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CINNAMON (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Common cinnamon comes from the dried inner bark of shoots from the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), a member of the laurel family. The majority of Cinnamon trees grow in the tropics of Sri Lanka and Sumatra.
          The Chinese, who have used cinnamon for centuries, covet the premium grades, which are large whole pieces up to a foot long that form a tube several inches in diameter. This high quality Chinese cinnamon is sweeter and of greater medicinal use than common cinnamon. However, for purposes of folk medicine, the common type of cinnamon is ideal.
          Most of us are familiar with cinnamon and add it to desserts, tea and foods. But most people have no idea about its origins and history. After reading a book on the history of medicine, you will discover the amazing colorful past of spices.
          On the famous Spice route from the exotic lands of the East, cinnamon was one of the main spices imported by the Arabs. In ancient Greece and Arabia, cinnamon oil was used for wound healing as well as other aromatic oils. The ancient people knew from observed experience that the spices worked. Science has now proven that many spices are antiseptic and antibacterial.
          Cinnamon strengthens and harmonizes the circulation. Cinnamon is an excellent expectorant (helps you cough up mucus), warms the kidneys, and promotes strong digestion. As a diaphoretic (induces sweat ), cinnamon helps sweat out a cold or flu. Use the following formula: Combine 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon licorice. Gently simmer in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Drink one cup every three hours. As a digestive aid, use it alone or mix with equal amounts of cardamom and ginger powders. Use 1/4 teaspoon of this combination in hot water and add honey if desired.

Precautions: Large doses of cinnamon are not recommended for pregnant women ( sprinkled on food is fine). Individuals with wasting diseases ( accompanied by weight loss, and emaciation), or people with excessive dryness or heat should use cinnamon in small amounts only.

Wisdom from the Ages

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