Cinnamon is derived from a bushy, tropical, evergreen tree known worldwide for its fragrance and sweet flavor. Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, India, Ceylon, and Burma, but it is also cultivated in South America and the West Indies.
There are several varieties of cinnamon, each with their own aroma and warm, sweet flavor. For instance, Ceylon cinnamon is buff-colored and mildly sweet in flavor; cassia cinnamon is a dark, reddish brown with a pungent, bittersweet flavor. It is usually the cassia variety which is sold in many countries as cinnamon, including the U.S.
Cinnamon bark is harvested during the rainy season when it's most pliable, then dried until it curls into long quills which are either cut into lengths and sold as cinnamon sticks, or ground into powder.
Today, cinnamon is used in many ways, including as a nutritional supplement. It is used to flavor foods and is especially popular in bakery goods, as well as in liqueurs, perfumes, drugs, gum, incense, and other products.
- Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice.
- Cinnamon supports the metabolism of sugars, fats and starches in your diet.
- Cinnamon helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range.
- Taking cinnamon in supplement form may be a more practical choice than relying solely on the small amounts in foods you eat.
Cinnamon has been known from antiquity. The Old Testament makes many mentions of the spice, and it was referenced in Chinese texts which date back thousands of years.
Cinnamon has been used in love potions and to perfume wealthy Romans. It was so highly prized at one time it was considered a gift worthy of monarchs and gods. And consider this: it was once more valuable than gold!
- Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity, and is one of the few spices which can be consumed directly.
- In one laboratory study, researchers tested approximately 50 different varieties of herbs and spices to measure their effect on sugar and fat metabolism, and found cinnamon was the most bioactive ingredient tested. They concluded that cinnamon's natural polyphenols and other components probably contributed to the beneficial effects.
- According to Mayo Clinic, recent research suggests that cinnamon may be helpful as a supplement for people concerned with sugar metabolism, and that eating a large amount of cinnamon (up to 6 grams a day) can affect how your body processes sugar and fat.
The structure function claims made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These dietary supplement products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.