The Wonders of Cinnamon: From Kitchen Spice to Health Ally
Meaning, powers and uses of Cinnamon
Discover the powers of cinnamon, from its health benefits and nutritional facts to its role in astrology and traditional medicine. Learn why this spice is more than just a kitchen ingredient.
Cinnamon, derived from the inner bark of trees from the genus Cinnamomum, has been used for thousands of years both as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The word "cinnamon" comes from the Greek word "kinnamomon," which means "sweet wood." Cinnamon is prized for its unique flavor, warming properties, and health benefits, and it plays a significant role in traditional medicines, especially in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
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Cinnamon: Technical sheet
Popular names: Cinnamon, Canela, Ceylon Cinnamon
Latin name: Cinnamomum verum (True Cinnamon), Cinnamomum cassia (Cassia or Chinese Cinnamon)
Origin: Indigenous to Sri Lanka, also grown in India, China and Vietnam
Color: Brown (bark), Greenish-yellow (flowers), Green (leaves)
Description: Cinnamon trees are evergreen, growing up to 15-20 meters high, with thick, scaly bark and hard, elongated leaves. The spice is procured by cutting the stems of the cinnamon trees. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed. When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks can be ground into a powder.
Culinary and dietary uses: Cinnamon is widely used in culinary practices around the world. Used as a flavoring agent it's a common ingredient in sweet dishes like apple pie, cinnamon rolls, and chai, but also finds its way into savory dishes such as curries and stews. It's used in traditional mulled wines and ciders, and is also often sprinkled over hot beverages like coffee and cocoa for added flavor.
Cinnamon: Nutrition facts and health benefits
Per 100 grams, cinnamon provides about 247 calories and contains 4 grams of protein. It's particularly high in dietary fiber and is rich in calcium and iron. Cinnamon is known for its health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. It may help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, and lower blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. It's also been used for digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, and bloating.
Calories (energetic value): 247 kcal (per 100 g)
Protein: 4 g (per 100 g)
Health properties: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Helps reduce the risk of heart disease, improves sensitivity to the hormone insulin, and lowers blood sugar levels.
Aromatherapy, phytotherapy: In aromatherapy, cinnamon essential oil is used for its warming and comforting scent. It's thought to stimulate the immune system and improve blood circulation. In phytotherapy, cinnamon is used to help treat digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, and bloating.
Benefit for skin: Cinnamon has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce acne. It also stimulates blood vessels and brings blood to the surface of the skin, resulting in a plump and glowing appearance.
Possible side effects: While generally safe for consumption, high doses of cinnamon could cause liver damage due to a compound called coumarin. It could also cause allergic reactions in some people and may cause mouth sores if consumed in large quantities.
Cinnamon Unveiled: Raw and Refined
The Journey of Cinnamon: From Bark to Spice
Cinnamon: Astrological and magical properties
Planet, Deity: Sun, Aphrodite/Venus
Vedic element: Fire
Related chakra: Sacral Chakra
Zodiac sign: Leo
Chinese element: Fire
Chinese zodiac sign: Dragon
Psychological benefits: Cinnamon's warming properties can provide comfort and soothe nervous tension. It's also believed to stimulate brain function, enhance cognitive processing, and boost memory and concentration.
Magical uses: Used in spells and rituals for protection, prosperity, and love. It's also used in spiritual practices to heighten psychic awareness and enhance spirituality. It is also often used in spells for love and prosperity.
Did you know?: Cinnamon was once considered more precious than gold during the time of Ancient Egypt. Egyptians used it in their embalming process because of its pleasant odors and its preservative properties.