Cinnamomum tamala Medicinal uses and pharmacology

Cinnamomum tamala


Cinnamomum tamala is used for the treatment of bad odor from mouth, black spots on the face, dental caries, swelling, cough and in complications of tuberculosis. 



Latin name- Cinnamomum tamala Nees.
Family- Lauraceae



Morphology of  Cinnamomum tamala:
Tejpatta is a small tree growing to a height of 20-30 feet and is seen all over South India and Sri Lanka in the temperate climate. The bark of the tree is little brittle when cut and is brown in color with good odor. The leaves are thick, 4 to 7 inch in length with deep vein like structure in the upper surface and have a strong odor when crushed. Flowers are seen in clusters and have a strong odor. Fruits are round; purple colored and has a single seed inside. Flowers are seen in the month of January and the fruits appear in the month of May-August. Mainly three varieties of Cinnamomum tamala are available- Indian, Sinhalese and Chinese.



Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Cinnamomum
Species: C. tamala


Mainly found in Himalayan region, south slopes of Himalayas,  Khasi, Jaintia hills, west Bengal, Assam.

As the name indicates the main part used is patra.The main feature of patra is that it is aromatic,having dark green coloured three veined.Leaves yield aromatic oil which is having very good medicinal value.It is also called by the names like ‘pungent leaf’,’Indian  bay leaf’,’Cinnomomum’.They were well-known to the Romans under the name Malobathrum and used both for perfumery and cooking.

Indian bay leaves were available during the middle ages and were used for bees brewing till the sixteenth century. In Moghul cooking style much used is made of sweet and aromatic spices,hence this Cinnomomum,cloves and cardamom are considered as most important spices.

vernacular names:
Burmese name – Thitchabo,Thitkyabo

Danish name – Indish Laurbaerblad
Espernato name – Hinda Cinnamomo
Finnish name – Lauries des Indes
German name – Indisches Lorburblatt
Hungarian name – Indiai baberlevel
Japanese name – Tamara-nikkei, Tezipatto


Medicinal properties of Indian Bay leaf:

Part used- Leaf, Bark, Oil
Bark powder- 1 to 3 g

Leaf powder- 1 to 3 g
Oil- 2 to 5 drops

Chemical composition:
The oil from bark contains cinnamaldehyde (70–85%) as major constituent. Leaves from Nepal yield a volatile oil, containing mainly linalool 54.55%; cinnamaldehyde 1.45%, alpha-and beta-pinene, p- cymene and limonene. In essential oil from the leaves, mostly monoterpenoides were found. Linalool [50%] is a major compound.α-pinene, p- cymene and limonene range around 5 – 10% each. Phenylepropanides appear in little amount.


Cinnamomum tamala

Uses of Cinnamomum tamala:

  • The dried leaf and bark of Cinnamomum tamala is used as spice in many cuisines all over the world.

  • The powder of the bark of Cinnamomum tamala is used as tooth powder to treat dental caries, bad odor and gingivitis.

  • Powder of the bark of Cinnamomum tamala is mixed with honey in a dose of 3- 5 g to treat cough and asthma.

  • The oil extract of Cinnamomum tamala is used in a dose of 3 to 5 drops to treat dysmenorrhea and inflammation of the uterus.

  • The paste of the bark of the plant is applied as paste over the area affected with swelling and pain.

  • The oil of the herb is given in a dose of 3 to 6 drops to treat health complications arising out of tuberculosis.

  • The cold infusion of the bark of Cinnamomum tamala is given in a dose of 30-40 ml to improve the strength of cardiac muscles and stimulate the renal function. 

  • Running nose – powder of cinnamon, patra, black pepper, cardamom should be inhaled.

  • Obesity – An ointment of patra, agaru, usheera and chandana removes foul smell of body in case of obesity(Vrinda madhava)

  • It is used in preparation of anjana,hence used in variousIt is aromatic drug, hence used as one of sugandhadravyas.

  • Compound pill is used in kaasa, flatulence and dyspepsia.

  • Oil distilled from the leaves is used in flavouring sweets and confectionaries.

  • Bark is used in treating

  • It is used as stimulant and also in Colic and

  • Given in kwatha or churna in suppression of lochia after child birth,with much benefit.

  • Leaf is diuretic,good for liver and speen.

  • Used in inflammation, sore eyes and stops salivation.



Indicated in – 
 Toxic conditions, poisoning
 diseases of urinarty tract
 itching, pruritis

Adverse effects: Increased use of Cinnamomum tamala can cause hyperacidity and oral ulcers.


Research articles related to Cinnamomum tamala:

Anti- ulcer activity: The present study was designed to study the antiulcer potential of 50% ethanolic extract of Cinnamomum tamala (EECT) on experimentally induced ulcer models like pylorus ligation, ethanol, and aspirin. The results of te present investigation reveal that in all three models studied, EECT (50,100 and 200 mg/kg,p.o) produced a dose-dependent significant protection against ulcer models in animals.  The results indicated that ethanolic extract of Cinnamomum tamala shows significant antiulcer activity by inhibiting the gastric lesions and provides the significant gastroprotective effect which may be associated with its antioxidant property.

Anti- microbial activity: In the present study phytochemical constituents, elemental composition and antimicrobial potential of the crude methanolic extract of Cinnamomum tamala leaves were explored. Antimicrobial potential of the crude extract and its fractions i.e. aqueous, n-hexane, dichloromethane and isobutanol were tested against six gram-negative, three gram-positive bacterial strains and one fungal strain by agar well diffusion method. The evaluated extracts evaluated showed variedable degree of inhibition zones against all tested microbes except dichloromethane, aqueous fraction and crude extract which were completely inactive against Salmonella typhi.

Anti- depressant activity: The current study was designed to explore anxiolytic, antidepressant, and antistress actions of Cinnamomum tamala (CT) leaves (aqueous extract) in rats. CT at 400 mg/kg produced an antianxiety effect equivalent to lorazepam, in the elevated plus maze, open field, and social interaction tests among selected doses of the CT. CT at 400 mg/kg also induced an antidepressant activity similar to imipramine, in the behavioral despair, learned helplessness test, and tail suspension among selected doses of the CT. Moreover, CT at 400 mg/kg produced a significant antistress effect comparable to W. somnifera in water immersion-restraint stress by decreasing ulcer index, adrenal gland weight, and by normalizing the plasma levels of corticosterone, glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels when related to stress control.



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