Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cinnamon, the Queen of Spices

This spice was the cause of major wars between the great powers of Europe. It inspired Vasco da Gama to discover the sea route to India, and this was the plant that was the inspiration behind the discovery of America.
The cinnamon is a small , handsome tree with shiny leaves, which is a native of India and Sri Lanka. Its bark is what we use in our cooking. Highly skilled workers in the cinnamon plantations of Kerala, peel the bark from lopped off branches.
This tree is planted as an ornamental roadside tree in my neighbourhood. Whenever there is a shower, I walk past it to inhale the fragrance of the leaves.
Cinnamon is very effective in controlling blood sugar levels. Honey and cinnamon taken together , reduce cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system.


  1. My great grandfather grew this in Grenada on his estate. I am trying to get a treeling to plant in my garden to remind me of Grenada "the spice isle". I really need to take a trip to my island of birth. When am not feeling well I make a tea with orange peel and cinnamon.

  2. I have a similar looking plant (with those characteristic leaf veins) growing by itself in my garden for quite some time. After reading your post, I broke off a leaf, crushed it to smell, and wow, it's a cinammon plant! Vasco da Gama's legacy? I'm going to take good care of it now! Do you know if it requires lots of sun?

  3. Islandgal:What a nice recipe for a refreshing tea! I am going to make it just now.
    Shailaja: How exciting! The cinnamon doesn't seem to need too much sun. I have seen it growing in the shady plantations of North Canara.

  4. How wonderful to see the cinnamon tree in your post! I haven't seen one in ages but when we were kids our locality had cinnamon growing wild. We used to scrape off bits of the bark just to taste/inhale the wonderful spice. Sadly enough, the cinnamon jungle has disappeared in the name of development.

  5. Kanak, it is the same case here too. Many of the forests have disappeared in the name of development.