Is there anything more heart warming than the smell of cinnamon wafting through your home on a chilly Sunday afternoon?
If you’re like me, you’ve most likely sprinkled this earth-toned spice over your hot chocolate or into your French toast mix for some extra sweetness. Cinnamon infuses a distinct taste into your meal and creates a smoky, sweet aroma in the process. Win-win!
While Indonesia and China produce over 70 per cent of the world’s cinnamon, Zanzibar does farm its fair share of this aromatic spice. The East African archipelago (also known as Spice Island) was used as a spice plantation by Omani Empire, leaving behind many spice farms hundreds of years later.
And while the island is known for its production of cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and cinnamon, our focus today is on the latter.
Benefits of Cinnamon
Most people assume cinnamon is only used for its aromatic element but this age old spice has been used for hundreds of years for its medicinal value too.
In fact, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon contains four grams of fibre, zero grams of fat and sugar, 68% manganese and 8% calcium.
Here are 4 incredible benefits of this spice:
- It is loaded with antioxidants.
- Helps fight diabetes due to its blood sugar lowering effect.
- Fights allergies due to its anti inflammatory effects.
- Helps with dental health and hygiene.
4 Uncommon Uses Cinnamon
While on a spice farm tour in Kidichi, Zanzibar, I discovered some very uncommon uses of this spice that the Swahili islanders have used for years.
- To help fight asthma, mix a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one tablespoon of honey and one cup of milk.
- Believe it or not, cinnamon is also used as pesticides but only to deter ants, not kill them.
- Lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL) and all you need is one teaspoon of the spice mixed with warm water taken before a meal.
- For high relief and a cooling menthol feel, take the root of the cinnamon tree and cook with coconut oil then rub the oil on your chest and/or face.