20 grams of the finest quality Cinnamon Sticks (Ceylon).
Though its source was kept mysterious in the Mediterranean world for centuries by the middlemen who handled the spice trade to protect their monopoly as suppliers cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BC.
There are several species of Cinnamon found in South and South-East Asia. In addition to the cultivated cinnamon type (Cinnamomum zeylanicum or C. verum) there are reported to be seven other species of wild cinnamon which are endemic to Sri Lanka
Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity; the first mention of a particular spice in the Old Testament is of cinnamon where Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil; in Proverbs where the lover’s bed is perfumed with myrrh aloe and cinnamon; and in Song of Solomon a song describing the beauty of his beloved cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon.
Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavoring material. It is used in the preparation of chocolate especially in Mexico which is the main importer of true cinnamon. It is also used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts such as apple pie donuts and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies tea hot cocoa and liqueurs. True cinnamon rather than cassia is more suitable for use in sweet dishes.
In the Middle East it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavor cereals bread-based dishes and fruits especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly. Cinnamon powder has long been an important spice in Persian cuisine used in a variety of thick soups drinks and sweets. It is often mixed with rosewater or other spices to make a cinnamon-based curry powder for stews or just sprinkled on sweet treats. Its flavor is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. This oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark macerating it in seawater and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow color with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The pungent taste and scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (about 60 % of the bark oil) and by the absorption of oxygen as it ages it darkens in color and develops resinous compounds.
In medicine it acts like other volatile oils and once had a reputation as a cure for colds. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties which can aid in the preservation of certain foods.
Cinnamon has been reported to have remarkable pharmacological effects in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance. However the plant material used in the study was mostly from cassia and only few of them are truly from Cinnamomum zeylanicum (see cassia’s medicinal uses for more information about its health benefits). Recent advancement in phytochemistry has shown that it is a cinnamtannin B1 isolated from C. zeylanicum which is of therapeutic effect on Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath and its regular use is believed to stave off common cold and aid digestion.
Cinnamon has been proposed for use as an insect repellent although it remains untested. Cinnamon leaf oil has been found to be very effective in killing mosquito larvae. The compounds cinnamaldehyde cinnamyl acetate eugenol and anethole that are contained in cinnamon leaf oil were found to have the highest effectiveness against mosquito larvae.
It is reported that regularly drinking of Cinnamomum zeylanicum tea made from the bark could be beneficial to oxidative stress related illness in humans as the plant part contains significant antioxidant potential.
Potential Health Benefits of Cassia and true Cinnamon vary. If buying for medical use please be sure you are buying the right product.