I have fond memories of mother buying cinnamon bread topped with frosting as a treat. We also liked to sprinkle cinnamon powder and sugar on bread instead of jelly. All our homemade bread now contains a teaspoon of cinnamon. People notice and compliment its flavor.
The use of cinnamon goes far back in history. Ancient books, including the Bible, contain cinnamon in recipes, especially because of its aroma. It was mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as 2800 BC. In Ancient Egypt and Rome, cinnamon was part of the embalming process. The Egyptians also used cinnamon for medicine and flavoring. In the Middle Ages, cinnamon was only affordable by the rich. But such spices became so hard to get by the Middle Ages that only the rich could afford them. Rank was determined by a person’s spice count.
The name cinnamon comes from the Greek kinnamomon, derived from the name Ceylon. Cinnamon is actually the bark of the tree. A rolled up piece of bark we call a cinnamon stick is officially called a quill. Cinnamon may be purchased in this form, or as a powder. Cinnamaldehyde is the chemical in cinnamon that gives it the fragrant flavor and taste.
Genuine cinnamon only comes from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), where over 11,000 tons is exported each year. To picture this amount, think of 150,000,000 large spice bottles filled with it! But if you buy cinnamon powder in the US you are probably buying cassia, also called Chinese cinnamon. If you want to find the sweeter, more refined tasting Ceylon cinnamon, go to a local spice shop.
Though it is true that cinnamon is most commonly viewed as a spice, it contains many health benefits. For example, harmful cholesterol can be kept down by taking just ½ teaspoon if cinnamon a day. Other studies indicate it may help keep blood sugar regulated, good news to those with Type 2 diabetes.
Twenty-one diseases or problems are listed as being weakened or cured in a patient taking honey and cinnamon, according to Weekly World News of January 17th, 1995. These include heart disease, insect bites, arthritis, bladder infections, toothache, and common colds.
Cinnamon reduces the spread of some cancer cells such as leukemia and lymphoma, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland. Cinnamon works against blood clotting, helping reduce heart problems. For some, cinnamon has even reduced arthritic pain. Cinnamon is an excellent inhibitor of food spoilage and bacterial growth, meaning it a natural food preservative.
Cinnamon can help fight E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices and boosts cognitive abilities. It is a source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium, and can remove bile, preventing colon cancer. The fiber it contains also helps reduce the problems related to constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. It helps in fighting off yeast infections in the mouth and vagina, and reduces the risk of stomach ulcers and head lice. It is due to its three basic types of essential oils that gives cinnamon this remarkable power.
A little known use of cinnamon is called ‘thieves’ oil’ because grave robbers would wash themselves in it to ward off the ‘demons’ of bubonic plague. It is made from equal amounts of cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, lemon, and clove with rosemary therapeutic grade essential oils You make it mixing equal amounts of rosemary therapeutic grade essential oils and eucalyptus, cinnamon bark, lemon, and clove. This is mixed with a carrier of olive oil or jojoba.
In addition to all these uses of cinnamon, it has also been used for its warming qualities. It gives relief from the symptoms of the onset of a cold or flu, especially when mixed with some fresh ginger in a tea. This drink also is reported to provide relief from menstrual problems.
Don’t overuse cinnamon since large doses could be toxic. Neither should you let cinnamon replace medications you are taking. Store cinnamon in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, and dry place. The continued sweet smell tells you it is still fresh.
Don’t overuse cinnamon since large doses could be toxic. Neither should you let cinnamon replace medications you are taking. Store cinnamon in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, and dry place. As long as it smells like cinnamon, it is still fresh.
Cinnamon benefits the entire body. But you need to make sure you purchase cinnamon powder
from a store that sells bulk herbs
so as to receive the full benefit this amazing spice has to offer