Say it ain’t so! Americans have been using FAKE cinnamon all this time? Well, kind of. Because quality is critically important to our wellness, I only use Ceylon Cinnamon in all of my blends.
Egyptians were the first to use cinnamon over 4,000 years ago. It was a very rare and expensive spice, often given to royalty as a gift. Additionally, the Bible cites the use of cinnamon to help people fight illnesses.
Cinnamon is strips of the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree that are dried until they roll up into sticks (or quills as they are also known as).
To date, approximately 250 species of cinnamon have been identified because the cinnamon tree is grown all over the world, with different species being found on different continents.
NOW SIT DOWN!
The most common species that we use every day in America (and the rest of the world, for that matter) is actually not considered a TRUE cinnamon – it’s cassia! Cassia *Cinnamon* is what we typically see as “cinnamon sticks” but it’s *not* the more valuable cinnamon, called Ceylon (or “true cinnamon” as deemed by the culinary world). Cassia is not only considered lower quality (and cheap) but it can also be toxic (loaded with courmarin) if ingested in larger amounts. So that cinnamon we sprinkle on our pancakes might just not be a good idea anymore if it’s not specifically stated as “Ceylon.”
Did you know? The FDA actually allows cassia to be labeled as generically as cinnamon with no differentiation between the 2 species.
Ceylon Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. Ceylon comes from Sri Lanka and it’s tan-brown bark has very soft layers. It’s much more expensive than cassia and has a mildly sweet flavor. So let’s talk about the potential benefits of Ceylon cinnamon.
1. Allergy relief: fights to reduce inflammation and histamine reactions Studies have concluded that those with allergies can find relief thanks to the benefits of cinnamon’s compounds.
2. Supports the immune system with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties
3. Helps to regulate blood sugar levels
4. Supports cardiovascular functions & heart health
5. May help halt Alzheimer’s onset: http://bit.ly/2J1wkxo
6. A ton of other research can be found here: http://bit.ly/2J0qVGJ
Buyer beware! The next time you’re out to buy cinnamon, make sure to ask if it is Ceylon and splurge just for the health of it.