Cinnamon has been traded around the entire world since before the 1500s. Indonesian sailors began trading cinnamon to Madagascar and the east coast of Africa in the first century AD. Pliny once wrote, “They bring [spices] over vast seas on rafts which have no rudders to steer them or oars to push...or sails or other aids to navigations...but instead only the spirit of man and human courage...These winds drive them on a straight course, and from golf to gulf. Now cinnamon is the chief object of their journey, and they say that these merchant sailors take almost five years before they return, and that many perish.”

    Cinnamon has been an ingredient since the time of the Egyptians, who used cinnamon in their embalming mixtures, and was used my Moses as an anointing oil. Today, cinnamon is not only recognized as an important spice for culinary purposes, but in medicinal ways as well. Some of cinnamons common uses include

  1. Relieve upset stomach and gas, diarrhea, and various other ailments

  2. Stimulate appetite and enhance digestion

  3. Reduce pain of minor cuts and abrasions

    Cinnamon aids in digestion by stimulating salivation, its volatile oils break down fats in the digestive tract, stimulate movement in the gastrointestinal tract, and has carminative (gas-reducing) and astringent properties. Also, cinnamon toothpaste leaves a refreshing flavor in your mouth, however, it also has antiseptic properties that help kill bacteria that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. (It’s also great at killing fungi!)

    Cinnamon is harvested during the rainy season when the bark easily lifts of the tree and the red flush of the young leaves is turning to green. A small knife is used to ease off the inner bark into strips that are about one meter long. The bark is then dried and curls naturally into quills. To see an illustrated process of how this occurs see this video or check out this article which provides an illustrated step by step of how cinnamon is cultivated.

Now that you know this, learn how cinnamon trees reproduce!

But what really is the best use of cinnamon?

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