“All your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia…” Psalm 45:8
It is believed Biblical Cassia comes from the bark of an Eastern Asian tree called Cinnamomum Cassia and is in the same family as Cinnamon. What is amazing is that Cinnamomum Cassia is still used today to extract Cassia essential oil.
What is the Hebrew word? There are two different words used in the Hebrew for cassia:
1) qiddâh = spice or cassia
2) qetsi`oth = derived from the Greek “kasia” and refers to the strips of bark used to extract the oil
How many references are there to qiddâh / qetsi`oth in the Old Testament? Three
Exodus 30:24, Psalm 45:8, Ezekiel 27:19
What is the Greek word? kasia = “cassia”
How many references are there to alóē in the NT? none
Historical Uses: Cassia was part of the sacred and holy anointing oil given to Moses by God for anointing purposes (Exodus 30:24) and used as perfume.
Modern Day Uses: Arthritic Pain, Colds and Flu, Constipation, Cough, Diarrhea, Stomach Ache
Plant Properties: Antibiotic, Anti-diarrhea, Antiseptic, Anti-spasmodic, Antiviral, Astringent, Disinfectant, Stimulant
Amazing Fact: Cassia was one of the ingredients in the Holy anointing oil given to Moses.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekelsof fragrant calamus, 500 shekels of cassia – all according to the sanctuary shekel – and a hin of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.” Exodus 30:22-25
This sacred oil anointed “the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand.” (Ex. 30:26-28). The oil was also used to anoint Aaron and his sons, so they might serve as priests.
If you have the “Cinnamon” spice in your home, you likely have cassia – as this form of cinnamon is the most commonly used and sold cinnamon in the United States. True cinnamon is “Cinnamomum zeylanicum”, is lighter in color and sweeter. In a study done by the Pennington Center, researchers found cassia cinnamon greatly “improve(d) blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.”
For more information, check out this amazing study done by the Pennington Center.