Cassia Bark CO2
Plant Origin: China
Method: CO2 bark
Cultivation: Unsprayed (organically grown but not certified)
Chemical Family: Aldehyde
Aroma: Sharp, strong, spicy, sweet, woodsy
Cinnamic Aldehyde 69.60%
Children? Not suitable for children under 2 years old (potential skin irritant)
Pregnancy/Lactation? Not suitable
Medication/Health Condition? Contraindicated Orally: Anticoagulant, Diabetes; Childbirth, Major Surgery, Peptic Ulcer, Hemophilia
Cassia CO2 is finer than Cassia essential oil, and it contains more of the latent plant properties. Cassia's aroma is very similar to Cinnamon Bark, but they are chemically quite different. Cassia is a Biblical plant and was mentioned in one of the oldest medical records in Egypt. Cassia has been used for indigestion, gas, colic, diarrhea, rheumatism, colds and flu (Lawless).
Cassia essential oil has been used for fungal infections such as ringworm and candida, atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis. It has also been used for uterine hemorrhaging and other internal and external hemorrhages due to its astringent properties.
Anti-inflammatory - rheumatism, arthritis, circulatory, joints
Anti-microbial - microbial infection in urethra, colon, kidneys, urinary tract
Anti-viral - coughs, colds, flu
Astringent - strengthens gums, hair root, tightens muscles, skin, helps stop bleeding
Circulatory - improves circulation of blood
Digestion - diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gas
Female - relaxes menstrual cramps, headaches, nausea, drowsiness associated with menses
Stimulant - depression, uplifting, body functions, metabolism, secretions, discharges, nervous system, brain
Nursing - may reduce milk supply
Application Suggestions (See Essential Oil Usage for more information and a dilution chart.)
Topical: Cassia contains 75-90% cinnamaldehyde that is the cause of the Cassia's potent dermal sensitizer and irritant. It is not recommened for use on the skin at more than 0.05%. Use a carrier oil and dilute appropriately if using topically.
Inhalation: Diffuse (may irritate the nasal membranes if inhaled directly from diffuser or bottle).
Internal: Cassia CO2 is suitable for internal use within safe parameters, if such use is deemed appropriate. We feel that internal use is rarely *needed* and should only be used with respect for how concentrated the oils are. HEO does not advocate internal use of essential oils without appropriate knowledge and understanding of how to administer, for what purpose, how much, which essential oils, safety concerns and so on. In our experience, essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils orally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much. Keep in mind that while medical doctors or health care practitioners may prescribe essential oils for internal use, they are trained and experienced in the safe application of essential oils. It is not a matter of using "French aromatherapy" or "British" methods, it's a matter of experience and appropriate application." Click here for information about internal usage.
What is CO2?
CO2 extracted oils are high-quality oils extracted using carbon dioxide in liquid form, as the solvent. Carbon dioxide is a gas under normal atmospheric conditions, but under certain conditions of low temperature and high pressure, Carbon Dioxide can be forced to become a liquid. In the liquid phase CO2 becomes a very safe and effective solvent that allows all the desirable active constituents of a plant to be collected without the risk of heat degradation. Once the desired extraction is complete, the extraction vessel is brought back to normal atmospheric conditions, and the CO2 rapidly converts back to a gas and dissipates, leaving behind a very high-quality aromatic product that is the true, unchanged essence of the plant and completely free of solvent! CO2 Selects are obtained at lower pressures and more closely compare to the volatility of essential oils since less of the heavier waxy materials are extracted. CO2 Totals are obtained at higher pressures to get out the volatiles along with the heavier molecules and plant waxes that would not be seen in essential oils. These will typically be thicker. CO2 extracted oils are the closest representation of the natural plant ever achieved.
CO2 (hypercritical carbon dioxide) extraction is a relatively new process. These extracts contain most of the same constituents as their essential oil counterparts, although they also contain elements not found in steam distilled essential oils. For example, steam distilled Ginger does NOT contain the bitter constituents, whereas the CO2 extract does.
2) Potential pesticide residue - Guba notes that CO2 extraction “has been demonstrated to concentrate from 7 to 53 times more pesticide residues in the final extract.” Therefore, it’s important to only use plant material that is grown organically.
3) Lack of information regarding their safety and therapeutic benefits
Guba, R. (2002). The Modern Alchemy of Carbon Dioxide Extraction. International Journal of Aromatherapy 12 (3), 120-126)
Pregnancy/Breastfeeding: Avoid use.
Dermal Caution: Cassia contains 75-90% cinnamaldehyde that is the cause of the Cassia's potent dermal sensitizer and irritant. It is not recommened for use on the skin at more than 0.05%. Avoid topical use on hyersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and on children under 2 years of age.
Oral Caution: Diabetes medication, anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.
Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat—like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, pages 146 and 319.
Lawless, J. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils,1992.
Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Elsevier Health Sciences UK 2nd Edition 2014, pages 152-153, 235-236.