Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
Fun fact: In the Middle Ages, Europeans used dried cassia buds in Hippocras, a spiced wine.
Cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is somewhat similar to cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) in both taste and therapeutic properties. Although the United States Pharmacopoeia recognizes it as cinnamon, it should not be confused as such, for it has it's own unique benefits and history. It has been used for centuries both medicinally and culinarily. Germans and Romans preferred to use cassia instead of cinnamon in chocolate, as it has a stronger flavor. Both Europeans and Chinese used cassia in a variety of ways to spice up foods. The Chinese also use cassia frequently for digestive complaints like diarrhea and nausea. It's also used to fight colds, rheumatism, kidney and reproductive complaints, and most particularly vascular disorders. Cassia is also a known skin irritant, so it's best to use it in vapor therapy. Today, cassia is often used in confectionaries and potpourri.
Mixes well with: Cassia is best used on its own.
Parts used: Leaves (steam), or bark, leaves, twigs and stalks (water).
Extraction method: Steam or water distillation.
Safety Information: Avoid if pregnant. Very large doses can cause depression.