meissneri Lukman., Cinnamomum ovatum Lukman., Cinnamomum pallasii Lukman., Cinnamomum pleei Lukman., Cinnamomum pourretii Lukman., Cinnamomum regelii Lukman., Cinnamomum roxburghii Lukman., Cinnamomum sieberi Lukman., Cinnamomum sonneratii Lukman., Cinnamomum vaillantii Lukman., Cinnamomum variabile Lukman., Cinnamomum wolkensteinii Lukman., Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume, Cinnamomum zollingeri Lukman., Laurus cinnamomum L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Kayu manis [2]
English Ceylon cinnamon, true cinnamon [2]
China Xi lan rou gui [3]
India Ankaparainati, ariyacanati, bahugandha, balya, callaki, canna ilavankap pattai, chola, coca, cocam, daarachini, dala-chinni, dar-sini, dar-chinni, edana, elavangam, gudatkpatra, gudatvacha, hridya, ilanankappaddiri, ilavangan, kaduvudalchini, kamavallabha, kankutla, karapppa, karruwa, lavanga, lavanga-pat, lavanga-patta, lavangatri, mal, mitira, mitirappatai, nalada, nisane, nisani, patra, pattai, puranam, qalami-dar-chini, qirfah, rameshta, saihal, sailaniyah, shita, sinhala, talikhahe, tama patra asal, tvak, tvaka, valkala, vanappiriyam, vanapriya, vara, varanam, vasanam, vayana, vayina, vazhana, vecayappatai, vvarana [3]
Indonesia Kayu manis [2]
Philippines Cinnamon, kanela [2]
Cambodia Che'k tum phka loëng [2]
Vietnam Qu[ees] h[oof]i, qu[ees] r[af]nh, qu[ees] Srilanca [2]
Tibet Sin tsha, sin-tsha [3]
Nepal Kukhi taj [3]
France Cannellier de Ceylon [2]
Peru Yuwiich [3]
Papua New Guinea Skin diwai [2].

Geographical Distributions

Cinnamomum verum is native to parts of India and thrives in Sri Lanka because of the wet and warm climate [4]. It is also found in Indonesia, Burma and China [5].

Botanical Description

C. verum is an evergreen tree which can grow up to 18 m tall. The bole is low branching, measures up to 60 cm in diametre while its buttresses measure 60 cm tall and 70 cm deep, thin and light pinkish-brown. [2]

The bark is about 10 mm thick and strongly aromatic. Its bark on young shoots is smooth and pale brown while on mature branches, stems are rough and dark brown or brownish-grey. The oil cells are located in the phloem, oval or round in cross-section. Wood of matured trees varies from light brownish-grey to grey or yellowish-brown, without markings, more or less lustrous and faintly scented. [2]

The leaves are arranged opposite, somewhat variable in form and size and strongly aromatic. The leaf stalk is 1-2 cm long and grooved on upper surface. Its blade is egg-shaped to elliptical, measuring 5-25 cm x 3-10 cm, conspicously 3-veined, or 5-veined and with rounded base. The apex is acuminate, hairless, coriaceous and shiny dark green. [2]

The inflorescence consists of lax axillary or terminal panicles which measure up to 10 cm long or longer. The inflorescence stalk is 5-7 cm long, creamy white and softly hairy. The flowers are small, about 3 mm in diametre, with fetid smell, pale yellow and subtended by small ovate hairy bract. The perianth is 8 mm long, with silky hairs, with short bell-shaped tube and 6 persistent tepals about 3 mm long. The 9 stamens are fertile, exist in 3 whorls, and with 2 small glands at the base of the stamens of the 3rd whorl. The fourth innermost whorl consists of 3 staminodes. The filaments are hairy and stout.  Anthers are 4 or 2-celled. The ovary is superior, 1-celled, with single ovule and short style. [2]

The fruit is a 1-seeded berry, and ellipsoidal to ovoid. It is 1-2 cm long, black when ripens and surrounded by an enlarged perianth at the base. [2]


C. verum requires a warm and per-humid climate with a well-distributed annual rainfall of 2000-2500 mm, and average temperature of about 27°C. It grows best at low altitudes, and is usually grown without shade, but being essentially a forest tree, light shade does no harm. The type of soil has a pronounced effect on bark quality. Fine sandy and lateritic gravelly soils rather than rocky and stony substrates are best in Sri Lanka and India, but in the Seychelles and Madagascar more loamy soils are preferred. C. verum is considered susceptible to salinity. A bitter product results from waterlogged and marshy conditions. [2]

Chemical Constituent

C. verum has been reported to contain 0.5-4.0% essential oil containing 60-80% cinnamaldehyde, up to 10% eugenol and 5-10% trans-cinnamic acid 4-10%, polyphenols, including catechins and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, tannins, other monoterpenes including limonene and alpha-terpineol, sesquiterpenes including pinene, calcium monoterpenoid oxalates; gum, mucilage, resin, starch, sugars and traces of coumarin. [6][7]

Plant Part Used

Bark, leaves. [8]

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

C. verum can be used to improve insulin resistance and blood sugar levels and to help balance the metabolism of individuals with metabolic syndrome. C. verum has been reported to help improve insulin sensitivity in both laboratory and human studies. [9][10][11][12][13] The reported mechanism includes enhancing insulin sensitivity via increased phosphorylation of signaling proteins and insulin-sensitive glucose transporter 4-mediated glucose uptake into muscle cells. [14] There are conflicting studies with no reported benefits when using dried C. verum bark for glucose regulation. [15][16][17] Recent interest in C. verum and blood sugar regulation revolve around a patented, water-soluble extract of C. verum. The extract, called Cinnulin PFÒ, is reported to improve insulin sensitivity in vitro, laboratory animal and human studies. In a laboratory animal study, the water-soluble extract improved the postprandial overproduction of intestinal apoB48-containing lipoproteins by ameliorating intestinal insulin resistance and may be beneficial in the control of lipid metabolism. [18]

Antidyslipidemic activity

It is well documented that obesity is related to inflammation and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha, which in turn stimulates the overproduction of intestinal apolipoprotein (apo) B48 containing lipoproteins leading to weight gain. A laboratory animal study found that the water-soluble C. verum extract reverses TNF-alpha-induced overproduction of intestinal apoB48 by regulating gene expression involving inflammatory, insulin, and lipoprotein signaling pathways. [19] The authors concluded that the water-soluble extract improves inflammation related intestinal dyslipidemia. Another laboratory study found C. verum exhibits anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting nitric oxide production via inhibition of NF-kappaB. [20]C. verum has also been reported to inhibit hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity and reduce levels of blood lipids in animals and humans, helping improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome; however evidence is conflicting as it has also been shown to raise cholesterol levels in rats. [11]

Antimicrobial activity

In laboratory studies, C. verum extract has been reported to have strong activity against H. pylori. But a small study of 15 patients who tested positive for H pylori infection found that 40mg of C. verum twice daily for four weeks was ineffective in eradicating the H. pylori. [21]

C. verum essential oil (0.05%) showed bactericidal activity towards Escherichia coli where most of the cells were killed after 30 minutes ibcubation at 37oC. The MIC recorded for E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli ATCC 25921 was around around 625 ppm, E. coli ATCC25922 around 1250 ppm, and E. coli ATCC11105 around 2500 ppm. [22]

Antiproliferative activity

Some studies suggest that C. verum may be beneficial in cancer patients. In a laboratory study, C. verum extract was found to affect proliferation of a leukemic cell line by disrupting critical phosphorylating/dephosphorylating signalling events that propel cells through the G2/M phase [23]. C. verum extract has been found to affect immune responses by regulating anti- and pro-inflammatory and GLUT gene expression [24].

Tau aggregation inhibitory activity

The aqueous extract of C. verum was found to inhibit tau aggregation and filament formation, hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The extract can also promote complete disassembly of recombinant tau filaments and cause substantial alteration of the morphology of paired-helical filaments isolated from AD brain. [25]

C. verum has been reported to have antifungal activity in laboratory studies due to main component of trans-cinnamaldehyde. [26][27]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

Antidiabetic activity

A human study of 15 healthy individuals found that ingestion of 3gm C. verum improved insulin sensitivity by reducing postprandial serum insulin and increasing glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) concentrations without significantly affecting blood glucose, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), the ghrelin concentration, satiety, or gastric emptying rate (GER) [28]. The same authors found that inclusion of C. verum (6gm) in the diet of 14 health individuals lowered the postprandial glucose response without affecting satiety, a change that was partially explained by a delayed GER [29]. Another small human study of 8 healthy men took C. verum (3gm daily for 14 days or placebo) found that the C. verum improved glycemic control and insulin sensitivity [30].

The water-soluble C. verum extract contains high levels of polyphenol compounds, and in a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 22 individuals with pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome this extract reportedly reduced mean fasting serum glucose (18-29%), triglycerides (23-30%), total cholesterol (12-26%) and LDL-cholesterol (7-27%) [31][32][33]. The authors concluded that individuals with metabolic syndrome who consume an aqueous extract of C. verum have been reported to have improved fasting blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, percentage body fat and increased lean body mass. Studies utilizing an aqueous extract of C. verum, high in type A polyphenols have also demonstrated improvements in fasting glucose, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in women with insulin resistance associated with the polycystic ovary syndrome [34].

Antifungal activity

A small study of 5 patients with oral candidiasis found that after using C. verum for a week, 3 of the 5 patients had marked improvement in their symptoms associated with oral candidiasis. The study also found in an in vitro test that C. verum was highly active against fluconazole-resistant and-susceptible Candida isolates. [35]


Not to be applied directly onto the skin in its pure form as it can cause severe burns if in contact with the skin over any period of time. [8] C. verum should be used with caution in individuals with bleeding disorders [20]. A case report suggests that C. verum may exacerbate rosacea in sensitive individuals [36][37].

Side effects

A case of generalized contact dermatitis has been reported after a therapeutic mud bath with C. verum essential oil. [38]

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

Discontinue if allergy occurs. There have been case reports of allergic contact stomatitis when using C. verum essential oil orally. [39]

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation

Interaction with drug

Due to the eugenol content, there is a potential for interactions with anticoagulant medications. [5]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation


Avoid in alcoholism and liver disease due to glutathione depleting properties. [8]

Case Report

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. verum [2]


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