Difference Between Sandalwood and Cinnamon

Herbs and Spices have been used for various purposes since antiquity. They are primarily used as a flavoring and as a preservative in the preparation of food but also have certain medicinal properties. Some herbs and spices are also used for performing religious rites like fulfilling a religious obligation or perpetuating a superstition.

Sandalwood vs Cinnamon

The main difference between Sandalwood and Cinnamon is that Sandalwood is a class of wood derived from trees of the Santalum genus. On the other hand, Cinnamon refers to a spice obtained from the inner bark of trees of the Cinnamomum genus. Besides, Sandalwood is primarily used as an aromatic agent, while Cinnamon is primarily used as a flavoring agent.  

Sandalwood and Cinnamon

Sandalwood denotes a category of wood obtained from the stem and roots of the hemiparasitic trees belonging to the Santalum genus. The obtained wood is yellow, heavy, fine-grained and notably stays aromatic for decades. It is often dubbed as the most expensive wood in the world. It is used in fluorescence microscopy and as an alternative to certain ingredients, besides its use for its fragrance. 

Cinnamon is a spice extracted from the inner bark of trees belonging to the Cinnamomum genus and Lauraceae flower family. It is widely used as a flavoring additive and aromatic condiment in a variety of cuisines across the world. Its aroma and flavor are derived from its essential oil and major component called Cinnamaldehyde. 

Comparison Table Between Sandalwood and Cinnamon

Parameters of Comparison   Sandalwood   Cinnamon   
Scientific Name   The scientific name of Sandalwood is Santalum paniculatum.   The scientific name for Cinnamon is Cinnamomum Verum.   
Description    Sandalwood refers to a class of woods obtained from trees.   Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of the tree.   
Physical Properties    The woods are yellow, heavy, and fine-grained.    Cinnamon is brown, has a fragrant aroma, and is sweet to taste.   
Native to    Sandalwood is native to islands of the South Pacific and Southeastern Asia.   Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, South America, the West Indies, and the Malabar Coast of India.   
Uses    Sandalwood is used for providing fragrance, in fluorescence microscopy, and as alternatives in cooking.    It is used to flavor eatables, perfumes, and drugs.   

What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum) is a yellow-colored, aromatic wood obtained from the roots and stem of trees of the Santalum genus. Often known as ‘the most expensive wood in the world,’ it is notable for its distinctive warm, soft, and smooth aroma, which stays for decades. The yellow aromatic oil, called the Sandalwood oil, forms its major constitution. 

Sandalwood has been cultivated since antiquity because of its use in religious and cultural activities. Producing commercially viable Sandalwood requires it to have high amounts of yellow Sandalwood oil, which is used in folk medicines, perfumes, incense sticks, candles, soaps, etc., after being procured through steam distillation of wood. The yield of oil from wood depends on the location and age of the trees; usually, older trees tend to have a higher yield. 

Besides its use as an aromatic agent, it is also used for aromatherapy, and its nuts are used as substitutes for a variety of ingredients like macadamia, almonds, or hazelnuts. Because of its optimal refractive index and low fluorescence, it is used as immersion oil in UV and fluorescence microscopy. 

Since commercially viable Sandalwood takes years to grow, some species of Sandalwood have suffered over-harvesting in the past decades due to the gap between demand and supply of the slow-growing Sandalwood. 

What is Cinnamon?  

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) is a spice, i.e., plant products obtained from seed, root, fruit, or bark of plants and used for garnishing and flavoring; which is used in dried and powdered form. Brown in color, it is derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum genus trees under the Lauraceae family. It is used for its aromatic and flavoring properties in the preparation of cuisines, drugs, perfumes, and liquor. 

Historically, Cinnamon was regarded as more precious than gold. In early Egypt, people used Cinnamon for religious and embalming activities. During medieval times, it was used for religious rites, as well as for its flavoring properties. In modern times, it emerged as the highest profit earning commodity for the Dutch East India Company. 

Though this assertion lacks scientific proof, studies claim that Cinnamon has certain medicinal functions in addition to its flavoring and aromatic functions. It is associated with lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels and hence is considered good for diabetes. People sometimes consume it to cure irritable bowel movements or intestinal problems. 

Having antibiotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, Cinnamon is believed to help people with allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, heart problems, HIV, and other infections. Despite its advantages, its little consumption is considered healthy, i.e., 2-4 grams per day. 

Main Differences Between Sandalwood and Cinnamon 

  1. Sandalwood and Cinnamon are distinct in terms of their scientific nomenclature. Sandalwood is called Santalum paniculatum, while Cinnamon is called Cinnamomum Verum. 
  2. Sandalwood is a class of woods, while Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree.  
  3. Sandalwood is fragrant, fine-grained, heavy, and yellow. Cinnamon is aromatic, sweet, and brown.  
  4. Sandalwood is indigenously grown in Southeastern Asia and islands of the South Pacific, whereas Cinnamon is found in Sri Lanka, West Indies, South America, and the Malabar Coast of India. 
  5. Sandalwood is used for various purposes, for its aromatic properties, as an alternative to some ingredients, and in fluorescence microscopy. Cinnamon is mostly used as a flavoring agent in eatables, perfumes, and drugs.  

Conclusion  

Sandalwood and Cinnamon are two plant products that have had religious and cultural significance in the history of civilization. The former has been regarded as the ‘most expensive wood in the world,’ while the latter had a significantly higher than gold in the past. 

Both of them are distinguished in several respects like scientific nomenclature, nature, physical properties, and uses. Sandalwood denotes a type of wood that is yellow and aromatic, whereas Cinnamon refers to a spice, which is brown and mildly sweet to taste. 

References   

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24089347 
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408390902773052  
Help us improve. Rate this post! Total (0 votes,average: 0)