There is real and false cinnamon. Real Cinnamomum zeylanicum appeared in the XV century, when the merchants from Portugal discovered Ceylon. Earlier people have mostly used Cassamomum cassia, also called "cassia", "false" or "Chinese cinnamon".
They look very similar and even have an identical taste, however they are made from the bark of different plants. They are very difficult to distinguish, especially if you have a ground product. On the label you can find information about the origin of ground spices in the package. But if you prefer to buy spices for weight, it will be almost impossible to determine what sort of cinnamon you have got.
Usually we use it for cooking, but it also has a number of healing properties. So, it is used to improve immunity and as a treatment of colds, it helps to solve problems with digestion and to get rid of periodic women pains. Some people use it to cure diabetes.
This unique plant contains a large number of antioxidants. In addition to the powder, oil is also popular. Cinnamon oil has an antimicrobial effect, but like other essential oils it should be used only diluted to avoid skin burns. Warming ointments that treat many diseases, ranging from cold and flu to rheumatism, are produced on the basis of the essential oil.
This spice has a warming effect, so in winter it is often added to teas, hot mulled wine, cocoa and other warming drinks.
Its composition can be called really unique: retinol, tocopherol, potassium, sodium, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, phytoncides, dietary fiber – and this is not a full list!
Thanks to the fact that the queen of spices is able to speed up the metabolic processes and blood circulation it is often used for weight loss, and it really works.
However, despite all the benefits of cinnamon, people with allergic reactions and children should use it with caution, as it can cause itching and irritation.
Cinnamon can cause different feelings. Someone is its fan, and someone does not even tolerate its smell. But it does not allow anybody to stay indifferent!