Cinnamon; the brown dried out bark of the cinnamon tree, which comes from the branches of natural trees that fit in to the group “Cinnamomum” (an evergreen lasting plant with spirally prearranged, broad laminated dark green leaves having palmate venation), is one of the most noteworthy and oldest spices cultivated in Sri Lanka.
The best spice presented in terms of its nutrition and healthiness, Cinnamon is rich in dietary fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc – all immense nutrients for expecting and nurturing moms. Cinnamon has exclusively strong curing properties thanks to the active components in the vital oils found in its bark.
Cinnamon was a well-liked spice in prehistoric Arab humanity and was used as ornamental and pharmaceutical ingredient and it is been consumed since 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming mixtures, and cinnamon was thought at one time to be more valuable than gold!).
- Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon), most commonly used in the West and considered the best type of Cinnamon in the world.
- Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon), which originates from southern China, is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.
In Sri Lanka, Cinnamon is grown in the central region in the hills of Haputale, Matale, Belihull Oya, Kandy, Sinharaja forest and along the costal belt Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Ratnapura.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon
- Diabetes – Cinnamon extract can reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
- Heart Disease – Cinnamon strengthens the cardiovascular system, calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provides security against heart diseases.
- Lowers Cholesterol – 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon included in a daily diet can lower cholesterol.
- Lower the negative effects of high fat meals – Food loaded in cinnamon help reduce the body’s negative responses to eating high-fat meals.
- Pimples and Blackheads – cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities. Therefore it is recommended for pimples.
- Tooth Decay and Mouth Freshener – Cinnamon is used to treat toothache and fight bad breath. Pieces of cinnamon can be chewed, or gargled with cinnamon water which serves as a good mouth freshener.
- Reduces Arthritis Pain – Cinnamon spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Reduces urinary Tract Infections – Eating cinnamon on a customary reduces the urinary tract infections. Cinnamon helps in secretion and discharge of urine.
- Headaches and Migraine – Headache due to the exposure to cold wind is readily cured by applying a thin paste of powdered cinnamon mixed in water on the temples & forehead.
- Muscle and Joint Pain Relief – Eating cinnamon on a customary helps muscle and joint pain, as well as stiffness, to reduce or even eliminate.
- Eases Menstruation Cycles – Best for women’s health, helps in providing release from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomforts.
- Breastfeeding – It is also believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.
- Alzheimer’s disease – Cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. An extort found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can reduce the development of the disease.
- Fungal infections – A chemical found in cinnamon help fight against bacterial and fungal infection, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice.
- Multiple Sclerosis – cinnamon reduces the destructive process of multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Fights Cancer – U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the increase of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells. Besides, the combination of calcium and fiber found in Cinnamon can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, thus prevents colon cancer.
- HIV – Cinnamon may potentially be effective against HIV4. Reports the Indian Plants Medical Research.
- Brain Tonic – Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss. Also, studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory, performance of certain tasks and increases one’s alertness and concentration.
- Digestive Tonic – Cinnamon should be added to most recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. It is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. It is often referred to as a digestive tonic.
- Natural Food Preserver – If you add to foods, it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
- The word cinnamon is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘’sweet wood’’
- Grind sugar and cinnamon together to spice up your sugar!
- In the past only the wealthy could afford cinnamon.
- Cinnamon is used as a food preservative in many cultures.
- Pregnant women are advised to stay away from cinnamon oil entirely as it can cause abortions.
Countries That Specialize In Cinnamon