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tvak - Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn., Cinnamomum verum Presl.

tvak :

Tvak: Cinnamomum zeylanicum - Cinnamon Trees

Tvak is the dried inner bark (devoid of cork and cortex) of the coppiced shoots of stem of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn. (Fam. Lauraceae),

a moderate sized evergreen tree usually attaining a height of 6-7 .5 m, cultivated on the Western Ghats and adjoining hills, bark collected during April-July and October-December.


There are a number of fantastic myths created by Middle Eastern traders to conceal the origins of the spice and protect their monopoly of cinnamon trade. One such story included fishing cinnamon with nets at the source of the Nile, while in another, giant cinnamon birds collected cinnamon sticks from unknown lands to build their nests. In reality, the botanical name (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum) reveals cinnamons intriguing origins and history. The genus cinnamomum derives from the Hebrew and Arabic term amomon, meaning fragrant spice plant. 

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Streptophyta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Cinnamomum
Species: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Allied species:

sushrutha - Eladi Varga
Vagbhata - Eladi Varga
Trijataka -  A group of three spices cinnamon, cardamom and Cinnamomum tamala
Chaturjata - trijataka + nagakesara


Sanskrit: Tvak, Svadvi, Tanutvak and Darusita , twak, utkat, tanutvak, vakala, shakala, saihala, vanya, surasa, bahughadha, mukhashodhya, hridya, coca, sita
English: cinnamon bark
Hindi: Dalchini
Urdu: Darchini
Telugu: Lavangapatta, Dalchini chekka
Bengali: Daruchini , Darchini
Marathi: Dalchini
Konkani: -Chekka
Oriya: Dalechini, Guda twa
Gujarathi: Taja, Dalchini
Tamil: Ilayangam , Lavangapattai, Karuvapattai
Malayalam: Karuvapatta, Ilavarngatholy
Kannada: Dalchini Chakke
Punjabi: Dalchini, Darchin
Sindhi: -گانڌي
Arabic: قِرْفة [qirfa]
Spanish: Canela
Assamese: Dalcheni
Japanese: シナモン
Chinese: 桂皮
French: Cammelle , cannelle
German: Zimt
Burma: sait kyam poe
Nepal: -दालचिनी
Persian: -دارچین
Sinhalese: - කුරුඳු
Tulu: kettae
Greek: κανέλα


Different varieties of cinnamon are available. It’s classified based on where it’s been cultivated. Some common varieties include the following. 
Cinnamomum zeylanicum - indian cinnamon
Cinnamomum tamala - ceylonese cinnamon
Cassia cinnamon - chinese cinnamon


त्वक्पत्रञ्च वराङ्गं स्याद् भृङ्गं चोचं तथोत्कटम् | 
त्वचं लघूष्णं कटुकं स्वादु तिक्तञ्च रूक्षकम् | 
पित्तलं कफवातघ्नं कण्ड्वामारुचिनाशनम् | 
हृद्बस्तिरोगवातार्शःकृमिपीनसशुक्रहृत् ||५६|| 

त्वक्स्वाद्वी तु तनुत्वक्स्यात्तथा दारुसिता मता | 
उक्ता दारुसिता स्वाद्वी तिक्ता चानिलपित्तहृत् | 
सुरभिः शुक्रला वर्ण्या मुखशोषतृषापहा ||५७|| 


Synonyms in Ayurveda: twak, utkat, tanutvak, vakala, shakala, saihala, vanya, surasa, bahughadha, mukhashodhya, hridya, coca, sita

Twak – Since The bark of the tree is used for medicinal purpose
Bahugandha, Gandhavalka, Utkata – As it has very sharp aroma
Daaru Sita– It gets this name because bark tastes sweet
svadvi -- because of sweet taste
vanapriya - grows wildly in forest
SAIMHALAM - from Sri Lanka
Chocham: Its bark is of very good quality.
Vraangam: Every part of cinnamon is admirable and wonderful.
Bhringam: It has a hot property.

Rasa: Katu Madhura Tikta
Guna: Laghu Ruksha Teeskhsna
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Vathakaphahara

The wonderful aroma that Cinnamon fills up a room with is due to cinnamaldehyde, an indispensable oil found in the bark of cinnamon trees. Known in Hindi as dalchini, in Sanskrit as twak, and in Gujarati as taj,  cinnamon has a long history of use in Ayurvedic home remedies.

Cinnamon bark is one of the common ingredients in spice mixtures used in India. Dalchini is known to increase salivation and to improve digestive functions as recommended by Indian Ayurveda. It also acts as a local antiseptic by virtue of its antibacterial action.


Cinnamon can be found at elevations up to 2,000 metres, but for commercial harvesting does best at low altitudes below 500 metres. It requires a warm and wet climate with an average temperatures of about 27°c and no extremes of heat or cold. Rainfall should be around 2,000 - 2,500mm, well-distributed throughout the year Although there can be months in which there is less rain, no prolonged dry season should occur and rain should be received on about 150 days per year
Prefers a fertile, sandy, moisture-retentive but freely draining soil in full sun or partial shade. Rocky and stony ground is unsuitable. Waterlogged and marshy areas should be avoided, as they result in an undesirable, bitter product, which is much less aromatic. The type of soil has a pronounced effect on bark quality. Fine sandy and lateritic gravelly soils rather than rocky and stony substrates are best in Sri Lanka and India, but in the Seychelles and Madagascar more loamy soils are preferred. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7.
The tree usually coppices well. Commercial production of cinnamon bark entails cutting the stems down low after an initial establishment period and harvesting the bushy regrowth stems at regular intervals thereafter. Stems are cut during the rainy season to facilitate peeling of the bark in 2 longitudinal strips.


Seed - the seed has a short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe. Remove the fruit pulp since this can inhibit germination. Germination can take 1 - 6 months at 20°c. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in containers. The seeds may be sown in nurseries or directly in the field. Nursery beds should be of well-prepared rich sandy soil free from roots and stones, with an adequate supply of fresh water nearby, and be lightly shaded. After about 4 months, clumps of seedlings may be transplanted into baskets and are planted out 4 or 5 months later. Alternatively, the seedlings may be left in the nursery until the final transplanting, the shade having been progressively removed and the seedlings hardened.
Cuttings of semi-ripe side shoots, 7cm with a heel, June/July in a frame with bottom heat


In Sri Lanka, a first harvest may be obtained after 3 - 4 years, although quality and yield improve with subsequent cuttings
On plantations, cinnamon is cut every 2 years, and the flush of straight shoots generated by coppicing produces the bark that is peeled for cinnamon quills
The expected yield of bark is 56 - 67 kg/ha after 3 - 4 years, subsequently increasing to 168 - 224 kg/ha. About 63 kg/ha of chips and approximately 2.5 tonnes/ha of undried leaves can also be obtained


Essential oil, tannin and mucilage.



1. Sitopaladi Curna
2. Caturjata curna

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Bark, ,


  • Stem Bark Powder - 1-3 gm.
  • Leaves Powder - 1-3 gm.
  • Oil - 2-5 drop


In rare cases, a cinnamon allergy may cause anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal, severe allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis needs urgent medical attention.

Symptoms include:

  • a sudden drop in blood pressure
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • shock

Without treatment, it can lead to coma or death.

An anaphylactic reaction may occur in the seconds or minutes after exposure to an allergen. Occasionally, it can take place 30 minutes or more after exposure.

Treatment usually involves limiting exposure to cinnamon or completely avoiding it.

To relieve symptoms of an allergic reaction, a doctor may recommend the use of an antihistamine medication, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)


Possible substitutes include:

  • allspice
  • anise
  • caraway
  • cloves
  • fennel
  • ginger
  • mace
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla


Powdered cinnamon is often grossly adulterated with sugar, ground walnut shells, galanga rhizome and various other substances. Galanga, according to Schmitz-Dumont, may be detected by the presence of small club-shaped, rod-shaped, partly bent, microscopic pieces of resinotannol. (Zeit. oeff. Chem., 1903, No. 2.) Powdered cassia buds are frequently added to the inferior cinnamon powders, but can hardly be looked upon as an adulterant, as they contain a larger proportion of volatile oil than the lower grades of cinnamon


There is still some controversy over whether cinnamon really has the ability to control blood sugar. Extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, cinnamaldehyde, shows pronounced hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects (in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats): A report in Phytomedicine reiterates that Cinnamomum zeylanicum is a widely accepted traditional medicine to treat diabetes in India. For that reason, the study was designed to identify antidiabetic compounds, if any, by bioassay-guided fractionation.However, it is still controversial whether the beneficial effect is insulin-dependent or insulin-mimetic. 

Commercial value:

Commercial production of cinnamon bark entails cutting the stems down low after an initial establishment period and harvesting the bushy regrowth stems at regular intervals thereafter. Stems are cut during the rainy season to facilitate peeling of the bark in 2 longitudinal strips.



·         pieces about 0.5 mm thick, brittle,

·         occurs as single or double, closely packed compound quills,

·         upto a metre or more in length and upto about 1 cm in diameter,

·         outer surface, dull yellowish-brown, marked with pale wavy longitudinal lines with occasional small scars or holes,

·         inner surface darker in colour, striated with longitudinally elongated reticulation, fracture, splintery, free from all but traces of cork,

·         odour, fragrant, taste, sweet, aromatic with sensation of warmth.


Transverse section of bark (devoid of cork and cortex)

·         shows except at certain places pericyclic sclerenchyma,

·          3 or 4 rows of isodiametric cells,

·         sometimes tangentially elongated,

·          inner and radial walls often being thicker than the outer,

·         some containing starch grains,

·         small groups of pericylic fibres embedded at intervals in the sclerenchyma,

·         phloem of tangential bands of sieve tissue alternating with parenchyma, and containing axially elongated secreting cells containing volatile oil or mucilage, phloem fibres with very thick walls, upto 30 µ in diameter, isolated or in short tangential rows, sieve tubes narrow with transverse sieve plates, collapsed in outer periphery,

·         medullary rays of isodiametric cells, mostly 2 cells wide, cortical parenchyma and medullary rays containing small starch grains mostly below 10 µ in diameter,

·         minute acicular crystals of calcium oxalate present.

Geographical distribution:

It is found widely in Sri Lanka. But it also grows in Malabar, Cochin and China. It is also cultivated in Brazil, Mauritius, India and in many other countries.


-Understorey trees in evergreen forests, between 600 and 1200 m.

Plant conservation:

-not evaluated

General Use:

Cinnamon is among the most grateful and efficient of -the aromatics. It is warm and cordial to the stomach, carminative, distinctly astringent, and, like most other substances of this class, more powerful as a local than as a general stimulant. It is seldom prescribed alone, though, when given in powder or infusion, it will sometimes allay nausea, check vomiting, and relieve flatulence. It is chiefly used as an adjuvant, and enters into a great number of official preparations. It is often employed in diarrhea, in connection with chalk and astringents.

Therapeutic Uses:

Promotes Shukardhatu in the body and complexion. It manages Dryness of mouth and thirst.

It is useful in digestion of food. It is useful in relieving flatulence, abdominal pain and improving liver function.

Cinnamon is helpful in diarrhea, hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome.

It is also useful in fever due to intestinal problems.

Cinnamon has anti-microbial properties. It is helpful in improving cardiac problems, blood related problems, cough and cold.

It is useful in asthma and chronic respiratory problems. 

Cinnamon helps in increasing ojas. According to Ayurveda, ojas is responsible for immunity, strength and vitality.

Systemic Use:

  • Cinnamon has property of reducing blood glucose level by improving insulin sensitivity in case of diabetes.
  • It is a natural remedy that provides relief in sore throat, influenza, common cold and headache.
  • It is a good herbal remedy as an expectorant and anti-tubercular activity.
  • Useful in case of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Helpful and efficient herb that can reduce the cholesterol levels and tends to strengthen the heart muscle and thus a good herbal agent to manage congestive heart failure.
  • Very effective herb that helps to get rid of dysmenorrhea and provides relief from menstrual pain.
  • Its application on forehead, helps in reduction of headache and migraine.
  • Dalchini aids in digestion useful in lessening the inflammation caused due to indigestion and ulcers.
  • Cinnamon aids to lessen chronic inflammation that is related to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  • It is a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal herb so it is good remedy for most urinary tract infections.
  • It is useful in case of primary Syphilis and is used in the form of paste.
  • Regularly smelling of cinnamon helps to boost the cognitive ability and memory of the brain.
  • It has property to remove acne and black heads.
  • Also a good way to relief from toothache
  • It has properties to lighten skin complexion.
  • Dalchini is also a good herbal remedy to control hair fall and even gives bright look to skin.
  • Dalchini benefits to reduce and maintain constant weight.
  • It is good in case of insomnia, anorexia, and Paralysis etc.


antimicrobial, anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, diuretic, and aphrodisiac properties, very rich antioxidants and consists of minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium and its cinnamon oil has astringent, antiseptic and carminative abilities.

Clinical trials:

A study on rats reported that the administration of the bark powder of Cinnamomum verum (10%) for 90 days produced antioxidant activities as indicated by cardiac and hepatic antioxidant enzymes, lipid conjugate dienes and glutathione (GSH).

A study reported that cinnamophilin confers protection against ischemic damage in rat brains when administered at 80 mg/kg at different time intervals (2, 4, and 6 hours) after insult.


Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant - NCBI - NIH


Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Cassia cinnamon if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. One gram of cassia cinnamon daily has been used safely in 13-18 year-old adolescents for up to 3 months.

Diabetes: Cassia cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and use cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Liver disease: Cassia cinnamon contains a chemical that might harm the liver. If you have liver disease, do not take cassia cinnamon in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.

Surgery: Cassia cinnamon might lower blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking cassia cinnamon as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Toxicity studies:

Cassia cinnamon is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods and when taken by mouth in medicinal doses for up to 4 months.

Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in the short-term.

Cassia cinnamon is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts for a long period of time. Taking large amounts of cassia cinnamon might cause side effects in some people. Cassia cinnamon can contain large amounts of a chemical called coumarin. In people who are sensitive, coumarin might cause or worsen liver disease. When applied to the skin, cassia cinnamon can sometimes cause skin irritation and allergic skin reactions.

Most commonly, spices cause a non-allergic reaction-such as a rash or a cough from inhaling the spice.

Rarely, people report anaphylaxis. This is a severe allergic reaction.

Reactions can occur during or after breathing, eating, or even touching the spice.

They vary between people, and they can range from mild to severe.

Some common symptoms include:

stomach pain
tingling, itching or swelling of the face or other parts of the body
difficulty breathing
rashes, inflammation, irritation, or blistering of the skin

Use in other system of medicine:

Cinnamon was one of the first known spices. The Romans believed Cinnamons fragrance sacred and burned it at funerals. Because Cinnamon was one of the first spices sought in the 15th Century European explorations, some say it indirectly led to the discovery of America.  It was mentioned in Chinese books on healing more than four thousand years ago. It was also used in Egypt and Europe. In Egypt it was part of a mix of herbs and spices that was used to fill body cavities during mummification. In Europe it was such a hit that it was one of the sparks of the age of exploration.


Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of various evergreen trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put in the sun, where it curls into the familiar form called "quills."The cinnamon tree is an Asian evergreen member of the laurel family. It has brown, papery bark and leathery leaves. Yellow flowers appear in the summer followed by purple berries. The best cinnamon is grown in Sri Lanka.

Ayurvedic Formulations:

Common Ayurvedic Formulations of tvak with their Indications
Bahushala Guda
Vilwadi Lehyam
Brahma Rasayana

Photos of tvak - ,

KEY WORDS: tvak Cinnamomum zeylanicum Breyn., Cinnamomum verum Presl. Dalchini

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