Cinnamon is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree. When dried it rolls into a tubular form. It is available as sticks or as ground powder.

There are more than hundred varieties of cinnamon, but the well known varieties are Ceylon cinnamon and the Chinese cinnamon which is known as cassia. Both are relatively similar in characteristics and feature a fragrant, sweet and warm taste, the flavour of the Ceylon variety is more refined and subtle. The Chinese variety is the cheap one.

Ceylon cinnamon is produced in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean, while cassia is mainly produced in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

It is a good source of manganese, calcium, iron and dietary fibre.

The health benefits of cinnamon include:

• Anti-clotting actions
• Anti-microbial activity
• Blood sugar control in type-2 diabetes patients
• Improves colon health
• Protects against heart disease
• Used as a medicine in the Traditional Medicine

With all these good qualities still Cinnamon is a spice and should not be eaten in excess.