Health benefits of Canella (Wild Cinnamon)

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Canella Quick Facts
Name: Canella
Scientific Name: Canella winterana
Origin Caribbean from the Florida Keys to Barbados
Colors Green when young turning to purplish red as they mature
Shapes Berry that is about 3/8 inch in diameter. The seeds are black
Taste Acrid
Health benefits Cures Cancer, Anti-Fungal Action, Regulate Sugar Levels, Relieves Pain, Heals Arthritis, Good for Hair, Healthy Heart, Heals Wounds, Treats Headaches, Aids in Digestion, Prevent Neurological Disorders, Heals Cold, Beneficial In Menstruation, Freshen Up Your Breath
Canella scientifically known as Canella winterana is an attractive, small to medium-sized tree belonging to Canellaceae (Canella family). The plant is native to Caribbean from the Florida Keys to Barbados.  Its bark is used as a spice similar to cinnamon, giving rise to the common names Cinnamon Bark, Wild Cinnamon, White Cinnamon, Barbasco, Canella, Pepper Cinnamon, Cillament Bush, Bastard Cinnamon, Bahama White Wood, White Wood Bark, Pepper Cinnamon, Caneel and Winter Cinnamon. This small tree takes its name from the spicy fragrance of its crushed leaves. The bark, fruits and leaves are used in herbal medicine. It is a handsome ornamental tree because of its attractive leaves, flowers and fruits, and appropriate for the garden, patio, along the seaside and streets. The tree is endangered in the wild in Florida where it should be protected.

Plant Description

Canella (Wild cinnamon) is an attractive, small to medium-sized, very slow-growing evergreen shrub or tree reaching 25 to 30 feet in height, with a straight trunk 8 -10 inches in diameter. It has a straight trunk and with age develops a dense crown. The principal branches are slender, horizontal, and spreading, forming a compact round-headed top. The thin scaly, light gray bark of the trunk is an eighth of an inch thick and highly aromatic; the surface is broken into many short thick scales rarely more than 2-3 in long, and about twice the thickness of the pale yellow, aromatic inner bark. The plant is found growing in coastal thickets, hammocks, coastal swamps, scrub land and woodland. The plant likes moist, well drained, rocky soil, moderately tolerant to salt and drought.

Canella Facts

Name Canella
Scientific Name Canella winteranam
Native Caribbean from the Florida Keys to Barbados
Common Names Barbasco, Canella, Cinnamon-bark, Wild cinnamon, pepper cinnamon, cillament bush, bastard cinnamon, Bahama white wood, White Wood Bark, Pepper Cinnamon, Caneel, Winter Cinnamon
Name in Other Languages English: Barbasco, Canella, Cinnamon-bark, Wild cinnamon, pepper cinnamon, cillament bush, bastard cinnamon, Bahama white wood, Cinnamon-bark, cúrbana, malambo, palo malambo
Español: Canelero de Cuba
Finnish: Kanellapuu
French: Cannelle blanche, kannel a pis, bois cannelle
German: Weißer Zimtrindenbaum, Weißer Kaneelbaum
Malayalam: Kanella (കനെല്ല)
Polish: Korzybiel biały
Russian: Kanella (Канелла)
Spanish: Curbana, Macambo, canela, barbasco
Swedish: Vit kanel
Plant Growth Habit Attractive, small to medium-sized, very slow-growing evergreen shrub or tree
Growing Climates Coastal thickets, hammocks, coastal swamps, scrubland, woodland
Soil Likes moist, well drained, rocky soil, moderately tolerant to salt and drought
Plant Size 25 to 30 feet, with a straight trunk eight to 10 inches in diameter
Bark Thin scaly bark, light gray in color, sometimes fissured and highly aromatic
Leaf Dark green, lustrous, leathery and borne alternately or clustered toward the branch tips. The leaves are 10 cm in length, 4 cm in width, obovate to oblanceolate in shape
Flower Complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles. The calyx has 3 greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 bright red petals with a yellow base. There are numerous stamens forming a staminal column that is red turning yellow with age. The ovary is superior with a single locule
Fruit Shape & Size Berry that is about 3/8 inch in diameter
Fruit Color Green when young turning to purplish red as they mature
Propagation By Seed
Plant Parts Used Bark
Seed Seeds are black
Taste Acrid
Season March and April
Health Benefits
  • Cures Cancer
  • Anti-Fungal Action
  • Regulate Sugar Levels
  • Relieves Pain
  • Heals Arthritis
  • Good for Hair
  • Healthy Heart
  • Heals Wounds
  • Treats Headaches
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Prevent Neurological Disorders
  • Heals Cold
  • Beneficial In Menstruation
  • Freshen Up Your Breath

Leaves

Leaves are dark green, lustrous, leathery and borne alternately or clustered toward the branch tips. The leaves are 10 cm in length, 4 cm in width, obovate to oblanceolate in shape with an obtuse leaf apex and an entire leaf margin. The leaves and bark are aromatic.

Leaf arrangement Alternate
Leaf type Simple
Leaf margin Entire
Leaf shape Obovate
Leaf venation None, or difficult to see
Leaf type and persistence Evergreen
Leaf blade length 3 to 5 inches
Leaf color Dark green and shiny on top, paler green underneath
Fall color No fall color change
Fall characteristic Not showy

 

Flowers

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicles. Blooms are small, about 1/2 inch wide. The calyx has 3 greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 bright red petals with a yellow base. There are numerous stamens forming a staminal column that is red turning yellow with age. The ovary is superior with a single locule. Flowers are mildly fragrant and rich in nectar, attracting insects, including wasps.

Flower color Red
Flower characteristic Lightly fragrant; emerges in clusters on 1” long corymbs
Flowering Primarily spring to late summer, but also year-round

 

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by a berry that is about 3/8 inch in diameter. Fruits are initially green turning to purplish red at maturity with black seeds which are used for propagation. The fruits are soft and fleshy and are eaten by several birds. The bark, fruits and leaves are used in herbal medicine.

Fruit shape Round
Fruit length ¼ inch
Fruit cover Fleshy berry
Fruit color Turns from green to red with maturity
Fruit characteristic Attracts birds; aromatic

 

Health Benefits of Canella

Canella is also popularly called as cinnamon bark. This herb has low amounts of sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol. It has plenty of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, fiber and calcium. Its rich aroma has been used by various beauty and health industries in production of herbal products. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial property is utilized in skin and hair care products. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using canella

1. Cures Cancer

Canella is an effective cure for wide range of cancer. According to the research conducted on canella in the past it has been discovered that this herb helps cancer patients by lowering the multiplying of cancer prone cells in the body. Consumption of this herb helps to lowers the signs of cancer and assists in quick recovery of people who have undergone or undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

2. Anti-Fungal Action

Canella is anti-fungal in nature. Its bark is used in anti-dandruff shampoos to get rid of those irritating white flakes naturally and efficiently.

3. Regulate Sugar Levels

Canella is significant in reducing LDL cholesterol in the blood efficiently. It is devoid of cholesterol so keeps blood sugar levels in right amounts in the body. It greatly reduces risky levels of LDL to promote a healthy heart and a fit body.

4. Relieves Pain

Canella is considered to be very beneficial for curing painful sensations in different parts of the body. The various parts of this herb are often used by homeopaths in the preparation of medicines that gives relief from pain. It is again used to treat pain arising due to arthritis.

5. Heals Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that leads to pain and swelling in the body joints. This is a very common problem seen in people mainly in old age. Canella is proved to be a wonderful remedy to naturally and easily alleviate the difficult symptoms of arthritis. When canella powder is added in lukewarm water with honey and cinnamon it gives an effective relief from arthritic pain.

6. Good for Hair

Beneficial powder and concoctions made using this herb helps in improving the texture of skin and hair. When it is applied on the scalp it makes your hair smooth and radiant. Canella paste when applied on the skin gives a natural glow to it which is sure to grab compliments.

7. Healthy Heart

Canella is free from cholesterol and fat. In addition to this intake of canella along with honey protects heart from cardio vascular diseases such as heart attack etc.

8. Heals Wounds

Canella help in healing the wounds and limit the growth of malarial parasite efficiently. It is an anti-fungal agent. When applied on wounds in the form of paste, it removes several types of fungal infections.

9. Treats Headaches

Canella has a powerful aroma which when applied on the forehead gives quick and effective relief from headache. Also, its aromatic smell improves mood and calms your nerves.

10. Aids in Digestion

Canella leaves are found to be very helpful in boosting digestive system in the body. Tea made with the leaves of canella encourages healthy metabolism and digestion.

11. Prevent Neurological Disorders

Canella is proven to be useful in treating and preventing many of neurological disorders such as meningitis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. This nerve tonic is free from chemical and does not cause any side effects.

12. Heals Cold

Canella is best known for its warm and soothing nature. Its warmth is used to combat cold and flu symptoms. When it is used in the combination of ginger tea or honey then it makes a very powerful recipe to beat the cold.

13. Beneficial In Menstruation

Most of the women suffer from irregular periods, excessive bleeding and other difficult symptoms of menstruation. Consumption of canella helps in reducing the severity of these symptoms. This is the reason why it is known to be herbal remedy for PMS symptoms.

14. Freshen Up Your Breath

Chewing canella leaves or gargling with its essence helps in combating bad breath efficiently.

Traditional uses and benefits of Canella

  • Bark is aromatic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
  • Canella is cyto-toxic (kills cells), anti-fungal, and repels insects.
  • The infusion is drunk both for its pleasant flavor and tonic effect.
  • Canella is also used for stomach problems and indigestion.
  • Crushed leaves can be used to numb the pain of toothaches by placing them near the tooth.
  • Tonics of the bark are also used to treat gastrointestinal issues.
  • Bark and berries are dried and crushed and used commercially as a spice.
  • Bark has also been used to flavor tobacco.

Culinary Uses

  • Inner bark, which has an aroma of cinnamon and cloves, is used locally as a substitute for cinnamon or as a condiment in its own right.
  • The aromatic leaves are used as a flavoring.

Other Facts

  • The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food flavoring and medicine.
  • It is occasionally grown as an ornamental, valued especially for the numerous bright red berries it bears.
  • The wood is very hard and very heavy.
  • It has been used elsewhere for ploughs, poles, and beams.
  • Stems and leaves are said to be toxic to chickens, and a repellent to cockroaches.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=897265#null

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/11156

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=8848

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CAWI

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp101

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canella

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Canella+winterana

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2696452

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CBNAL

http://www.levypreserve.org/Plant-Listings/Canella-winterana

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The content and the information in this website are for informational and educational purposes only, not as a medical manual. All readers are urged to consult with a physician before beginning or discontinuing use of any prescription drug or under taking any form of self-treatment. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you are under treatment for any health problem, you should check with your doctor before trying any home remedies. If you are taking any medication, do not take any vitamin, mineral, herb, or other supplement without consulting with your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help. The Health Benefits Times, authors, publisher and its representatives disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting directly or indirectly from information contained in this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com