Friday, September 16, 2005

Cinnamon



A report recently came out that cinnamon lowers blood sugar. This is on my list, but it is a little expensive. On the other hand, for diabetics this would be an important plant to have growing in their house.
Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree, of which there are about 100 different species, all with similar aromatic properties. The two most commonly available varieties are Ceylonese cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon. Chinese cinnamon, which is actually from the bark of the cassia tree, is not considered a true cinnamon (species Cinnamomum verum). Grown in Southern China, and other parts of Eastern Asia, cassia is a dark reddish color and stronger in flavor than its Ceylonese cousin (Cinnamomum zeylancium). Cassia is less expensive to process than true cinnamons and is the type of "cinnamon" most commonly sold in supermarkets--though it is sometimes blended with Ceylonese cinnamon.

I wonder, since there are 100 different varieties, if they all work to lower blood sugar or if only the true cinnamon works, as the article doesn't say exactly which variety was used. Probably any variety, as the cinnamon sticks in the anecdote were most probably the cassia variety.

You can buy cinnamon plants here and here if you live in Florida. It's much cheaper to buy seeds here.

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