Cinnamon is a common spice that is found in most srilankan kitchens.
It is used in whole form as well as powdered form. The texture of the cinnamon resembles a tree bark and rightly so as it is extracted by shaving the branches of trees of the Cinnamomum family. The bark is then dried which leads to its curling. There are four types of cinnamon available to us- Ceylon cinnamon, Korintje cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon. While Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, Korintje cinnamon belongs to Indonesia and Saigon belongs to Vietnam.
Ceylon cinnamon- This cinnamon variant has a light brown colour and is also known as ‘true cinnamon’. It has a quill-like shape and is very easy to break. It has multiple inward rolls, which is why it can be easily identified. Ceylon cinnamon contains very few amounts of coumarin, a natural plant chemical that can cause liver damage.
Cassia cinnamon- This cinnamon variant is darker in colour and has a strong aroma and flavour. Just a bit of Cassia cinnamon is enough to spruce up your dish. It has a hard texture and has just a single inward roll. Cassia cinnamon has large amounts of coumarin, which can affect the liver if consumed regularly and in large amounts. On the other hand, coumarin also helps in blood thinning which is helpful for people taking hepatotoxic medications.
While the cinnamon powder is used in a variety of bakery recipes such as cakes, bread and cookies, whole cinnamon sticks are often used in food photography. A number of detox and weight loss drinks are also made using cinnamon which has fat-cutting properties. Another product that is made from cinnamon is cinnamon oil. It is added to toothpaste, mouthwashes, soaps, detergents, body lotions and some cosmetics as well.
Ceylon cinnamon is a powerhouse of nutrients and helps your body in a variety of different ways. The oils found in Ceylon cinnamon are said to soothe spasms, lower cholesterol and reduce gas pain in the abdomen. Little amounts of cinnamon can also stimulate your appetite. Ceylon cinnamon is also said to be effective for diabetes patients, as it helps in lowering blood sugar. Cinnamon tea also helps in weight loss and also soothes menstrual cramps. A compound called ‘tannins’ found in Ceylon cinnamon can help in healing wounds by acting as an astringent.
Cinnamon drink or Cinnamon tea is a super effective detox drink that can help in shedding weight. Here is how you can prepare this super easy drink in no time. Either drink it in the morning on an empty stomach or 30-40 minutes before retiring to bed.
Ingredients required- 1 ½ cup water, 1 inch of Ceylon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon honey, 4-5 tulsi leaves and a few drops of lemon juice.
Pour the water in a pan. Add cinnamon and tulsi leaves. Let it come to a boil. Now cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on medium-high flame for 5-6 minutes. Now take the lid off and stir a bit. You have to simmer the water till it reduces to just one cup. Once done, strain the water in a cup and add lemon juice as per your taste. Lastly, mix a teaspoon of honey in it and sip it warm.