Cinnamon ~ Most Wonderful ~ 09/09/07
Cinnamon is one of the most wonderful aromatic spices we can enjoy. Powdered cinnamon is made from the quills, the inner bark of the tree, although the whole tree has a cinnamon flavour - from the smallest twig and even the 8cm long leaves. It belongs to the Lauraceae family. Other members of this family include bay tree and avocado.
It is an attractive tree with glossy green leaves. All new young leaves are red, which make the new foliage a real eye catcher. Cinnamon is valued not only for its delightful aroma and flavouring benefits, but also for valuable therapeutic properties. It is anti- bacterial and has many applications against germs and bacteria. It is a natural antibiotic. Use cinnamon at the first signs of a cold, or to help clear the flu. When we use it to flavour food, or as a tea, it aids the digestion, and also works as a tonic, and some say as an aphrodisiac! Other uses include: to promote circulation for cold limbs, to relieve abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, peptic ulcers, candida, aches and pains, cramps, skin conditions, and lower blood pressure. USDA research has found cinnamon can stimulate glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis to a similar level as insulin.
The aromatic principles of cinnamon stimulate the appetite and get the digestive juices flowing in the mouth, which is a vital preliminary for the proper digestion of food. It is no accident that delightful aromas make our mouths water.
I enjoy sucking on a twig of the tree... you see cinnamon is one of my favourite spices. I have wonderful memories of my mother baking cinnamon buns, and the tantalising aroma wafting through the whole house. The buns tasted delicious.
Cinnamon leaves make a refreshing tea together with alfalfa leaves, fresh ginger and fresh orange peel... steep and enjoy