Cinamon (Cinnamomum Schaeff L.)

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 Family. Lauraceae General knowledge 

Cinnamon trees are native to Southeast Asia and Australia. Several species are cultivated in the European, Asian and American tropics and subtropics. Cinnamon has been used as a spice since ancient times, also in cult ceremonies. Cinnamon is important in Chinese, Greek, and Arab history. In China, cinnamon has been known since more than 2800 BC. Both Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon are used as spices, but Ceylon cinnamon is more appreciated because of its more subtle aroma. 

Botanical description 

Cinnamon trees grow up to 15 m tall. The bark of the stems is reddish-brown. The leaves are continuous, leathery, and smooth-textured. Flowers are bisexual, small, whitish or greenish, clustered in panicles. Blooms in January. Matures in June-July. Fruit is a berry or stone fruit. 

Cultivation and preparation 

Cinnamon grows in damp places. Cinnamon flowers are obtained only from cultivated seedlings, which are planted close to bodies of water, as the plant prefers groundwater. After a few years, the trunks are cut back to allow the shoots to grow on the stumps. These shoots are cut again after 2 years and the leaves are harvested. Circular cuts are then made in the bark about 20 cm apart, which are joined together by longitudinal cuts. The bark is peeled off with special knives and the outer layer is removed. The cleaned pieces are placed one inside the other and dried in an open sunny place. During drying, the cinnamon takes on a yellowish-brown hue, and the edges of the bark clamp inwards to form double sticks. 

Active ingredients 

– Cinnamon’s characteristic scent is due to its essential oil (up to 6%), the main components of which are cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. Cinnamon also contains fats, mannitol, resins, mucilage, yeasts, and calcium oxalate. Cinnamon essential oil is obtained by steam distillation. 

Therapeutic effects 

It has a blood-thinning, antispasmodic and antimicrobial effect. Cinnamon harmonizes and strengthens blood circulation and is excellent for sweating and expectorant for colds and flu. Cinnamon oil can be used for stomach ailments but is not used in practice, apparently because of its strong smell. Sometimes cinnamon oil is used in stomach teas to improve the taste. In folk medicine, cinnamon tea weakens the abundant Constructions. Cinnamon infusions are recommended for weak stomach ailments such as insufficient secretion of digestive juices. 

One teaspoon of ground cinnamon is poured over 400 ml of boiling water and kept for 10 minutes. Drink a cup 4 times a day before meals for dyspepsia, hyperacidity of gastric juices, and nervous disorders. 

The essential, spirit, and aqueous extracts of cinnamon kill 15 disease-causing bacteria, including tuberculosis bacteria. 

In Indian medicine, cinnamon, like ginger, is an almost universal remedy, a component of a widely used triad (cardamom and bay leaves). These three aromas strengthen and harmonize blood circulation, the heart, and the small intestines, and improve the absorption and action of medicines. Cinnamon is excellent sweating, fever-reducing, expectorant, and particularly effective for people with an asthenic build. 

Like other spices, cinnamon has a detoxifying effect, removing the poisonous effects of opium. Cinnamon’s ability to modulate and elevate mood is particularly noteworthy. As a mood modulator, cinnamon is recommended for nervous shocks, malaise, memory problems, and for multiple sclerosis, parkinsonism, and depression. 

In addition to stimulating digestion, cinnamon stimulates appetite. It is taken for insomnia, and high blood pressure. Cinnamon powder is simply drunk for this purpose or is often used as a spice. 

Cinnamon is not recommended for people with stomach or intestinal ulcers or for pregnant women. 

Uses for spices 

Cinnamon has a strong, distinctive aroma and a spicy, aromatic, bitter, and sweet taste. It is a flavor match with other spicy and pungent spices and is particularly suitable with cherries and apples. Many people like cinnamon in coffee and tea. 

Less well-known uses of cinnamon are in poultry: turkey, goose, duck. A small amount of cinnamon is added to minced meat. Its flavor is imparted to all meat. Cinnamon is present in spice mixes for grilled chicken. A small amount of cinnamon is added to veal, chops, and chops just before cooking. Gourmets season cooked fish, beef, and pork with cinnamon. Cinnamon is present in the Indian spice mix for curries. 

Cinnamon is suitable for egg dishes, sauces, and marinades for fish. In the East, cinnamon is used to flavor plov. In Central Asia, cinnamon is added to salads, cold poultry starters, lamb dishes, and offal. In Russian cuisine, it is used to flavor milky and sweet soups, porridges, pancakes, marinated and smoked fish, and some lamb dishes. The peoples of Transcaucasia use cinnamon in cold snacks made from poultry, meat, vegetables, beans, and in various soups, such as kharcho. And cinnamon is a must in hot dishes of lamb, veal, pork, poultry, fish, and vegetables, as well as in porridges and sauces. 

A serving of 0,3-0,5 g of cinnamon per dish is sufficient. Cinnamon should be added to hot dishes 10 minutes before the end of cooking. 

Cinnamon is suitable with cloves, allspice, lemon and orange peel, nutmeg, vanilla, coriander, and star anise. 

It is advisable to buy cinnamon in small quantities, as the powder loses its aroma quickly. The bark remains aromatic for 3-4 years.

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