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The cinnamaldehyde constituent in cinnamon is attributed with producing most of the herb's biological effects. This component is found in large amounts in both forms of cinnamon. More recently, several other constituents have also been tested in isolation and found to exert significant pharmacological effects. ANTIBACTERIAL AND FUNGICIDAL EFFECTS

Several in vitro studies have identified broad-spectrum antibacterial and fungicidal effects for both forms of cinnamon. This has been chiefly attributed to cinnamaldehyde although other constituents such as eugenol, carophyllene and 1,8 cineole also exhibit antimicrobial properties.

Cinnamomum verum demonstrated activity against a wide range of bacteria and fungi including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisia, Candida albicans, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica (De et al 1999, Friedman et al 2002, Matan et al 2006, Simic et al 2004, Tampieri et al 2005).

Cinnamomum cassia extracts significantly inhibited Helicobacter pylori in vitro and produced zones of inhibition greater than or equal to commonly used antibiotics (Tabak et al 1999). The essential oil of C. cassia also exhibited strong antifungal properties in vitro (Giordani et al 2006). When tested with amphotericin, a reduced amount of drug was required for adequate antifungal effects.

Antibacterial activity for the oil has also been demonstrated against antibiotic-resistant E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Friedman et al 2004). Fungi in bakery products Antifungal activity against the more common fungi causing spoilage of bakery products, Eurotium amstelodami, E. herbariorum, E. repens, E. rubrum, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger and Penicillium corylophilum, was demonstrated for cinnamon oil in vitro (Guynot et al 2003). Respiratory tract pathogens An in vitro study of the antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major components against the major bacteria causing respiratory tract infection indicated that cinnamon bark oil was effective against Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and 5. pyogenes (Inouye et al 2001).

Oral pathogens According to in vitro research, cinnamon bark oil is an effective inhibitor of bacteria causing dental caries and periodontal disease (Saeki et al 1989).

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