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 known to prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.

Lowers blood sugar
Adding a dash of cinnamon to high carb foods can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar. Cinnamon helps in slowing down the rate at which the stomach empties after meals and reduced the rise in blood sugar after eating.

Anti-microbial
The essential oils contained in cinnamon have been found to have strong anti-microbial abilities. Several studies have shown the ability of this spice to help stop the growth of bacteria and fungi, including Candida, a problematic type of yeast.

Excellent source of essential nutrients
Cinnamon contains high levels of manganese, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Calcium and fiber help remove bile, which in turn prevents damage to colon cells that may lead to colon cancer.

Boost brain function
It may sound surprising, but just by smelling the wonderful aroma of cinnamon, your brain gets a lift.

Cinnamon food rating system

Cinnamon, ground
2.00 teaspoons
4.52 grams
11.84 calories

Nutrient

Amount

DV (%)

Nutrient density

World’s Healthiest Foods Rating

manganese

0.76 mg

38.0

57.8

excellent

dietary fiber

2.48 g

9.9

15.1

very good

iron

1.72 mg

9.6

14.5

very good

calcium

55.68 mg

5.6

8.5

very good

Whatever way you shake it, cinnamon’s always a good choice!