Cinnamon is native to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, though its history dates back to Chinese writings to 2800 BC. Being one of the oldest spices known, cinnamon was a powerful spice used in Egypt, Rome and China on an extensive level. While the Egyptians used cinnamon as a beverage flavoring, medicinal, and embalming agent; the Chinese treasured it for its varied medicinal benefits.
The warm, distinctive flavor that cinnamon adds to dishes has been celebrated for long. The sweet and delightful aroma it exudes infuses a soothing and relaxing feeling.
The essential oils of cinnamon bark contain cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol which are the primary source of health benefits. Cinnamaldehyde works as an anti-platelet agent which protects harmful blood platelet clotting which can otherwise cause inadequate blood flow. As such, cinnamon helps in alleviating the conditions of inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. All nutrients combine to collect bile salts and remove them from the body, which are responsible for damaging colon cells and increasing the risk of developing colon cancer.
Apart from the flavoring that cinnamon adds to your food, it acts as a good digestive tonic. It is best effective for curing indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, acidity, morning sickness and flatulence.
Cinnamon is known to possess anti-clotting properties which help in remedying uterine bleeding. It inhibits a substance called thromboxane A2, responsible for causing blood clots, which reduces blood clotting and promotes a regular blood flow. As a result, uterine bleeding is reduced or stopped by stimulating the blood flow away from the uterus.
Cinnamon contains two chemicals, known as camphornin and cinnamonin, which have been proved to combat the growth of liver cancer and melanoma cells.