Cinnamon Biological sources, morphological features, chemical constituents, and uses + MCQ (10)

Cinnamon Biological sources, morphological features, chemical constituents, and uses + MCQ (10)


Dalchini, Ceylon Cinnamon, Cinnamon bark.

Biological source:-
Cinnamon consist of dried bark, freed from the outer cork and from the underlying parenchyma, from the shoots growing on the cut stumps of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees.


Geographical source: –
Srilanka, Malabar Coast of India, Jamaica and Brazil.

Cultivation and Collection:-

  • It is generally cultivated by seed propagation method but sometimes plant cuttings are also preferred. It mainly needs sandy or siliceous soil which should be rich in humus. The other requirements for its better cultivation are altitude (800 to 1000 meter) and annual rainfall (200 to 250 cm). It is shade loving plant.
  • The seeds are propagated in nursery beds in the month of June and July. The distance should be 10 cm in between two plants. The plants should be watered time to time. Generally the seeds are germinated within 20 days. Shading is provided to the plants and allowed to grow for about 1 year. Then transplantation in open field should be done in the month of October or November or in rainy season.
  • The distance should be kept at least 2 meter in between two plants. Weeding should be done 2 to 4 times in a year. The plants should be manured in the first year and subsequently increased depending upon the age of plant.
  • The fertilizers are applied first in monsoon and second in October-November. It will encourage the growth of shoots. Coppicing should be done to induce the formation of shoots.
  • Harvesting should be done in rainy season because in this season peeling of bark from shoots is easy. The peeled strips are made into bundles, wrapped in coir mats and allow to ferment for 24 hours. This will loosen the outer cork and cortex which should be removed from curved brass knife.
  • The collected bark contracts and converted into quill form after drying. The smaller quills are placed in between larger quillsand forms compound quills.
  • The soft and fresh quills are rolled by hand and lightly pressed so it will avoid the splitting of bark into pieces. Then the drug should be shade dried and dried quills are packed into bundles of different grades and marketed.
  • The small pieces and debris are used for the production of Cinnamon oil.
  • The average yield of bark is about 200- 300 kg per hectare and 2-3 kg leaves per hectare, annually.


Cinnamon Bark:-

  • Colour: Externally dull yellowish brown, internally dark yellowish brown
  • Odour: Aromatic
  • Taste: Warm and very refined (Sweetish and aromatic followed by warm sensation)
  • Fracture: Splintery
  • Size: Length is about 1 meter, diameter is nearly 1 cm and thickness is approximately 0.5 mm.
  • Shape: Compound quill form.

The wavy longitudinal striations are present on external and internal surfaces of bark (bark freed from cork).

Cinnamon Oil:-

  • Colour: Yellow to reddish in colour.
  • Specific gravity: 1.00 to 1.030.
  • Optical rotation: 0 to − 2.
  • Refractive index: 1.562 to 1.582.

Chemical Constituents:-

  • Cinnamon bark contains polycyclic diterpenes and proanthocyanidinoid oligomers. It contains volatile oils (0.5 to 1 percent), phlobatannins (1.2 percent), mucilage, calcium oxalate, starch and mannitol (responsible for sweetish taste).
  • The cinnamon oil obtained from distillation method which is light yellow in colour and upon storage changes to reddish in colour.
  • The essential oil (5 to 20 ml/kg) is composed of phenylpropane derivatives. Cinnamon oil mainly contains cinnamaldehyde (60 to 70 percent), eugenol (5 to 10 percent), benzaldehyde, cuminaldehyde and other terpenes such as phellandrene, pinene, cymene, caryophyllene.

Chemical Test:-

To a drop of volatile oil add a drop of ferric chloride solution, a pale green colour develops (cinnamaldehyde produces brown colour and eugenol gives blue colour which results in the formation of pale green colour).

The drug is used as aromatic stimulant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, carminative, stomachic and astringent. Commercially, it is also used as spice, condiment, in candy preparation, dentrifices and perfumery. Cinnamon oil is used in urinary infection and food technology. Cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde are irritating to skin and mucous membranes. They cause allergic reactions like urticaria or edema of the face and lips.

Other Species :-

Cinnamon cassia is often used as a substituent. C. culiawan is native of Amboyna and the bark has the flavour of clove, C. iners, Cassia burmarin, Saigon cinnamon, and C. nitidum are also used.


1. How many CM annual rainfall is required for cinnamon plant ?

A. 100 to 200 cm

B. 200 to 250 cm

C.300  to 350 cm

D.400 to 800 cm

2. The average yield of bark is per hectare is 

A. 100-150 kg

B. 400-500 kg

C. 200- 300 kg

D. 600-900 kg

3. Cinnamon oil has specific gravity is 

A. 1-1.030

B. 2-2.03

C. 1-1.0030

D. 1-2

4. Cinnamon oil + FeCl3= 

A. Blue Colour

B. Yellow colour

C. Red colour

D. Green colour

5. Cinnamon oil is use for 

A. Anti bacterial

B. Carminative

C. Urinary tract infection

D. All of the above

6. Which is measure chemical constituents of cinnamon oil ?

A. Cinnamaldehyde

B. Eugenol

C. A and B

D. None of the above

7. How many percentage of eugenol is present in cinnamon ?

A. 5 to 10%

B. 15 to 20 %

C. 30 to 40 %

D. 50 to 60%

8.  Colour of cinnamon oil is 

A. Orange to red colour

B. Red to orange colour

C. Green to brown colour

D. Yellow to red colour

9. Synonym of cinnamon

A. Florets

B. Dalchini

C. Cortex limonis

D. Limonene

10. Cinnamon is belong to family

A.  Lauraceae

B. Liliaceae

C. Solanaceae

D. Gentianaceae

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Answer Key

1. B

2. C

3. A

4. D

5. D

6. C

7. A

8. D

9. B

10. A

Reference :- 

16 Edition of Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy Text Book ( Pg. No. :-283 )

This information is taken only for education purpose.


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