Botanical name – Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn.
Family – Lauraceae
Common names –
English – Cinnamon
Hindi – Dalchini
Sanskrit – Twak
Parts used – Bark, Leaves
Cinnamon is native to India & Sri Lanka but also grows in Malabar, Cochin-China, Sumatra and in Eastern Islands too. Besides India, it is also cultivated in Brazil, Mauritius, India, Jamaica and in other countries also.
It is commercially cultivated in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Cinnamon is also naturally seen in the forests of the Western Ghats in India
Cinnamon consists of a variety of resinous compounds- Cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamate, Cinnamic acid, and numerous essential oils .The spicy taste & fragrance are due to the presence of Cinnamaldehyde and occur due to the absorption of oxygen.
The presence of a wide range of essential oils, such as trans-cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamyl acetate, Eugenol, L-borneol, Caryophyllene oxide, b-caryophyllene, L-bornyl acetate, E-nerolidol, α-cubebene, α-terpineol, terpinolene, and α-thujene has been found in Cinnamon
Uses of Cinnamon
Extracts of Cinnamon, such as Ether, Aqueous, and Methanolic extracts that have shown considerable antioxidant activities. Cinnamon oil potentially exhibits superoxide-dismutase- (SOD-) like activity as indicated by the inhibition of the inhibiting capacity of pyrogallol autoxidation.
The aqueous and alcoholic extract of cinnamon potentially inhibits fatty acid oxidation and lipid peroxidation. Different flavonoids isolated from cinnamon have free-radical-scavenging activities and antioxidant properties. The essential oils and some of the major compounds present in cinnamon, including (E)-cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and linalool, were investigated in reference to peroxynitrite-induced nitration and lipid peroxidation.
The water extract of Cinnamon significantly decreased the TNF-α secretion, anti-inflammatory activity may be due to the polyphenol compounds present in the extract, it decreases NO production, TNF-α secretion, and prostaglandin E2 concentration in LPS-activated cells. The polyphenol isolated from C. zeylanicum bark plays a key role as an antiinflammatory agent when administered orally at a dose of 8 mg/kg body weight. It has the potential to ameliorate inflammatory stages via inhibition of COX-2 and NF-кB. The inhibition of COX-2 activity is due to cinnamon’s ability to interfere with the signaling mechanisms among transcription factors regulating the COX gene, including NF-κB. Cinnamaldehyde, have the ability to activate peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptors (PPARs).
Cinnamon bark extract, which contains Sesquiterpenoids, has antidiabetic nephropathy activity and regulate glucose transport and insulin signaling gene expression. The combination of cinnamon essential oil with cumin, fennel, oregano, and myrtle essential oils has a synergetic effect on the reduction of blood glucose levels as well as enhancing insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has the ability to reduce the risks of diabetes by increasing the release of insulin, reduce the absorption of intestinal glucose, enhance the synthesis of glycogen, as well as activate the PPAR-γ. The polyphenols in cinnamon regulate glucose metabolism and repair pancreatic beta cells.Cinnamaldehyde function as a hypoglycemic agent, it reduces the workload of the pancreas by improving the islet function. Cinnamon extract consumption reduced fasting blood sugar levels on prediabetic patients with metabolic syndrome,it was also effective in decreasing systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure for patients with prediabetic conditions and with type 2 diabetic mellitus.
Cinnamon oil possess antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The antibacterial activities of C. zeylanicum bark extracts, obtained with different organic solvents, as ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol, were tested in vitro against several bacteria by the disk-diffusion method, expressed as inhibition zone, suggesting a high antibacterial. The antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria of cinnamon bark essential oil obtained via hydro-steam distillation showed a good antibacterial activity against the Gram-negative bacteria.
Cinnamon reduces the risk of gastric ulcers as well as protect gastrointestinal tract from free radical injury. The aqueous extract of cinnamon regulate multiple metabolic pathways involved in the intestinal lipoprotein metabolism of small intestinal primary enterocytes, it also improve intestinally derived lipid metabolism. It also reduces the risk of chronic gastritis by inhibiting H. pylori growth.