The spice known as cinnamon is one of the oldest in the entire world. In fact, cinnamon is mentioned several times in the Bible and it was used throughout ancient Egypt for a number of purposes. In addition to its use as a flavoring for various beverages and as a medicine, cinnamon was used as an embalming agents by the priests as they prepared the pharaohs for burial in the pyramids.
In these ancient cultures, cinnamon was valued more highly than gold, and around the same time cinnamon was receiving plenty of attention in China as well. The use of cinnamon in both Chinese cuisine and Chinese medicine is thought to date back at least to the year 2700 B.C.
The popularity of cinnamon continued to grow as the years passed, and it became one of the most important spices in the world of Medieval Europe. Cinnamon was one of the first commodities to be traded between the worlds of Europe and the Near East.
Today most commercial cinnamon is produced in Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Madagascar, the countries of the Caribbean, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Major benefits of cinnamon
In many cultures around the world, the spice known as cinnamon has been used not just for its good taste but for its medicinal values as well. As a matter of fact, cinnamon has been highly valued as a traditional medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
One of the most important benefits of cinnamon is its promise in treating type-2 diabetes. A recent clinical study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that those diabetics who consumed half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day were able to significantly reduce their level of blood sugar.
The same study also found that those type 2 diabetes sufferers who consumed a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day also had lower levels of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and total blood cholesterol.
In addition to its potential value at treating type 2 diabetes, cinnamon has long been used to improve digestion and to reduce the occurrence of stomach cramps, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and other common digestive disorders. Many have found that adding cinnamon to the daily diet can improve digestion and reduce intestinal distress.
Cinnamon has also been shown to help reduce the pain of arthritis, and recent studies have suggested that cinnamon may contain important anti-inflammatory compounds. There is considerable anecdotal evidence that cinnamon is effective at reducing the pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Cinnamon has also been shown to help reduce joint pain and muscle stiffness, and those who consume cinnamon on a regular basis often report an improvement in their condition and relief from their pain.
Cinnamon may even be able to provide relief from menstrual cramping and similar discomfort. In traditional cultures, cinnamon has long been used to treat menstrual cramping and pain.
Moreover, cinnamon acts as a blood thinner, and it may be able to provide better circulation. In this, cinnamon is thought to provide similar benefits to garlic, although its blood thinning properties are not as strong as those contained in garlic.
Cinnamon is thought to play a role in killing harmful bacteria as well, especially those associated with tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, cinnamon has shown effectiveness at killing such harmful microorganisms as E. coli.
Cinnamon is available in a variety of forms, including stick and powder. Cinnamon sticks have a longer shelf life, while the powdered form of cinnamon generally has a more robust flavor. If you can, it is important to smell the cinnamon, as quality cinnamon will have a sweet smell.
Both the Ceylon and Chinese varieties of cinnamon may be labeled as cinnamon, so it is important to know the difference between the two varieties. Ceylon cinnamon provides a sweeter and more refined taste than the Chinese variety. The Ceylon variety of cinnamon is generally harder to come by, however, and it may be necessary to visit a spice store or ethnic supermarket to obtain quality Ceylon cinnamon.
When purchasing cinnamon, no matter what the variety, it is important to be sure that the spice has not been irradiated, as radiation has been shown to reduce the concentration of vitamin C and carotenoids in cinnamon.
Cinnamon is best stored in a glass container with a tight seal, and it should be kept in a dark, dry and cool location for longer shelf life. Ground cinnamon which is properly stored can last for up to six months, while fresh cinnamon sticks can last up to one year when properly stored. The shelf life of both cinnamon sticks and powdered cinnamon can be extended by keeping it in the refrigerator.
Originally posted 2019-10-14 12:14:05.