Cinnamon uses : A very useful spice !
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to humans and have numerous culinary and therapeutic uses. It is a delicious and delightfully aromatic spice used is extensively in both savoury and sweet dishes throughout the world. Apart from its flavour giving properties it is anti microbial (inhibits bacterial growth) and is a built in the dish natural food preserve. A very useful property prior to the advent of refrigeration. Cinnamon is an all round good friend of the digestive system and has long been known to relieve the many common symptoms of indigestion: stomach cramps, flatulence, nausea etc. Modern research and empirical evidence have shown Cinnamon to help balance blood sugar. Research also suggests Cinnamon can help inhibit the H pylori bacteria responsible for ulcers and inhibit candida. Other traditional uses for Cinnamon has been for colds and flu, chest infections, headaches and high blood pressure.
Externally it has been used to treat both bacterial and fungal skin infections, in aromatherapy as a mood enhancer in the form of a massage oil to relax muscle tension. It is also a natural odour neutralizer.
Ceylon cinnamon versus Cassia cinnamon
Ceylon Cinnamon is very similar to and belongs to the same plant family Lauaraceae as number of Cassia Cinnamons such as: Indonesian cassia, Vietnamese cassia, Chinese cassia. Where Ceylon Cinnamon differentiates from these is the coumarin content. Ceylon Cinnamon contains very low levels of coumarin typically 0.017% per kg. Cassia cinnamon can contain between 18 to 63 times the coumarin levels of Ceylon cinnamon. Coumarin can potentially if ingested in greater quantities and on a regular basis be toxic and may in some sensitive individuals cause liver damage. Ceylon cinnamon also has a more delicate aroma, the bark is thinner, has a smoother texture and tends to be paler in colour.