Cinnamomum tamala is
usually regarded as a substitute for the Cinnarmomum zeylanicum of
Ceylon, which it closely resembles. The leaves are used as a spice in
Indian cooking and they occupy the place of ‘bay leaves’ in Europe. The
chief constituent is its volatile oil. The principal constituent of
Cinnaomum tamala oil is Cinnamic aldehyde (C6H8CH: CH CHO) together with
cinnamyl-acetic ester and a little cinnamic acid. It also contains
Eugenol and Tanic acid.
It is stimulant, tonic,
stomachic, carminative, mild laxative and astringent. Bark is useful in
uterine hemorrhage and menorrhagia, haemoptysis and haematuria.
Internally, it is very useful in diarrhoea, colic, cramp of the stomach,
flatulency, and to allay nausea and vomiting. Hypoglycaemic and
hypolipidaemic effects of Cinnamomum tamala leaves have been well
documented. Hydrodistilled essential oils of C. tamala were screened for
anti-fungal activity and exhibited fungicidal or fungistatic toxicity
and were more effective than the synthetic antifungal agent.