What is Cassia Seed Extract?
Cassia seed extract comes from the seeds of a famous Chinese plant known as Jue Ming Zi, which mostly grows in tropical regions. Cassia seed’s Latin name is Semen cassiae. The seeds are found in the pods like the normal leguminous plants. They have a smooth glossy surface and range in color from dark brown, yellowish red and greenish brown. The seeds have been used in traditional medicine because they are believed to be a remedy for numerous health conditions.
Cassia seeds are very easy to grow. The seeds are best collected during the autumn season where they can be used raw, dried in the sun or roasted. Cassia seed extract is the powdered form of the dried seeds. The seeds can be taken as cassia tea, which has a sweet and bitter flavor.
Cassia seed extract is effective as an herbal medicine to treat ailments related to digestion, liver, eyes, intestines, hypertension, circulation, weight loss and joints. The extract nourishes the large intestines and eases bowel movements. The seeds are also capable of providing relief from cold and flu (x, x).
Cassia seed has several side effects due to its chemical components like obtusin and chrysophanol, which have health benefits but can also trigger health ailments like psoriasis, obesity and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Pregnant women should avoid cassia seed extract as it causes the uterus to contract. Cassia seeds can also cause nausea, muscle spasms, diarrhea and drowsiness.
Cassia Seed Extract Benefits
Cassia seed extract has the ability to maintain a healthy digestive system while helping the body get rid of harmful toxins effectively with its laxative properties. The extract is known for its purging activities that avert the absorption of fats and carbohydrates in the body. One study showed that cassia seeds caused the reduction of lipid accumulation in white adipose tissues, which are tissues where energy is stored in the form of fat. Obesity primarily results from the number of adipose tissues in the body as opposed to the weight of the person (x). People also believe that, since cassia seed improve bowel movements, there is less absorption of food, which means they get fewer calories into their system. However, its weight loss benefits still need additional research. Its ability to reduce weight is possibly due to water loss and not necessarily loss of fat.
Circulation is important as it helps in the distribution of oxygen, blood and other important nutrients through the body. Some symptoms associated with poor circulation are limb pain, tingling, cold feet and hands and numbness. Cassia seed extract can help improve circulation and also activate blood flow. By improving circulation, the risk of heart attack and stroke decreases. It is also a beneficial property for fighting arthritis and rheumatism (x).
Other Benefits and Uses
Cassia seed extract has therapeutic benefits like its laxative properties. The extract has emodin that triggers its laxative properties to treat constipation issues (x). It can also help improve bowel movement and keep the large intestines hydrated. It lubricates stool and reduces the buildup of heat in the gastrointestinal tract, which would otherwise cause constipation due to intestinal dryness.
Cassia seed extract has been used to treat eye problems due to its retinoic acid composition. The extract is used to solve an array of eye problems like dry eyes, blurred vision, glaucoma and itchy eyes, especially in people with a cold or flu. The extract can be combined with gentian root to cure glaucoma and conjunctive congestion. Cassia seed can also help improve tear production (x).
Taking cassia seed extract can potentially lower high blood pressure, especially if taken as a tea. Since it has the ability to improve circulation, it ensures that the pressure of the blood remains under control. The extract can also decrease blood lipids as well as lower cholesterol levels.
A cassia seed pillow is a good solution for people with insomnia and sleep apnea as its therapeutic properties soothe the nerves on the head and neck. The pillow remains warm during the winter and is also good for people with chronic neck pain as its thick texture offers meridian acupoint massage to treat medical conditions like dizziness, insomnia, cerebral arteriosclerosis and cervical spondylosis (x). Cassia seed extract can help alleviate stress and anxiety, which improves the quality of sleep.
Modern use considers cassia seed extract to have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It has an alcohol infusion used to combat bacteria. It also impairs the growth of different bacteria strains like staphylococcus, bacillus coli and diphtheria (x).
Cassia also works as an effective anti-depressant that can help improve the overall mood. Many people across the world suffer from constant mood swings, depression and anxiety. However, taking cassia seed can help lift a person’s mood and keep it balanced to help them fight depression. Cassia seeds contain aldehyde, which can reduce stress and similar conditions. Taking cassia seed helps to ease the nerves and allow the body to function properly (x).
Cassia seed extract is a perfect natural remedy for indigestion, flatulence, and bloating. The extract can speed up the digestion process when taken before or after a meal. Cassia extract also helps relieve abdominal pain and stomach pain by relaxing the abdominal muscles. It has glycosides, which are organic compounds that boost gastric secretions in the body to promote digestion. Its cooling properties keep the large intestines nourished and prevent the buildup of heat. One should take the extract regularly to avoid any reoccurrence of these symptoms (x).
Relieves Cold and Flu
Cassia seed extract has potent antiviral and antibacterial properties, which make it a natural remedy for cold and flu. The extract can relieve headaches and fight infections that occur from seasonal allergies (x).
Reduces Body Pain
Cassia seed extract can help reduce swelling pain and discomfort in the body tissues and muscles by improving blood circulation and providing warmth. It can also be helpful for children with teething pain (x).
Cassia Seed Extract for Skin
Cassia seed extract can help prevent skin infection by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms like fungi that can lead to severe skin infections. Its alcohol infusions can fight bacteria that cause boils and infections. It can also treat skin disorders like ringworms and other topical infections that result from fungi.
Cassia Angustifolia Seed Extract
Cassia Angustifolia seed extract is derivative of the seeds of Cassia Angustifolia. It is famous for its high polysaccharide levels and has anti-aging benefits while also providing great hydration to the skin. The extract also soothes the skin by combating inflammation and supporting repair for healthy and supple skin.
Cassia Seed Extract Side Effects
Cassia seed extract is attributed to the chemicals obtusin, chrysophanol and aurantio-obtusin. These chemicals can also cause some side effects and health ailments. Some of the side effects include (x):
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a type of gastrointestinal disorder that causes symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, stomach gas and cramping. People ailing from diarrhea and other digestion related problems should also try to avoid the extract. Patients with Qi deficiency and those with loose bowel movements should also avoid the extract. Cassia seed extract can cause painful involuntary muscle contractions and nausea.
Other Side Effects and Warnings
Though it offers some benefits to the skin, cassia seed extract can lead to the formation of itchy and dry patches on the skin after a period of time. This can occur due to allergic skin reactions and skin irritation. The patches can come and go after a certain period (x).
Low Blood Pressure
Cassia seed extract is not ideal for individuals taking blood pressure medications because its ability to lower blood pressure can be both beneficial and harmful to an individual (x).
Low Blood Sugar
Cassia seed extract can lead to a decrease in blood sugar, especially in people taking diabetes medications. These medications include insulin, glyburide, chlorpropamide and glimepiride (x).
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is a lack of information on the safety of consuming cassia extract for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Pregnant women should avoid the extract as it has the potential to cause contraction of the uterus. One study found that cassia seed caused infertility in female rats, though its effect on humans is not yet clear (x).
Taking large amounts of the cassia seed extract can harm the liver due to its chemical component, especially in individuals with liver disorders. People taking medications like acetaminophen or other medications that can harm the liver should take minimal amounts of this supplement.
Consuming cassia seed extract can also cause irregular menstruation and abnormal endometrium which could lead to premature labor.
Cassia Seed Extract Supplement
Dosage and Instructions
Although its health benefits exceed its side effects, taking anything excessively can be harmful. To avoid these side effects and get the best out of cassia seed extract, it should be taken with the recommended dosage or under a doctor’s supervision. The recommended dosage depends on the health condition and the patient’s physical well-being.
As a dietary supplement, take 1,000 mg (heavy 1/3 tsp) of cassia seed extract powder once daily, or as directed by a physician.
The Bottom Line
Cassia seed extract comes from the seeds of the Jue Ming Zi, an annual herb that grows in tropical zones. It provides numerous health benefits to the body like improving constipation, improving vision, improving sleep, improving digestion and controlling hypertension. The extract also has anti-depressant properties. However, it can cause side effects like low blood sugar, extremely low blood pressure, muscle spasms, nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. Pregnant women should avoid the extract as it can cause contraction of the uterus.