Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum or C. zeylanicum)

Cinnamon was probably the first spice used by man. Ancient records reveal that it was used for more than 5,000 years. Cinnamon or cinnamon bark is the dried inner bark, stripped of its outer cork layer, which is peeled from the thin stems and twigs of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum aromaticum) of the laurel family (Lauraceae) The term spice is used to refer to plant parts which serve to improve the odor and flavor of foods. They contain essential oils and other ingredients which have a strong seasoning action.In the Far East, the cinnamon tree is grown in southern China, but is native to Kuangsi. Since ancient times, cinnamon has been used as medicine and the flavoring spice we know today.Cinnamon has long been used to cure everything from athlete’s foot to indigestion. Early civilizations recognized its ability to stop bacterial growth. The Egyptians used it in embalming. During the Middle Ages, it was mixed with cloves and warm water, and placed in the sick rooms of victims of the Bubonic Plague.Recent research indicates that cinnamon can have favorable effects on brain function. Participants in a study chewed cinnamon gum or smelled the sweet spice.

Quills or sticks are used in spiced punches, teas, cooked fruit, pickling liquids. Ground spice used in sweet baked goods, cooked in fruit, and some meat and fish dishes.

The odor of cinnamon is aromatic and spicy, while its flavor may sometimes be hot and pungent. Cinnamon is offered for sale as sticks, broken bark and in ground form and is usually yellowish to dark brown in color. Oil content: 1,0 – 3,5% essential oils, in particular cinnamaldehyde.

The essential oil obtained from cinnamon leaves and bark stimulates the body as well as the mind. This essential oil functions as an erotic substance and its use is said to enhance sexual desire in men and women. In addition, the cinnamon essential oil is also effective in treating depression.

Cinnamon raises vitality, warms and stimulates all the vital functions of the body, counteracts congestion, is antirheumatic, stops diarrhea, taken in milk for dysentery, colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, nausea and vomiting, improves digestion, relieves abdominal spasms, counteracts gas, aids the peripheral circulation of the blood. Cinnamon tea offers helpful relaxation for the stomach upset by the tension and strain of modern living.