41 Cinnamon Facts: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects And More | Kidadl

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41 Cinnamon Facts: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects And More

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Cinnamon is an evergreen tree, with oval-shaped leaves, strong bark, and berry-like fruit, when collecting the spices, the bark and leaves are indeed the principal portions used.

The cinnamon tree, ground cinnamon, and cinnamon oil have a long history of being in use since ancient times as spices and for their immense health benefits. In 2018, Indonesia, as well as China, supplied 70% of the global supply of cinnamon, with Indonesia contributing roughly 40% and China 30%.

Cinnamon is grown for two years before being coppiced, which means cutting the stems below ground level. The next year, a dozen new shoots emerge from the roots, replenishing those that were removed. Pathogens that can harm growing plants include Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, diplodia species, and Phytophthora cinnamomi (stripe canker).

Facts About Cinnamon

Cinnamon is sourced from a variety of Cinnamomum tree species. Cinnamon is mostly used as a fragrant condiment and flavoring addition in a broad range of cuisines, including sweet and savory meals, morning cereals, snack foods, tea, and traditional foods.

  • Cinnamon's scent and flavor are derived from its essential oil and main component, cinnamaldehyde, and a variety of other compounds, including eugenol.
  • Cinnamon is the name given to various tree species as well as the commercial spice products produced by some of them.
  • All are representatives of the genus Cinnamomum, which belongs to the Lauraceae family.
  • Commercially, only a few Cinnamomum species are produced for spice.
  • Although Cinnamomum verum is frequently termed 'genuine cinnamon', most cinnamon in worldwide trade is derived from other species such as cassia cinnamon, also known just as cassia.
  • The word in English 'cinnamon' has been in use since the 15th century, originating from Ancient Greek through Latin and medieval French complexes.
  • The Greek term was derived from a Canaanite word, while the name 'cassia,' first documented in late Old English via Latin, is derived from the Hebrew word 'qtsiah', meaning 'to strip off the bark.'
  • Cinnamon has been used since antiquity. It was brought to Egypt from as early as 2000 BCE, however, those who claimed it came from China were mistaken for Cinnamomum cassia, a similar plant.
  • Cinnamon was so highly valued among ancient civilizations that it was considered as a gift appropriate for a ruler, if not a deity; a magnificent inscription recalls the donation of cinnamon as well as cassia towards the temple of Apollo at Miletus.
  • For years, those from the spice trade kept its source a trade secret throughout the Mediterranean realm in order to safeguard their exclusivity of suppliers.
  • Cinnamomum verum, often known as 'true cinnamon' in Latin, is endemic to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
  • Cassia cinnamon (cassia) is a Chinese plant.
  • Related species, all of which are harvested and sold as cinnamon in the contemporary age, are endemic to Vietnam, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian nations with warm temperatures.
  • Cinnamon has been used in the embalming process of mummies in Ancient Egypt.
  • Ancient Egyptian preparations for kyphi, a burning aromatic, included cinnamon and cassia from the Ptolemaic Kingdom onward.
  • Cassia and cinnamon were sometimes given to temples as gifts by Hellenistic emperors.
  • Sappho's poetry from the seventh century BCE has the first Greek reference to Kasa.
  • According to Herodotus, cinnamon, and cassia, together with incense, myrrh, and labdanum, flourished in Arabia and were protected by winged serpents.
  • According to Herodotus, Aristotle, and other historians, Arabia was the origin of cinnamon; enormous 'cinnamon birds' gathered cinnamon sticks from such an unknown place where cinnamon trees flourished and used them to build their nests.
  • Cinnamon was much too pricey to be used for the funeral pyre of the deceased in Rome, yet Emperor Nero is supposed to have burnt a year's supply during his wife Poppaea Sabina's burial in 65 CE.
  • Cassia has a strong, spicy flavor and is frequently used in baking, particularly in cinnamon rolls, since it does not break down under increased temperatures.
  • Chinese cinnamon is often moderate amounts reddish-brown in color, hard and wooden in texture, and 0.07–0.11 in (2–3 mm) thick since all layers of bark are utilized.
  • Ceylon cinnamon seems to have a lighter brown color and a finer, less thick, and much more crumbly texture when only the inner membrane bark is used.
  • It has a more mild and fragrant flavor than cassia, and it loses a lot of flavors when cooked.
  • Ceylon cinnamon sticks (quills) contain numerous thin layers and may be coarsely powdered using a coffee or spice crusher, but cassia sticks are considerably tougher.
  • Indonesian cinnamon is sometimes marketed as tidy quills consisting of a single thick coating that might damage a spice or coffee grinder.
  • Because the bark of Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) and Chinese cinnamon (C. cassia) is not pliable enough to be curled into quills, they are always marketed as broken pieces of thick bark.
  • Cinnamon's flavor is derived from a fragrant essential oil that accounts for 0.5-1% of its makeup.
  • This essential oil is made by roughly smashing the bark, macerating it in saltwater, and then rapidly distilling the entire mixture.
  • It has a golden-yellow color, a strong cinnamon scent, and an extremely spicy fragrant flavor.
  • Cinnamaldehyde (approximately 90% of the cinnamon extracts from the bark) gives the bark its pungent taste and aroma, and as it matures, it darkens in color and creates resinous compounds due to contact with air.
  • Stored correctly, the ground cinnamon powder will last about a year or two, while the sticks can be stored for up to three to four years in optimal conditions.

Benefits Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a strong anti-diabetic effect and lowers blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is renowned for its ability to help reduce blood sugar levels and blood pressure consequently and thus has incredible health benefits in a plethora of health conditions.

  • Cinnamon is widely utilized in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and is said to have several therapeutic effects.
  • The characteristic aroma and flavor of cinnamon are sourced from the essential oils found in the bark, known as cinnamaldehyde.
  • Cinnamon also helps the immune system and is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal in nature.
  • Cinnamon may help you lose visceral fat.
Cinnamon has been historically utilized for its amazing health benefits.

Side Effects Of Cinnamon

Although Cinnamon carries a variety of health benefits, it also poses some side effects from the cytotoxicity posed by one of its components known as coumarin.

  • The 'Cinnamon Challenge' was a viral trend where individuals were seen inhaling ground cinnamon which is highly dangerous and severely discouraged by medical professionals.
  • Cinnamon contains the compound cinnamaldehyde, which may trigger an allergic reaction when consumed in big amounts. Symptoms include tongue or gum swelling.

Uses Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been utilized in traditional medicine for generations. Cassia cinnamon is used in traditional Chinese medication to cure colds, gas, nausea, diarrhea, and uncomfortable menstrual periods. It is also said to reduce fatigue, vitality, and improve circulation, especially in persons with chilly feet.

  • Cinnamon bark is often used in cooking as a spice. It is mostly used in cooking as a seasoning and flavoring agent.
  • It is commonly used in the making of chocolate, particularly in Mexico.
  • Cinnamon is frequently used in savory chicken and lamb meals.
  • Cinnamon and sugar are frequently used to flavor cereals, bread-based items such as toast, and fruits, particularly apples, in the United States and other countries.
  • It is frequently utilized in both sweet and savory dishes in Portuguese and Turkish cuisine.
  • Cinnamon may also be found in pickling and holiday beverages such as eggnog.
  • Cinnamon powder has long been used to enhance the flavor of Persian food, appearing in a range of thick soups, beverages, and desserts.
  • Cinnamon is used in Ayurvedic medicine, it's also a popular component in herbal tea and cinnamon tea, which are both said to aid digestion.
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