Difference between cinnamon & cinnamon bark extract

Written by wendy weissner
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  • Introduction

    Difference between cinnamon & cinnamon bark extract

    The difference between cinnamon and cinnamon bark extract is in its use and preparation. Cinnamon is commonly available as cinnamon sticks or ground into a powder. Cinnamon bark extract is a concentrated form of cinnamon, and can be found as an aqueous or alcoholic preparation, or in capsule form.

    Cinnamon bark comes in rolled, dried sticks. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    Harvesting Cinnamon Bark

    Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum. It is obtained by scraping off the outer bark and loosening the inner bark, which is left to dry. Long cinnamon strips of the inner bark curl into rolls as they dry. These cinnamon sticks, or a ground version, are available for purchase in grocery stores are used in cooking and baking.

    Cinnamon bark is used in cooking and baking. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    What is known as cinnamon bark extract is a catchphrase for a number of preparations that separate the cinnamon bark plant material from its plant constituents. For instance, alcohol separates the fat-soluble compounds from the cinnamon bark into the alcohol. Likewise, cinnamon extracted into water separates the water-soluble compounds. Extraction reduces the cinnamon bark to its plant chemicals.

    Alcohol tinctures are one kind of cinnamon bark extraction. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Cinnamon bark extracts that are marketed as alternative medicine are sometimes standardised, although this is not the case for all extracts. Standardisation is a process by which compounds are made to have the same consistent dosage and the same potency. Extracts may be standardised to a certain percentage of flavonoids, cinnamaldehyde or other plant chemical. Cinnamon used for cooking and baking typically is not standardised.

    Varieties of cinnamon. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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    Health Benefits

    Both cinnamon bark extracts and cinnamon are used in research. There is early evidence that water-soluble cinnamon extract, which is high in antioxidants, may be beneficial in patients with diabetes or blood sugar problems, at risk for heart disease or cancer. Cinnamon powder, when mixed with other herbs, has been studied for irritable bowel syndrome.

    Cinnamon bark extract may help patients with diabetes. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images)

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