Medicinal and Culinary uses of Cinnamon Spice
Cinnamon spice is of significant historical importance and was highly prized by Greeks and Romans. It was one of the spices which led Colombus to discover eastern Spice Islands and also led Vasco da Gama to reach the Malabar Coast of India in 1498. Reference of Cinnamon spice is made in many sacred religious texts like the Old Testament, Sanskrit and even Chinese writings which date back to 4000 BC. The botanical name of Cinnamon, Cinnamomum, is derived from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, which means a fragrant spice plant. It is known as cannelle in French; ceylonzeimt/kaneel in German; cannella in Italian; canela in Spanish, yook gway in Chinese, dal-chini in Hindi and kurunda in Sinhalese.
Cinnamon is obtained by drying the central part of the bark of a tropical evergreen tree, most commonly found in wet lowlands of Southeast Asia. These trees grow to a height of 7 to 10 meters and have aromatic barks and leaves. The flowers are small yellowish-white in color and bear dark purple berries. Cinnamon grows well in sandy soil enriched with organic matter. The area where cinnamon grows should have a mean temperature of approximately 27 degrees Celsius and an annual rainfall of 2000 to 2400 mm.
There are more than 250 species of Cinnamomum. Many people get confused in between Cinnamomum Verum or true cinnamon and Cinnamomum Cassia, also considered an inferior substitute of Cinnamon. What is surprising is that it is Cinnamon cassia which is sold in most American stores as Cinnamon. Though barks of both these species look similar but have significant noticeable differences. True cinnamon has pale yellowish brown bark. The end product is a spiral curl which is very thin and easily crushable. It has very sweet and aromatic smell. The after taste of true cinnamon is also sweet. Cassia on the other hand has double curls and is thick, hard with a reddish brown color. It has a bitter and burning flavor.
Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has many medicinal uses which have been well known for thousands of years. It has healing properties and is used to fight toothache, clear tract infections, soothe stomach irritation, treat diarrhea, arthritis and various menstrual disorders. Cinnamon is also a good pain reliever and acts as a detoxifying herb.
Essential oils of cinnamon have antifungal, antimicrobial and anti bacterial properties. It is used against Pseudomonas, Aspergillus parasiticus, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida and Saccharomyces cerivisiae, Serratia and gram positive (Bronchothrix, Carnobacterium and Lactobacillus). Cinnamon essential oil also aids digestion. Most important compounds present in its oil are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. An important chemical present in cinnamon is methoxy hydroxy chalcone polymer, which helps reduce blood glucose level and is used to treat diabetes.
In Ayurveda it is used to treat bronchitis, colds, congestion, diarrhoea, dysentry, oedema, flu, gas, metabolic and heart strengthening, hiccups, indigestion, liver problems, menorrhagia, melancholy, muscle tension, nausea and vomiting. It is also applied externally to treat headaches and pain. It is used during labor uterine contractions and menstrual pain.
Uses of Cinnamon Spice in Food Industry
Cinnamon is largely used for adding flavor in food. It is used in beverages, boiled beef, pickles, chutneys and ketchup. It is also used in various types of meat, fast food seasonings, sauces, baked foods, confectionary, cola drinks, tobacco flavors, dental and pharmaceutical preparations. Cassia buds are used in pot-pourri. In baking it is used for both coloring and flavoring.
In Western cuisine it is mainly used in sweet dishes, while in eastern cuisine it is primarily used in savory dishes. In Europe it is used to spice mulled wines, creams and syrups. In Mexico it is used in coffee, tea and chocolates. It is used to flavor lamb tagines and stuffed aubergines in Middle Eastern and North African dishes. In USA cinnamon spice is used for de-odouring or masking foods. In Indian foods, it is widely used in curries and garam masala. Germans and Italians use cassia for manufacturing chocolates.
Cinnamon Spice Wholesalers and Simply Organic Spices – GFN Food Sales
GFN Food Sales are herb wholesalers and bulk herbs producers. Cinnamon is a well known simply organic spice used across the world. We are well known Spice Distributors of Cinnamon. As Spice wholesalers we provide the finest quality of cinnamon at best rates. If you are interested in buying cinnamon or any other spice then do call us at 323-203-1633 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our sales team will assist you in every possible way.