Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several species of the Cinnamomum genus (family Lauraceae). It is used in both sweet and savory foods. The name refers not only to the spice but the brownish color of the spice after it has been ground. Cinnamon obtained from the species Cinnamomum Verum is often considered to be “true cinnamon,” but most of the cinnamon that circulates on the international market  is derived from related species, sucha s the Cinnamomum Cassia. Thus, cinnamon is used as a common name of more than a dozen species of the Genus Cinnamomum and of the spices produced from its ritidom. Only a few species of Cinnamomum are commercially grown for spice production.


It is said that the true (Cinnamomum Vera or C.zeylancium) comes from Ceylon, and was later introduced to southwest India and later, Brazil, Madagascar, Jamaica and Vietnam. Cinnamon was already more precious than gold and silver. The aromatic power of this plant was already known in China and India in the 9th cnetury BC. Cinnamomum Cassia, which has been used for more than 5,000 years, has a more ardent flavor and reddish color. The ancient Egyptians valued cinnamon and used it to embalm the dead and pracitce witchcraft. The ancient Greeks and Romans later discovered it through conquest and trade. In 1536, the Portuguese conquered Ceylon for the sole purpose of having a monopoly on cinnamon trade, warring with the Dutch in their quest to gain control over Southeast Asian spices. They monopolized this trade for a long time, but later lost to the French and British. In the 17th century, English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper recommended cinnamon as a natural preventative against scurvy

Cinnamon stimulates the gastrointestinal, circulatory and respiratory systems. Cinnamon has been used to combat various gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, loss of appetite, diarrhea, parasites and intestinal spasms. Cinnamon also heats the body, helping treat flu, colds and fevers. Cinnamon can also help relieve some types of asthma as well as treat menstrual pains, headaches, vomiting, bad breath, cold feet and hands. Recent research has proven that cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar, and is recommended in some cases of Type 2 Diabetes. Cinnamon essential oil has antifungal and anesthetic properties and is effective in massages, being diluted in a base oil for rheumatic pains, arteritis and muscular pains.

Cinnamon has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Cinnamon stimulates the body's defenses, thanks to its antispasmodic, anesthetic and probiotic properties. Thus, cinnamon is good for improving circulation, lowering cholesterol, increasing resistance to stress, improving insulin action, improving metal energy, concentration and personal motivation. It is also good for drying phlegm, controlling pain and muscle stiffness.

Raw cinnamon has the freshest aroma and flavor. When buying, make sure the scent is potent, astringent and sweet and is reddish-brown in color. The best cinnamon has a fine peel and a higher concentration of flavor and fragrance. 

Use / Conservation
Store it in tightly sealed glass containers in low humidity in order to preserve the aroma and taste of the spice. When using powdered cinnamon, remove small portions with a clean, dry spoon to prevent moisture from getting into the spice. 

Do you know
Cinnamon, officially known as Ceylon cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) and is extracted from the bark of a tree of the laurel family?