Cinnamon, a spice obtained from the inner bark of trees of the genus Cinnamomum. The very first cinnamon trees were found in Ceylon, Sri Lanka, and is also grown in Kerala, Sumatra, Java and Brazil. Cinnamon’s botanical name is derived from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, which means fragrant spice plant. During Ancient times, Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming process.

Cinnamon is harvested by growing the tree for at least two years before cutting it down. After two years, the tree has a dozen shoots that form from its roots. The spice is harvested by scraping off the outer bark, then beating the branch evenly with a hammer to loosen the inner bark.

Cinnamon is deliciously versatile and is used in both sweet and savory dishes and delicacies. Beyond that, according to several researchers, this spice has been found to help improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels, especially in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Uses for cinnamon
Chinese medicineused to provide relief from colds, sore throats, coughs, sneezing, and mild headaches. Also used for flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods.

Ayurvedic medicine – used as a remedy for diabetes, colds and indigestion.

Middle Eastern cuisine – used for flavouring savory dishes such as chicken and lamb.

Other uses: mouth freshener, perfumes, arthritis relief, bladder infection cure.

Types of cinnamon:

Cassia

Ceylon

Vietnamese cassiaconsidered as the world’s finest type of cinnamon. It is sweeter than any other type of cinnamon and more aromatic and powerful
Korintje cassia – originated from Indonesia, this type of cinnamon is often called the supermarket cinnamon. It comes in A,B, and C grades. Grades B and C are sold in supermarkets at a budget price, and are a bit bitter. Grade A is sweet and mellow, and is a bit more expensive than B and C.

“True cinnamon” is less sweet, and citrusy.

Also known as “old-fashioned cinnamon” and is preferred in English and Mexican sweets.

Contains more oil content than cassia. Because it uses the thin inner bark, it is finer, less dense and has a crumbly texture.

Ceylon cinnamon is usually only sold in specialty stores.

Dark, reddish brown

Light tan

Sticks form a “double-scroll”

Sticks look like a rolled cigar

Thick and hard

Thin and brittle

Health benefits of cinnamon
Cinnamon has unique healing abilites, which comes from the three basic components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active compenents called cinnamldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. Some of the common health benefits of cinnamon include:

Anti-clotting
Platelets are constituents of blood that are meant to clump together during an emergency (i.e. physcial injury) and stop excessive bleeding. If platelets clump together in non-emergency situations, they can alter the smooth flow of blood. Cinnamon aldehyde or cinnaldehyde is