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Chapter 8 - Cinnamon or Cassia?


It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t know what a cinnamon bark is. Quite a few people keep this spice in the kitchen.  From oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon powder through delicious cinnamon and coffee with cinnamon many enjoy this so familiar but still exotic spice. A true friend, cinnamon has been with us for more than thousand years. It’s been a part of many cultures’ diet and remedies. There are two major types of this spice for culinary use: Ceylon cinnamon(or true cinnamon) originally found in Sri Lanka, and Cassia cinnamon(or false cinnamon) native to northern India and grown in China for about 4000 years.  Even though cassia and cinnamon are different in flavor and appearance, they are often confused and used interchangeably.  While both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon are derived from the inner bark of Cinnamomum tree Ceylon cinnamon is preferable.  

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In cooking one must decide for him/herself what type of bark to use as cinnamon is more expensive than cassia and has no trace of bitterness or pungency in its fragrance which for some people is more appealing. As for health benefits cinnamon should be the first choice since it has very low level of Couamarin(naturally occurring toxin responsible for liver damage in high doses) and is stronger in anti-diabetic effect and other properties. So why is cinnamon so important for our health? Let’s start with its incredible ability to regulate blood sugar level by helping the body to to respond to insulin more effectively.

Just a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day can significantly reduce your blood sugar level. Cinnamon is an incredible expectorant(promotes discharge of mucus from lungs and throat) and diaphoretic(induces sweat), and thus is great for colds, flus or coughs, and is especially good for people with weakened immune system. A few cups of cinnamon tea with honey will help you reduce fever and deal with coughs or colds.  Combined with other two aromatics, bay leaf and cardamom, cinnamon will help you improve your digestion, help eliminate toxins and absorb other medicine.  Taken regularly, cinnamon will help you relieve muscle pain and stiffness in joints, prevent tooth decay and gum disease, improve heart condition, lower cholesterol level, and relieve menstrual discomfort.  Whether you decide to you cinnamon for beauty purpose, as it improves the skin condition as well, or for culinary use or for health please make sure you buy organic cinnamon from reliable resources.  Enjoy!


MilagroFlora Team

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