Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of the tree known as Tropical Cinnamomum tree. It is being used as a spice Ancient Egypt. Cinnamon was a very rare and valuable spice and was regarded as a gift fit for kings. And now a days it is considered a not so valuable spice and is available in every market and grocery store. It is available in rolls (which are the sticks) and grounded to freshly fine powder. It has been harvested for years and Chinese people has been using it for its medicinal properties since 2500 BCE.
In days before refrigeration cinnamon was used for seasoning meat and in Ancient Egypt, they used it as an embalming agent because of its anti-bacterial properties. Roman used it while burning funeral pyres. In the seventeenth century, it became one of the most profitable spices for the Dutch East Indian Company as it dominated most of the kitchen. It is known as Dalchini in Hindi. It has a sweet, savoury and spicy flavour. Its sharp fragrance and flavour make the food more aromatic and healthy.
Cinnamon was brought from Ceylon( now Sri Lanka) by the Arab traders. It was a status symbol ingredient enjoyed only by the elite class in Europe during the middle ages. The Portuguese dominated the cinnamon trade in Ceylon during the 15th century and had rivalries for spice with the Ceylonese, The Dutch and The British colonisers. Nowadays cinnamon is considered more of comfort than blood lust. It is now used in every food in Indian cuisine and people also love its spicy, sweet and savoury flavour. Although it is native to Sri Lanka and China but is grown throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
It has four types and they are 1. True cinnamon or Ceylon or Mexican cinnamon, 2. Indonesian cinnamon, 3. Vietnamese cinnamon and 4. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon. Ceylon is mostly preferred as it has a light and delicate taste even though it is considered to be more expensive than others.
It is not only used in cooking it also has many medicinal and healthy benefits. It has many medicinal properties that help with many curable diseases. It has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a high amount of Polyphenol antioxidants which serves it as a natural food preservative. The anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the risk of disease. It also reduces the risk of heart disease which is the most common cause of premature death.
It also controls blood sugar levels and also has a potent anti-diabetic effect. Diseases like Bronchitis can be treated by having it in daily routine. It has quite a reputation as a healing agent. It has also been used to cure urinary tract infections. As it has an anti-bacterial component it can reduce acne-causing bacteria. combine 3 tablespoons of cinnamon powder with honey to make a paste and apply it to the acne areas leave it for 10 mins and wash it. this acne mask can prevent your skin from acne. It also reduces the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
Breath freshening is also a benefit of this spice. It also improves the blood circulation in your system. Cinnamaldehyde is a natural component that helps in maintaining the hormones. It also helps in preventing colon cancer. It contains Cinnamic aldehyde which activates a protein that controls the expression of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the colon cells and prevent cancer. The two compounds of cinnamon Cinnamaldehyde and Epicatechin are the two compounds that help in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer.
The anti ageing properties of it helps the skin from the free radical damage and keeps the skin young and healthy. It also prevents the skin from the infections because of its anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. Adding cinnamon to your tea in the morning will keep your face soft and fresh for the rest of the day. Cough and cold can be treated by adding it to your tea and having it twice a day. Adding honey to ground cinnamon can cure chronic cough, cold and flu. It also gives relief to acidity and morning sickness and is effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
It also promotes hair growth and strengthens the hair roots. A hair mask containing powder, warm olive oil and honey has an effective result on hair. The anti-bacterial properties help in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. As it helps in solving tooth-related problems its oil is used in chewing gums, mouthwashes, toothpaste and breath mints.
So, cinnamon can be used in many ways and should be used as it provides many benefits to our health. As it has many medicinal as well as health properties it is considered a popular spice.