What Is the Difference Between Cassia Obovata and Cassia Auriculata?

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Some types of cinnamon come from cassia bark.
Some types of cinnamon come from cassia bark. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The cassia plant, also known as wild senna, grows in several different varieties. Most are simply for decoration or harvesting cinnamon bark, but cassia obovata and cassia auriculata are beneficial to more than just the eye and world of spices. Though these two plants are interchangeable in the herbal world, there are things that one does better than the other, and vice versa.

Cassia Obovata for Hair

Cassia obovata is a natural way to condition and repair damaged or dry hair. Also called “blonde henna,” cassia obovata doesn’t darken hair like henna and indigo powder. It may leave a slight golden tinge to your hair, making it the herb of choice for blondes. However, cassia obovata’s main uses are to make hair shiny, smooth, conditioned and strong. The herb coats hair strands like a glaze, smoothing the cuticle. If you have damaged hair, or simply want healthy, low-maintenance locks, cassia obovata may be a solution for you.

Cassia Obovata Paste

Cassia obovata hair dye comes as a green powder made from the dried, pulverized leaves. When mixed with lemon juice to create a thick, runny paste, the conditioning enzymes in the powder release, especially if allowed to steep overnight. A thick layer smeared evenly from the roots of your hair to the ends does its work in about three hours. You may need to rinse your hair with water and shampoo it to remove all of the dried cassia paste.

Cassia Auriculata for Health

Unlike its enzyme-rich cousin, cassia auriculata is chiefly a medicinal herb. Though you can use it as a hair paste, Agri Sources and WebMD state that cassia auriculata is best used as a healing tea or wash. Ayurvedic medical practitioners use cassia auriculata to regulate menstruation and control diabetes. The leaves and flowers act as laxatives, flushing the liver and kidneys as well as the bowels. A tea from the leaves, flowers or bark also aids numerous skin problems, especially in and around the eyes.

Cassia Auriculata Herb

Cassia auriculata, also known as tanner’s cassia, doesn’t usually come as a powder. Instead, it comes as a whole, dried herb similar to whole-leaf teas. A teaspoon of the dried herb steeped in cup of hot water for about 10 minutes provides both a healthful tea and wash for infections and inflammation. As always with herbal remedies, contact your doctor before dosing yourself with cassia auriculata.

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