CASSIA BUDS. The unexpanded flowers,• when they have attained about a fourth of their complete size, of a species of Cinna momunt, are collected and sold under this name. Much diversity of opinion exists respecting the particular species of plant which yields this article. Professor C. G. Nees von Esenbeck (who is perhaps the best authority) says it is chiefly C. aromaticuni (Nees), and partially C. duke Lemma duleis (Roxb.), Cinnamoncum Clanense (Blum.); while Dr. Th. Fr. Ludwig Nees von Esenbeck ascribes it to Laurus Tamales (Hamilton, Linn. Trans.' xiii. p. 556, the L. Cassia, Hort. Beng.'), and Dierbach to the L. Cubeba (Lour.), which last supposition is at variance with the statement of Louriero (' Flora Cochinensis,' p. 310), respecting the action of the berries of that species.
Cassia Buds have the appearance of nails with beads of different sizes and shapes, according to the period of growth when collected.
But an artificial process is employed by the Chinese collectors, of pressing the top against a flat hard body, by which the ovary or fruit is prevented falling out. Externally they are of a dark or grayish
brown ; the fruit, which is within, is of a bright brown. The taste and odour resemble cinnamon. By distillation they yield a heavy yellowish-coloured oil. It was at one time supposed that an inferior sort, nearly devoid of taste, which is met with in commerce, was the genuine, which had been previously deprived of its oil ; but Martins showed that this was a spurious kind, which is distinguished from the true by having the upper part of the calyx marked by six slits or incisions. It is moreover not so round as the true sort, and is furnished with a longer foot-stalk. It should be remembered that the term Cassia used here has no relation to the genus which yields the Sennas of commerce. [Cassia.] The uses of Cassia Buds are the same as those of cinnamon and cloves.