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Cinnamon, one of the world's most popular spices!

Cinnamon is an ancient herbal medicine mentioned in Chinese texts as long ago as 4,000 years. Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt for embalming. In ancient times, it was added to food to prevent spoiling. During the Bubonic Plague, sponges were soaked in cinnamon & cloves, and placed in sick rooms.

Cinnamon is also known by the names Cassia, Sweet Wood, and Gui Zhi. The part of this plant used medicinally are the dried inner bark of the shoots, and the oil distilled from the bark and leaves.

Cinnamon was the most sought after spice during explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries. It has also been burned as an incense. The smell of Cinnamon is pleasant, stimulates the senses, yet calms the nerves. Its smell is reputed to attract customers to a place of business.

Most Americans consider Cinnamon a simple flavoring, but in traditional Chinese medicine, it's one of the oldest remedies, prescribed for everything from diarrhea and chills to influenza and parasitic worms. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a small Southeast Asian evergreen tree, and is available as an oil, extract, or dried powder.

Cinnamon has a broad range of historical uses in different cultures, including the treatment of diarrhea, rheumatism, and certain menstrual disorders. Traditionally, the bark was believed best for the torso, the twigs for the fingers and toes. Research has highlighted hypoglycemic properties, useful in diabetes.

While most Americans consider Cinnamon a simple flavoring, traditional Chinese medicine has prescribed this herb everything from diarrhea and chills to influenza and parasitic worms. The common name Cinnamon encompasses many varieties, including Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum saigonicum, which are used interchangeably with Cinnamomum zeylanicum.

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