My local grocery stores do not stock Ceylon cinnamon. At least that’s how it is where I live. Instead, they sell cassia. This is a cheap imitation of the real thing. Cassia has also been flagged by European authorities as being a potential health risk.
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Although it’s bottled and labeled as “cinnamon,” the stuff I find near my home is a related species. It tastes a little bit like real Ceylon cinnamon. But it has a cloying undertone.
For most of my life, I had no idea that the stuff I sprinkled on my breakfast foods wasn’t the real deal. Even worse, cassia doesn’t appear to be that good for you, at least if you consume it in large quantities. That’s because it contains a naturally occurring compound called coumarin. This can damage the liver if you eat enough of it.
In the United States, we rarely hear about the potential dangers of cassia. In Europe, though, people are warned to watch their cassia intake. This has led to a widely publicized controversy involving involved Danish pastries. Actually, a few years ago, the EU nearly banned these traditional treats because they’re laced with cassia. By the way, some people referred to this as “cinnamon gate,” according to one British newspaper.
Can You Buy Ceylon Cinnamon in a Store?
Anyway, in my neck of the woods, you can’t buy Ceylon cinnamon off the shelves. I did search the Whole Foods website and this chain does seem to carry pure organic Ceylon cinnamon, the same brand I buy. However, I need to order my organic Ceylon cinnamon online.
At some point, I do believe this will change. Right now, there’s little incentive to carry real cinnamon when so many people willingly buy cassia.
As more people start to realize the potential downsides of cassia, and develop a taste for real cinnamon, consumer demand will kick in. More grocery stores will then start to carry Ceylon cinnamon. If you live near a good health food store, you may possibly find Ceylon cinnamon there.
Where to Buy True Ceylon Cinnamon
Right now, for me, the added inconvenience of buying my cinnamon on the Internet is well worth it, in my humble opinion. For one, I don’t have to worry about feeding my family too much coumarin. Also, real cinnamon tastes so much better than cassia, which I now think has an awful smell. Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is exquisite. It’s naturally sweet. So, depending upon your taste, you may not even need to add sugar if you’re in the habit of sprinkling cinnamon on your toast.
Cinnamon also has a number of potential health benefits. It has a long use in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. The herbal remedy is considered a good overall health tonic. As with most medicinal plants, it’s believed to contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds.
Where to Buy Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
Since I have a nerve disease fueled by inflammation, Ceylon cinnamon is one of the remedies I use to keep it under control. This way I don’t have to take drugs. Plus, I can live pretty much symptom free, as long as I watch my diet carefully.
So if you can find real cinnamon locally, it’s available online. Below, on the left, you can see the brand I use in my house. You can also order Ceylon cinnamon in a one-pound package, if you plan to use a lot of it. Both sizes of cinnamon shown here are USDA-certified organic. So I know this ground cinnamon powder hasn’t been exposed to pesticides, herbicides or other potentially dangerous chemicals. It also hasn’t been irradiated, as often happens with regular spices.
Ceylon Cinnamon and Organic Honey
I often use Ceylon cinnamon in cooking. One of my favorite ways to use it is to mix it with pure raw organic honey. This is a delicious way to naturally control my inflammation. Since I’m managing my condition naturally, without drugs, I rely upon time-tested herbal remedies. Cinnamon has been used medicinally for ages. So I don’t have to worry about side effects, provided I don’t consume massive amounts. (But it’s never good to consume massive amounts of anything.)
Even Ceylon cinnamon contains coumarin. But in much lower amounts than cassia, a less expensive cinnamon relative.
I use Ceylong cinnamon both medicinally as well as in my kitchen. Anyone who’s pregnant or thinks they might be, though, should not take herbal remedies unless they’re directed to do so by a doctor or midwife.
Where to Buy Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Some people prefer to grind their own cinnamon. You can also order Ceylon cinnamon sticks online. These should be easier to grind than sticks of cassia, because Ceylon cinnamon is softer, compared to cassia. One way to differentiate cinnamon from cassia is by looking at the sticks. Cassia sticks are darker and hollow. Real cinnamon sticks are lighter in color, and have soft folds on the inside.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
For More Information
You can read more about the potential health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon here.