Saigon cinnamon (Rou Gui)
Cortex of Cinnamomum
Rou Gui (Bensky p 301) is the Cortex of Cinnamomum. It is known in English as the inner bark of Saigon cinnamon. This is so that it is not confused with the Cinnamomum zeylanicum, which is from Ceylon and most often used for spice. The cortex is used to warm the kidneys. It is useful for people, who have cold limbs, weak back, impotence, and frequent urination. It is also good to treat abdominal pain and cold, reduced appetite and diarrhea. It can even treat wheezing. It is good for night sweats, body aches when the weather is damp, and for boils or sores that do not heal. It increases both Qi and blood.
The hot, sweet, acrid, Rou Gui has very strong inhibitory effect against many Gram positive bacteria and pathogenic fungi. Very small amounts of this herb should be used in decoctions. I seldom prescribe more than 3 grams. This herb is added near the end of the cooking when used in a decoction in order not to lose the properties that are in the oil. It can also be taken as a powder, pill, or tincture.
It is my opinion that the Cortex of Cinnamomum or Saigon cinnamon is the most useful for incense while the twig is most useful for simmering. The Cortex from Saigon has more scent and is slightly less expensive that the Ceylon kitchen spice. The ground cinnamon often has adulterants in it and thus costs less than the familiar cinnamon sticks. If you have the cinnamon sticks and don't have access to the Saigon cinnamon twigs or cortex than use the cinnamon sticks.
Chinese and Western Herbs are not to be taken without the personal advice of an Herbologist able to diagnose your condition. The information on these pages is only for knowledge not for self medication purposes.