Cinnamon Facts

Cinnamon Facts
Cinnamon tree belongs to the family Lauraceae. This plant can be found on Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, in Southern India, China and Indonesia. Cinnamon tree grows in tropical rainforests. People cultivate cinnamon tree because of its pleasant smell and spicy aroma. Two types of cinnamon, called true cinnamon and cassia, are grown for commercial use. They have different taste, smell and chemical composition. Cinnamon is best known as spice, but it also has numerous beneficial effects on human health and can be used in treatment of certain disorders. Oils extracted from the cinnamon tree are used in cosmetic industry.
Interesting Cinnamon Facts:
Cinnamon tree is small evergreen plant that can reach 32 to 49 feet in height. Cultivated cinnamon tree is grown in the form of bush.
Bark of cinnamon tree is smooth, pinkish-brown in color. It contains numerous compounds and oils that are responsible for the pleasant odor and hot, strong taste. Cinnamon used in human diet is actually inner bark of cinnamon tree.
Leaves are green and oval in shape. They are usually 2 to 7 inches long and oppositely arranged on the branches. Leaves are fragrant due to high content of aromatic oils.
Flowers are small and green in color. They are grouped in terminal panicles.
Dark purple fruit of cinnamon tree is called drupe. It is 0.5 inches long and ellipsoid in shape. Fruit contains one seed.
Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt for the process of mummification and as an ingredient of perfumes.
Cinnamon is more than just a popular spice with pleasant taste. It contains important minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, calcium and magnesium. Cinnamon sticks also contain vitamin A and vitamins of the B group.
Cinnamon can be used in preparation of numerous sweet and salty dishes and drinks (such as coffee and tea).
Cinnamon can be used as flavoring agent in the manufacture of whiskey, vodka and brandy.
Cinnamon can be used for the preservation of food because of its antimicrobial properties.
Cinnamon is used in cosmetic industry in the production of numerous lotions and creams. Because of its spicy taste, lipsticks with cinnamon can induce swelling of the lips. This effect (full and bright red lips) does not last long.
Cinnamon is used in traditional medicine to facilitate digestion and reduce flatulence, to reduce high blood sugar level and as local anesthetic. It also shows powerful anti-viral effects.
Cinnamaldehyde is a substance isolated from the bark of cinnamon tree that prevents clotting of the blood. It can prevent stroke and arterial diseases.
Cinnamon can induce allergy in sensitive persons. It also can induce liver and kidney disorders when consumed in high amount due to toxic substance called coumarine.
Cinnamon tree lives from 30 to 40 years in the wild.

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