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Cinnamon| Basic characteristics | health benefits | use as spice

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is an evergreen tree, 5-15 meters in height, originating from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and is mentioned as a spice since 2800. BC. 

Most species of cinnamon are grown in region of Sri Lanka, China, India and Indonesia.

Because of the pleasant aroma and medicinal ingredients, cinnamon is used as a spice and as a natural remedy.

Nutritional Composition of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has significant antioxidant effect; helps digestion, and contains nutrients like as:

- Vegetable fibbers
- Wax
- Iron
- Calcium
- Manganese
- The metal hydroxide-chalcone polymer (MHCP)
- Minerals
- Tannins

Matter that gives cinnamon scent is similar to camphor.

Types of cinnamon

Between 50 and 250 species of cinnamon there are two main types: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and cassia (Cinnamomum cassia).

Because of the pleasant aroma and medicinal ingredients, cinnamon is used as a spice and as a natural remedy.

Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Cinnamon is obtained by removing the bark of young trees and twigs from one of which is debarked in the form of pieces which are pushed into one another (by 8 to 10 pieces), thickness from 0.3 to 1 mm. 

The most expensive sticks are made of the thinnest and the smoothest ballots, marked with ˝0000˝, and the thickest and roughest are marked with ˝0˝.

Basic characteristics of Ceylon cinnamon are brighter color, unusually sweet, gentle, warm and pleasant aroma and a distinct smell.

It contains from 1.5 to 4% essential oil, which makes mainly cinnamon aldehyde and eugenol.

Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)

Cassia is obtained by peeling the bark of the plant Cinnamomum cassia, with the higher thickness and length of 30 - 50 cm.

The color is reddish to yellowish-brown. The smell is less aromatic, and its taste is sharp and annoying. It contains from 1 to 2% of the essential oil.

This is the worse kind of cinnamon, and the cost of this type of cinnamon is lower than original type.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

So far, on the basis of tests, scientists established a large number of healing properties of cinnamon against the following diseases and symptoms:

Allergic rhinitis
Diseases of the teeth and oral cavity
Stomach pain
Vaginal infection
Viral infection
Fungal and bacterial infections
Loss of appetite
Hair loss
Loss of sex drive
Bladder infection
Exhaustion and tiredness
Colon cancer
Acid stomach
Skin diseases of the head and body hair problems
Poor circulation
Poor memory
Menstrual cramps and bleeding
Irritated bowel and flatulence
Some types of cancer
Nervous tension
Open wounds, cuts and abrasions
Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Postpartum problems
Digestive problems and constipation
Indigestion and diarrheal
Problems with the nerves
Problems with the gallbladder
Problems with liver
Problems with urination, and urinary tract
All kinds of pain
Symptoms of menopause
Bites and stings

Cinnamon is powerful antiseptic, so with the tea of cinnamon can be rinsed cuts and abrasions.

Cinnamon accelerates respiration and heart rate, and thus affects the increase in body temperature and thus accelerates fat burning.

In people with diabetes, cinnamon helps better use of insulin. More recent studies have found that cinnamon improves so-called Glucose metabolism around twenty times.

Because of its antibacterial and antifungal effects, it is used to protect food from spoiling. Cinnamon can be used instead of preservatives for preservation of meat.

In addition to nutrition, cinnamon is used in cosmetics either. Gum flavoured with cinnamon is used to combat bad breath.

It is interesting that cinnamon improves visual memory and speed reaction, developing positive energy.

An oil-based cinnamon is not recommended for pregnant women.

Buying and storing cinnamon

Cinnamon can be found in the form of ground cinnamon or in the form of bars.

When shopping, if possible, try to smell the cinnamon to make sure that it has a distinctive sweet smell by which we know that cinnamon is fresh. 

Cinnamon should be kept in sealed jars in a cool, dark and dry place. 

Ground cinnamon should be used within six months, while cinnamon sticks can retain freshness up to 3 to 4 years, if they well stored.

The lifetime of cinnamon can be extended if you put the jar in refrigerator.


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