The Cinnamon challenge in which an individual has to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon without inhaling the cinnamon or vomiting. As what Wikipedia says, despite several video documented attempts, a few seemed to beat this challenge. Well what I'm concerned is not about the real cinnamon challenge, as I don't have any intentions to accept such challenges, but about the cinnamon challenge that our households are facing.
Even a small quantities of coumarin can cause serious damage to liver in the form of elevated levels of liver enzymes in the blood; prolonged usage of coumarin in small quantities may even lead to jaundice. In addition, coumarin is a strong anticoagulant, where in regular excess intake of the same can result in a reduced ability for blood to coagulate. Coumarin, to be specific is a benzopyrone, a chemical compund found in plants like tonka beans, vanilla grass, woodruff, mullein and sweet grass. coumarine was banned as an adulterant in tobacco, especially in the manufacturing of cigarette. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed coumarin amongst the 'substances generally prohibited from direct addiction or as human food'.
In the US and the European nations, since they maintain severe regulations over the imports and usage of food products, threats from cassia cinnamon is negligible. What happens in India? Here lies the so called cinnamon challenge. Luckily sambarmen like me are hardly affected since cinnamon has no place in sambar! Even though there are restrictions on importing and selling cassia cinnamon, still the cheapest substitute is the one which is easily available in the market. Things get more complicated as the Indian household prefers ready made masala powders, which makes it difficult to make out as of which cinnamon is used in them.It is believed that the leading suppliers in the country do not import cinnamon from Sri Lanka (the native of ceylon cinnamon), instead they opt for the cheapest from China and Indonesia. They import it at a price as cheap as Rs. 23 per kg and sell it at the highest of Rs. 800 per kg!
Might be a bit harsh on the typical Indian homemaker, to make a sudden switch to the practices of good old days (when the ingredients for masala were hand picked and the masala was made at home) from the present ready made scenario. Unless and until the government gets serious on this, the only option available is to buy individual ingredients for the masala after ensuring that they are of good quality, and grinding them in the kitchen! The next probable question would be as of how to identify ceylon cinnamon from cassia cinnamon, well I googled and sourced this link- http://www.ceylon-cinnamon.com/Identify-Cinnamon.htm, it might help you.