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Cinnamon: What Is It, Its History, And Its Different Uses

Whether you want to taste a sweet cinnamon roll, take a supplement, or brew a warm drink to soothe your sore throat and cough, cinnamon has become an essential ingredient for different foods and medicines.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) or Cassia is an aromatic spice from a Southeast Asian tree's bark. People may peel, dry, and grind the bark into powder or use rolled strips. The herb originates from the Cinnamon tree (there are other species of this tree), small evergreen containing aromatic bark and leaves. While people regularly trim and keep the cinnamon trees as groups of bushes to ensure easier cinnamon bark cultivation, these trees can grow up to 66 feet tall.

The cinnamon tree bears yellowish-green flowers and small berry fruits.

This article will discuss a short history of cinnamon and its different uses in everyday life.

A History Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon was one of the first spices traded in ancient times. There are several biblical references to this spice, and the bible repeatedly mentions its Hebrew word, kannamon, in the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ezekiel, and Revelation.

It was also considered as valuable as gold and ivory and highly regarded as an ideal gift for monarchs and gods. The Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as an aromantic agent for their embalming rituals. Doctors from the middle ages used cinnamon to help treat colds, coughs, hoarseness, and sore throats.

Indonesian rafts imported cinnamon through a "cinnamon route" to East Africa, where local traders would later travel north to the Roman market. Arab traders brought the spice into Egypt through trade routes, where Venetian traders from Italy bought them. These traders had a monopoly on the European spice trade.

In the early 16th century, Portuguese merchants landed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where this country was the largest producer. They controlled the area and started their spice monopoly. They created a fort there in 1518 and held this valuable spice for over a century.

However, in the 17th century, the Dutch controlled Ceylon and the trade monopoly. After they discovered that there were cinnamon trees along the Indian coast, they destroyed the trees to preserve their high profits on cinnamon. The Dutch monopoly over cinnamon eventually disappeared because the world discovered that they could successfully grow it in other locations.

Today, cinnamon successfully grows in tropical climates, such as South America and the West Indies.

Cinnamon For Culinary Purposes

Different cuisines worldwide use cinnamon, thanks to its bold and distinctive flavor, which boosts many dishes' depth. From sweet to savory foods, this spice has almost endless possibilities.

It goes well in desserts and sweet treats such as cookies, pies, and bread. Cinnamon also best complements drinks such as tea, cider, hot cocoa, and coffee.

Cinnamon can also complement meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and lamb on the savory side.

Cinnamon For Medicinal Purposes

While cinnamon can help create mouthwatering dishes, did you know that they also offer medicinal benefits? Cinnamon may help soothe sore throats and infections due to a cold or flu. At the same time, cinnamon may also help with gut health.

The Chinese use cinnamon as a daily supplement, believing it helps them improve their complexion and look youthful. They also use a dose of cinnamon for fever. Chinese people also use cinnamon to treat PMS and promote regular and easy menstruation.

Sometimes, people from India use cinnamon as a natural painkiller, which may be an acceptable over-the-counter menstrual medication.

Cinnamon oil also exhibited antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial activities, preventing certain bacteria and viruses' growth.

Whipping Up A Mouthwatering Dish

Since ancient times, cinnamon has been a highly essential ingredient for whipping up mouthwatering cuisines. It also offers medicinal benefits.

Ana's Norwegian Bakeri offers the best cinnamon rolls in Centennial, Colorado. Check out our menu today!

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