Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several Sassafras Cinnamon Trees and is used in both sweet and savory foods. While Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be “true cinnamon,” most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species, which are also referred to as “cassia.”
In several European languages, the word for cinnamon comes from the Latin word Cannella, a diminutive of canna, “tube,” from the way it curls up as it dries. Cassia is literally ‘the peel of the plant’ which is scraped off the Cinnamon tree.
The Hebrew Bible makes specific mention of this spice many times. First when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. In “Proverbs,” where the lover’s bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon, and in “Song of Solomon.” Which is a song describing the beauty of his beloved. Because cinnamon scents on her garments are like the smell of Lebanon.
Cassia was also part of the ketoret, the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (incense). It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service in Jerusalem. Psalm 45:8 mentions the garments of the king and Torah scholars that smelled of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
Cinnamon is harvested by growing the Sassafras Cinnamon Tree for two years, then coppicing it. The following year, about a dozen shoots will form from the roots. The branches harvested this way are processed by scraping off the outer bark, then beating the branch evenly with a hammer to loosen the inner bark. The inner bark is then pried out in long rolls. Only 0.5 mm (0.020 in) of the inner bark is used; the outer, woody portion is discarded, leaving meter-long cinnamon strips that curl into rolls (“quills”) on drying. Once dry, the bark is cut into 5- to 10-cm (2- to 4-in) lengths for sale.
The bark must be processed immediately after harvesting while still wet. Once processed, the bark will dry completely in four to six hours, provided it is in a well-ventilated and relatively warm environment. A less-than-ideal drying environment encourages the proliferation of pests in the bark, which may then require treatment by fumigation. Bark treated this way is not considered to be of the same premium quality as untreated bark.
Cinnamon has many health benefits, it helps the pancreas function by transferring sugar from the blood into insulin. Cinnamon is made from the bark of the tree, which is different from the cinnamon taken from the leaves. Cinnamon is also Anti-inflammatory; it kills ants, bugs, and mice.
It is a great preservative and is very active in getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and infections. It combats colds, flu, and streptococcus. Chew a cinnamon stick if you have a sore throat or heartburn. Cinnamon cleanses out the lymph nodes, its characteristics are very similar to black pepper, and it relaxes and is an analgesic. Holistically it is taken to reduce fears and chronic stress.
Cinnamon heat is great to use to heat cold hands and feet. Place a couple of drops into your shoes twice a day for cold feet, and is never used directly on the skin.
Cinnamon protects the heart emotionally and physically. Great for muscle pain, periods, or intense fatigue to the point of apathy. For mental fatigue, cinnamon is a great pick-me-up; when blended together with bergamot, they are amazing confidence boosters.
Cinnamon stimulates the blood and causes sweating this is not for use for people who have high blood pressure or for pregnant women.
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