Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia are the two most common forms of cinnamon. However, they are abstracted from two different plants and offer varying health effects. Ceylon is derived mostly from Sri Lanka and is commonly referred to as “true cinnamon.” Cassia is sometimes called “Chinese cinnamon” or “Saigon Cinnamon,” after the place most commonly associated with its origin. Cassia is the cheaper and more commonly consumed variety in the U.S.
Ceylon and cassia share many of the same great health benefits. They are both great antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, have antimicrobial properties, and show similar levels of manganese, fiber and calcium. Ceylon cinnamon is considered by some to be more nutrient dense. Ceylon has been featured in more studies concerning blood sugar levels and is a more proven combatant of diabetes, though some studies show cassia helps regulate glucose just as well.
Cassia contains high levels of coumarin, a blood thinning agent believed to cause liver damage when taken in high quantities. Though also found in Ceylon cinnamon, the levels of coumarin in “true cinnamon” are considered to be of little to no risk. Cassia is considered safe if taken in moderation, but most health officials recommend Ceylon as it offers the same health benefits with less risk.
When taking cinnamon for health reasons, it is recommended that you use either powder products that identify their origin or grind whole Ceylon cinnamon sticks. Many cinnamon powders do not identify their plant of origin however, making it sometimes difficult to distinguish between Ceylon and Cassia. Whole cinnamon sticks can be identified with relative ease. Cinnamon sticks are plant bark, rolled up and dried out. Cassia is a thicker bark and when rolled, looks like only one piece of thick bark layer rolled into a stick. Ceylon, however, is derived from a much thinner bark and you may be able to identify multiple layers of bark rolled into the single stick.
Here are the 4 Best Cinnamon Powders according to user reviews on Amazon. Each one on the list is true Ceylon cinnamon.