Before I start to scare you
about cinnamon, let me tell you that cinnamon was a highly prized commodity in
ancient times. It was deemed fit for kings and gods. It is a native to Bangladesh, Srilanka, Malabar Coast of India and
It found its way into the Western world through the Arab traders, Venetian traders,
Portuguese and Dutch traders.
There are two types of
cinnamon available. One is the true or Ceylon cinnamon and the other is
dried cassia bark or cassia cinnamon. Now you might wonder, she writes about
the history, the varieties and what does she actually want to say about?
Coumarin is the substance which gives the cinnamon its delicious aroma. This substance
caused the historically famous sweet clover disease.
Coumarin is moderately toxic
to liver and kidneys. Researchers found that the true cinnamon or the Ceylon cinnamon
which is generally very expensive has little coumarin. But the cheaper variety the
cassia cinnamon has large amounts of this substance.
The sad news is that this
cassia cinnamon is being used to flavor foods such as breads, sticky buns,
beverages and food supplements mainly in the US. This is according to the
researchers. I don’t have any idea about the other parts of the world.
Very high quantities of
coumarin in cassia cinnamon may be harmful to people with liver damage. A health
alert is being issued to all people suffering from liver and kidney problems, diabetes
and breast cancer. It would do a world of good if you stop using cinnamon.