References

Chang FR, et a/. (1998) J Nat Prod 61(7): 863-866. Chang CW, eta/. (1998) Jpn J Pharmacol 73(3): 207-214. Stevigny C, eta/. (2002) Planta Med 68(11): 1042-1044.

Warning: Caution must be taken as the toxic effects of this plant are unknown. Cinnamomum iners Reinw. ex Bl.

[From Greek, kinnamon = cinnamon and from Latin, iners = soft]

Physical description: Cinnamomum iners Reinw. ex Bl. is a tree which grows to a height of 24 m and a girth of 1.8 m. The plant is found in India, Indo-China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia in lowland and hill forests, or planted in towns as a shade tree. The wood is of commercial value. The bark is greyish-brown, smooth and lenticelled. The inner bark is pinkish and fragrant. The sapwood is whitish. Leaves: fragrant, simple, opposite and exstipulate. The petiole is 1 cm-2cm long and yellowish. The blade is leathery, oblong-elliptic, glaucous below and 7.5 cm-30 cm x2.5 cm-9 cm. The apex of the blade is blunt and the base is cuneate. The blade shows 3 yellowish longitudinal nerves with scalariform tertiary nerves. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, 10cm-20cm long light green panicles. The flowers are tiny, whitish, and smelly. The fruits are ovoid, green, glossy, and 1.5 cm x 1 cm drupes on persistent corolla cups (Fig. 21).

Pharmaceutical interest: The pharmacological potential of Cinnamomum iners Reinw. ex Bl. would be worth studying, as interesting findings were made in other Cinnamomum species such as Cinnamomum cassia. One such finding is that trans-cinnamaldehyde from Cinnamomum cassia inhibits in vitro

Common names: Clove cinnamon, wild cinnamon; kulit kayu manis (Malay).

Uses: In Indonesia, an extract of the bark is drunk to aid recovery from childbirth and Malays drink a decoction of the roots for the same purpose. In Malaysia, a poultice made from the powdered leaves is applied externally to assuage the pain caused by rheumatism. In Vietnam, the bark is used to treat colic and to relieve the bowels of costiveness.

Fig. 21. Cinnamomum iners Bl. Trans " cinnamaldehyde the activity of aldose reductase and nitric oxide synthetase with an IC50 value of 0.003 mg/mL and about respectively (Lee HS 2002; Lee HS et al,

2002a). Nitric oxide is a toxic-free radical that can cause substantial tissue damage in high concentrations, especially in the brain. In a stroke, for example, large amounts of nitric oxide are released from nerve cells to cause damage to surrounding tissues.

Therefore, one might set the hypothesis that the medicinal properties mentioned above involve the reduction of nitric oxide levels in inflamed tissues by cinnamic acid derivatives which are also antiseptic and antimicrobial. These cinnamates are possibly involved in the dose-dependent anti-nociceptive effects displayed by an ethanolic extract of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against both acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate-induced thermal stimulation. (Attah AH etal., 1998).

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