White-barked tree growing to 49 ft (15 m). Has elliptical leaves, red flowers, and purple-black berries.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to the Caribbean and Florida, canella is found in coastal swamps and scrubland. The bark is collected by gently beating the branches.
Canella contains about 1% volatile oil (including eugenol, alpha-pinene, and caryophyllene), alpha-aldehydes (including canellal), resin, and mannitol.
History & Folklore
Canella has for a long time been used as a flavoring for tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Canella is cytotoxic (kills cells), antifungal, and repels insects. It is also aromatic, stimulant, and antiseptic. Canella is often used in the West Indies and Latin America as a substitute for cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.). The infusion is drunk for its pleasant flavor and tonic effect (the bark is considered a sexual stimulant). Canella is also used for stomach problems and indigestion.