Cinnamon is an evergreen tree, the dried leaves and the inner bark of which is used world over as a spice or condiment. It has a pleasing fragrance and a warm, sweet and aromatic taste. The bark is dried into cinnamon sticks or quills. Of the four varieties Ceylon (Sri Lanka) cinnamon and cinnamon cassia (Chinese) are the most popular. Ceylon cinnamon is also known as true cinnamon. It is lighter and softer in texture and can be powdered in a coffee –grinder, and of course more flavoured. The tree grows in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt.
Cinnamon tree was known to ancient physicians even before 2700BC. The Chinese, Indians, Romans and the Greeks have recorded the early uses. The oldest record available is in the Torah, the Jewish religious text. The medicinal virtues of this herb were first given by Khizvenee.
Cinnamon contains -calcium, phosphorous, iron, sodium potassium thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins C and A.
It has properties as an
- Anti-clotting agent
Therapeutically it is used for
-it improves energy, vitality and circulation and hence particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in the upper body but have cold feet.
-natural birth control
In ayurveda it is used for the “kapha” types. It reduces blood sugar, triglycerides, and LDL. Cinnamon–honey combination is useful for those suffering from insulin resistance.
The Chinese used it for treating diarrhoea and kidney stones 5000 years ago.
The Egyptians used it as an embalming agent.
As a rich iron content it is good for anaemia especially vegetarians .1teaspoon of the powder contains 1mg. of iron
The calcium content in it makes it good for bones too.1 teaspoon of the powder contains 28 mg of calcium.
On the culinary side besides flavour and digestive properties it prevents food spoilage.
A good way to start the day is with cinnamon tea—just ½ teaspoon of cinnamon for a cup of tea
A word of caution: —cinnamon powder should not be therapeutically used for long periods.