Cinnamon, also called “true cinnamon,” comes from the sweetly scented bark of a small tree native to Sri Lanka. Used as early as 2700 BC, it is mentioned in the ancient Chinese medicinal texts, the Old Testament, and in ancient Egyptian scrolls explaining the embalming process. Cinnamon was undoubtedly one of the most important products of the Arabian spice trade, and became a highly sought-after commodity. By the late 1700s, the coastal provinces of Sri Lanka were conquered by the Dutch East India Company, and commercial cinnamon groves were planted.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower blood sugar in diabetics, ease arthritis, treat digestive disorders, and improve cholesterol. Cinnamaldehyde, the active compound in the spice, improves peripheral blood flow, making it a valuable tool for those with poor circulation.
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