Categories : NATURAL REMEDIES
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What we know by the name of cinnamon (or cinnamon) can identify different plants of the Lauraceae family, in particular Cinnamomum zeylanicum, (native of Sri Lanka, hazelnut colored and more expensive) and Cinnamomum cassia (originally from the China with a harsher and cheaper aroma, often added to the former). Cinnamon is a spice available both in powdered form and in small dried bark cylinders (called cannelli).
Recognizing cassia from Ceylon cinnamon (Sri Lanka) is possible because the former is much less aromatic and presents with a more wrinkled and reddish appearance. Another indication of quality is the thickness of the torches: the thinner they are, the more quality the drug is. Cinnamon is a source of essential oil made up mostly of cinnamine aldehyde, it contains tannins (antioxidant substances) and coumarin, a moderately toxic substance for kidneys and liver.
The therapeutic properties of cinnamon are many and already known in Ancient Egypt and by the Romans. It is a powerful natural antioxidant, it stimulates blood circulation and helps fight cholesterol. It has antibacterial (exploited in Ancient Egypt for the embalming of the dead), antiseptic, stimulant and digestive properties. According to recent studies it would seem useful for those suffering from type 2 diabetes due to the presence of a particular polyphenol which would have an action similar to that of insulin. Cinnamon stimulates the immune system and is a good natural remedy for colds, flu, diarrhea, flatulence and dyspepsia due to the antimicrobial and astringent action. In Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine it is used for cold-related ailments (as it has a warming effect) and against menstrual pain. Already in ancient Rome, cinnamon was presented as an aphrodisiac spice but it was in the sixteenth century that the stimulating effect on sexual level of this drug was sanctioned by several medical treatises. Cinnamon seems to fight nervous hunger, it is therefore a perfect condiment for those who follow slimming diets.
Its flavor is very particular, it is in fact spicy and sweet at the same time. Today cinnamon is used for mainly sweet preparations: cakes, biscuits, fruit, candies and creams. It can also give a particular touch to ice cream, fruit salad and ricotta. Many drinks are characterized by the spicy aroma of cinnamon, for example mulled wine, sangria, liqueurs and punch. Even in savory recipes, cinnamon finds its dimension as a flavoring for fish or meat broth, in risotto and in sweet and sour dishes. Especially in oriental cuisine it is easy to find a note of cinnamon in meat dishes or salty sauces, also because it is one of the spices used for curry. Cinnamon sticks are preferable to powder where the preparation of the dish allows it because they maintain the aroma longer. For example in creams and sauces they can be immersed in the liquid during cooking and removed at the end.
In the nineteenth century, cinnamon was so widespread that when in the cookbooks there was talk of "a pinch of spices or drugs", it meant 4 precise spices and cinnamon was among them, together with cloves, pepper and nutmeg.
(Article by Stefania Puma from Cure-naturali.it)
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