Herbs


Cassia

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum Cassia or inners

Family: Lauraceae

Hindi Name: Jangli dalchini

This is an evergreen tropical tree grown in the evergreen tropical forests on the Western Ghats in Mysore, Coorg, Annamalais and Kerala. The Cassia China (Cinnamomum cassia) is cultivated in China.

The bark of this tree is brittle, and yields a higher volatile colour. The leaves are oblong with short and thick stalks. The wood is light brown, fairly hard and shining. The pale yellow flowers are borne in panicles. The bark of the cassia tree is regarded as a substitute for cinnamon.

Its composition is as follows:

  • Volatile oil: 0.5-5 %
  • Fixed oil: 2.1 %
  • Carbohydrates: 6.9-32 %
  • Fibre: 12-28.8 %
  • Protein: 3.1-3.4 %
  • Ash: 1.9-8.2 %

It produces a volatile oil similar to the oil of cinnamon. The oil contains cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic and tannic acids, and starch amongst other compounds. It is useful as a carminative, tonic, astringent and emmenagogue.

The tincture is used in uterine haemorrhage, menorrhagia, and to decrease the flow of breast milk. It is also used to assist and flavour other drugs. It is beneficial as an antidote against diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and flatulence.

Cassia oil is a powerful germicide, but is not normally used in medicine as such, as it is very irritant. It may be used for gastric pain, flatulent colic and gastric debility, as it is a strong local stimulant. It is useful in the manufacture of light furniture.

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