Oil of cinnamon is obtained by distillation from cinnamon bark, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Breyn (N.O. Laurineae), a native of Ceylon (Oleum Cinnamomi, U.S.P., is oil of cassia from Cinnamomum Cassia, Blume.. Cinnaldehydum, U.S.P., should contain not less than 95 per cent. of pure cinnamic aldehyde. Oil of cinnamon occurs as a light yellow liquid when freshly distilled, gradually becoming reddish, and having the fragrant, characteristic odour, and the warm, sweet, aromatic taste of the bark. It has a much more delicate odour and flavour than the oil of cassia, to which it is similar in composition. It is slightly laevogyrate -0.5° to -1°. Specific gravity, 1.000 to 1.030 (B.P., 1.025 to 1.035). Refractive index at 25°, 1.565 to 1.580 Adulteration with leaf oil diminishes the cinnamic aldehyde content and increases that of the eugenol. Adulteration with cassia oil increases the specific gravity and also the cinnamic aldehyde content. The value of cinnamon oil, however, is not altogether dependent on the amount of cinnamic aldehyde it contains, as in the case of cassia oil, but rather in the non-aldehydic bodies to which the fine flavour is probably due.
Soluble in alcohol (10 in 3), 70 per cent. alcohol (1 in 2), 60 per cent. alcohol (1 in 45).
Constituents.—The chief constituent of the oil is about 55 to 65 per cent. of cinnamic aldehyde, a compound which may be converted into cinnamic and benzoic acids by oxidation; the oil also contains about 4 to 8 per cent. of eugenol, together with phellandrene, and other terpenes. On dissolving 1 mil in 5 mils of alcohol and adding solution of ferric chloride, the colour produced should be pale green, not deep blue (absence of leaf oil). The cinnamic aldehyde may be determined by the method described under Oleum Cassiae.
Action and Uses.—Oil of cinnamon, like the other essential oils, is carminative to the gastro-intestinal tract and possesses antiseptic properties. It is administered on sugar, or as Spiritus Cinnamomi, for common and influenza colds, and large doses (about 10 minims every two hours) have been found to give relief within twelve hours in cases of influenza. The oil is inhaled for phthisis (30 minims in 1 pint of hot water), and, as a spray, is used (1 in 20 of liquid paraffin) in catarrh. Lozenges and pastilles are prepared containing the oil.
Dose.—1/4 to 2 decimils (0.025 to 0.2 milliliters) (1/2 to 3 minims).
- Aqua Cinnamomi Concentrata, B.P.C.—CONCENTRATED CINNAMON WATER.
- One part of this solution corresponds to 40 parts of cinnamon water.
- Spiritus Cinnamomi, B.P.—SPIRIT OF CINNAMON.
- Oil of cinnamon, 10; alcohol, sufficient to produce 100. Spirit of cinnamon is added to mixtures as a flavouring agent, and is taken on sugar as an antiseptic in nasal catarrh and influenzal colds. Dose.—3 to 12 decimils (0.3 to 1.2 milliliters) (5 to 20 minims).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.