Cinnamomum Zeylanicum or Cinnamomum verum, more commonly known as cinnamon, is an evergreen tropical plant originating from India and Malaysia but originating from Sri Lanka.
Belonging to the Lauraceae family, it grows spontaneously in inland areas of forests,
in optimal conditions the specimens can reach a height of over 12 meters.
Description and location of crops
The scientific name, whose meaning was translated into "fragrant plant from China", originates from the union of two terms used in the Arabic language "kin" and "anomon".
In ancient times, in Italy cinnamon was erroneously called by the name cinnamomo, in reality the use of this name can refer only to another kind of cinnamon, that coming from China.
Currently the largest exporter of cinnamon in the world is Sri Lanka, but cultivations have also extended to other areas with a tropical climate (Sumatra, Java, Seychelles, Jamaica, Brazil).
Using the term cinnamon refers to the spice obtained from the bark of two different plant species (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum and Cinnamomum Cassia) belonging to the same genus Cinnamomum.
Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, also known as cinnamon queen has a delicate and thin bark. You select the bark of tree branches that are about three years old, then it is dried. The characteristic rolled appearance is created spontaneously during the drying process. Brown in color, smooth to the touch.
Cinnamomum Cassia, also called Chinese cinnamon, belongs to the Fabaceae family, and is native to China. After being dried, the bark is wrinkled to the touch with a color that fades to gray. Of a decidedly lower quality than the queen cinnamon, it is produced mainly in Sumatra, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Ancient traditions and curiosity from the world of cinnamon
According to Chinese tradition, cinnamon is one of the oldest spices, its use is traced back to 2,700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Traces of cinnamon were found in the essences used by the ancient Egyptians during the embalming processes.
The Greek historian Herodotus thought that cinnamon was used by the Phoenix, the famous mythological bird, for the construction of its own nest.
In the 1600s, cinnamon was considered a precious commodity, so much so that its color was adopted by the Corporazione degli Speziali as the official color of its uniforms.
Properties of Cinnamon and use in phytotherapy
Composed primarily of tannins, cinnamyl acetate, essential oil, cinnamic aldehyde, and eugenol, astringent, antimicrobial and eupeptic properties are attributed to cinnamon.
According to popular medicine, cinnamon is useful in cases of intestinal parasites, infantile dysentery and to regularize the menstrual cycle in women.
It is used in modern phytotherapy in the form of essential oil or in small pieces made from dried bark, to treat colds, intestinal disorders, flatulence and dyspepsia.
Recent studies have shown the ability of cinnamon to reduce glycemic levels, it must be said, however, that the effect is modest, to obtain a truly satisfactory result very high doses should be used, for this reason it is not absolutely advisable to replace or abandon the traditional therapy to use this remedy.
Cinnamon can be used to treat gingivitis in the form of a mouthwash.
It should be remembered that the dosages recommended to obtain benefits from the use of cinnamon vary from 700 to 1,400 mg per day.
Before starting a phytotherapeutic treatment it is important to know that there are side effects, first of all it is not recommended to use this spice during pregnancy, with its use uterine contractions can be stimulated.
Other possible symptoms in case of overdose or allergies are: skin reactions, sweating and tachycardia.
Cinnamon and beauty recipes
With cinnamon you can create some natural beauty recipes.
For example of bath salts, we see the recipe and the ingredients necessary for its realization:
Bath salts based on cinnamon and cardamom
Necessary ingredients: 1 kg of coarse salt, 100 grams of cinnamon sticks, 100 grams of cardamom.
Grind until the powdered cinnamon and cardamom are reduced to powder. Then sieve all the spices, pour into a large bowl, add the coarse salt.
To enhance the scent and properties of the bath salts obtained, it is enough to preserve everything
inside a hermetically sealed non-metallic container.
How to use the bath salts: slowly dissolve six teaspoons of bath salt in warm water, stirring slowly.