Cinnamon has been used by humans for thousands of years. Probably since 2,000 B.C. Egyptians employed it among related spice cassia, as a perfuming agent during the embalming process. Cinnamon was even mentioned in Old Testament as an ingredient in anointing oil.
Use of cinnamon became a status symbol in Europe in the Middle Ages. All because the Arabs transported cinnamon via cumbersome land routes, resulting in a limited, expensive supply.
But when middle class began to seek upward mobility, they started to purchase the luxury goods that were once only available to noble classes. That made cinnamon particularly desirable as it could be, used as a preservative for meats during the winter.
Despite its popularity, the origins of cinnamon was the Arab merchants’ best-kept secret until the early 16th century. To maintain their monopoly on the cinnamon trade and justify its exorbitant price, Arab traders wove colorful tales for their buyers about where and how they obtained the luxury spice.
Struggling to meet increasing demand, European explorers set out to find the spice’s mysterious source. Both Christopher Columbus and Gonzalo Pizarro, a Spanish explorer, sought cinnamon in the New World. Pizarro even traveled the Amazon hoping to find the “pais de la canela,” or “cinnamon country.”
And finally around 1518, Portuguese traders discovered cinnamon at Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka.
Today cinnamon is best known as a spice that we sprinkle on toast or lattes. There are many different types of cinnamon, but darker-colored cassia is the most popular one.
What about Health Benefits?
Well some research shows cassia cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Cinnamon also shows promise as an antioxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory
Cinnamon helps to slow signs of aging. As our skin ages, it produces less collagen and elastin—the proteins that help keep skin smooth and supple. Many of lotion and creams claim to help increase production of these proteins, but let me tell you, cinnamon extract may actually do the job without the help of extra chemicals!
Another beauty benefits of cinnamon is combating acne. To make one great-smelling acne mask, simply combine 3 tablespoons of honey with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon to form a paste. Leave it on your skin for 10 minutes, then wash it off and enjoy your refreshed face. YOU ARE WELCOME!
Cinnamon also can help with reducing some of the bad effects of eating high-fat foods. Its effect on blood glucose levels can also help your body ultimately lose weight.