cinnamon

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This historic herb that has long been in the center of the trade interest between different countries starting from the ancient time to the middle ages is regarded as an exotic herb for various savory and sweet delicacies across various culinary traditions. But cinnamon as an herb is important for more reasons than its exotic aroma and culinary use. From ancient time to the present date in Indian Ayurveda or in various natural herbal traditions in orient or Middle East or Greek or Egypt, cinnamon has been a crucial herb with wide range of medicinal properties. From Persian cuisine to Indian Ayurveda to the ancient spice trade cinnamon has got many aspects to consider.

Description

The inner bark of a tropical tree of the Cinnamomum genus is commonly referred as the cinnamon herb which is either sold in stick or as crushed dust. Cinnamon produced in the adjoining Indian state of Kerala and the neighboring country of Sri Lanka is considered as having the best qualitative grade and it is historically coherent with the fact that first route of historic spice trade opened in the ports of this part of the world only. Due to the presence of an essential oil cinnamon is so aromatic and due to the interaction of this essential oil in cinnamon with oxygen in nature it takes dark color once the bark is taken out from the tree.

Culinary uses

Cinnamon throughout the world is widely used as a culinary spice for several dishes and culinary specialties, especially in sweet dishes like ice cream, deserts and fruit dishes as a flavor and taste adding spice. Especially because of its typical sweet aroma it is so preferred in sweet dishes. All over the Middle East cinnamon is used in chicken and lamb dishes for extra aroma and delicate taste. In Persian cuisine cinnamon probably has the widest range of uses starting from main starter dishes like soup or drinks or in mid course of meal or in sweet dishes.

Medicinal uses and research

Though in various ancient medicinal traditions and holistic therapies like Indian Ayurveda cinnamon already has been in use for centuries in the recent time medical research in cinnamon and in health benefits of this ancient herb has revealed a great array of medical facts and interactions that subsequently can help in elevating treatment of various diseases. For the presence of enough eugenol in cinnamon leaves and bark this herb can really do wonder as an antivirus. Various studies have also indicated on the cancer fighting properties of cinnamon as it is considered to be a great reserve of anti oxidant. Very recent medical studies even indicated on the positive effect of cinnamon in reducing blood glucose level in type II diabetes and also in inhibiting development in Alzheimer's disease.

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