Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Tamil: Lavangam, Karuvapattai
Telugu: Lavanga Patta, Dalcina
Kannada: Dalcinni, Lavana Patte, Chakke
Parts Used: Bark
Habitat: Indigenous to India and Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. The cinnamon trees are about 10 to 15 meters high. The light brown, papery bark and leathery leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, with a length of 7 to 18 cm. The green flowers are arranged in panicles and have a distinct odor. The tree bears purple berries with a single seed. Cinnamon has a fragrant perfume and a sweet and aromatic taste.
Uses & Benefits of Cinnamon
- Since it is delicate in flavour, cinnamon is used in dessert dishes. It is widely used in cakes and other baked recipe, along with milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, especially apples and pears.
- Cinnamon is also used to spice mulled wines, creams and syrups.
- Consuming half teaspoon of the powdered spice each day helps in reducing blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels by as much as 20%.
- It is used to treat nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.
- Chewing and swallowing a small pinch of powdered cinnamon is helpful in treating cough accompanied by spitting of whitish phlegm. The remedy is also helpful to people having cold feet and hands at night.
- The spice is significant in treating loss of appetite and indigestion.
- Cinnamon helps in relieving vomiting, due to its mild astringency.
- Cinnamon has an anti-clotting effect on blood.
Cinnamon should not be consumed by breastfeeding women. The spice is known to cause unwanted effects in sensitive individuals.
It can be toxic if it is taken in large doses.