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Cassia Bark Essential Oil
Resembling Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil in aroma, Cassia Essential Oil is sometimes used as an economical substitute within fragrancing applications.
It is my understanding that most of the "Ground Cinnamon" that we purchase in grocery stores, and even most of the "Cinnamon Sticks" that are sold are not true cinnamon, but are really its more affordable cousin, Cassia, Cinnamomum cassia.
When comparing the bark oils of both Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) and Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), I personally prefer the richer, fuller aroma of Cinnamon Oil to that of Cassia Oil.
I have purchased sticks of both Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and also prefer the aroma and flavor of Cinnamomum zeylanicum in bark form.
Topically, both Cassia Bark and Cinnamon Bark oils should be used with extreme caution, if at all. Refer to the Safety Information section below for more information.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Spicy, sweet, woodsy, earthy.
Cassia Oil Uses
Fragrancing, indigestion, gas, colic, diarrhea, rheumatism, cold/flu. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 112.]
[B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1976-1978 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1979), 13. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1988-1991 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1995), 163, 201. B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils, Number 6. (Perfumer & Flavorist 26, 2001), 48-52. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 235.]
Tisserand and Young caution that there is a high risk of skin sensitization when using Cassia Oil (the bark or leaf oil) and recommend a dermal maximum of 0.05%. They indicate that it may inhibit blood clotting and that it is contraindicated in pregnancy/breastfeeding. Avoid use with children under 2. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 235.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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