Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices in the world. It was mentioned in the Bible and was used in ancient Egypt not only as a beverage flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent. It was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold. Around this time, cinnamon also received much attention in China, which is reflected in its mention in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2,700 B.C.

Cinnamon's popularity continued throughout history. It became one of the most relied upon spices in Medieval Europe. Due to its demand, cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe.

Cinnamon was among the most sought after spices during the 16th century. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who came in search of the spice trade, had a significant impact on the South Asian world. Prior to this, Arabian nations played a leading role in the Cinnamon trade. They used the overland route to take these spices to the Indian subcontinent, then to the Middle East, and finally to Europe.

The Portuguese were the first modern Europeans to trade in true Cinnamon from Sri Lanka, but they were soon overtaken by the Dutch through the Dutch East India Company. In the 17th century, the Dutch seized the world's largest Cinnamon supplier Ceylon, from the Portuguese. When the Dutch learned of a source of Cinnamon along the coast of India, they bribed and threatened the local king to destroy it all, thus preserving their monopoly on the prized spice. Systematic cultivation of Cinnamon in Sri Lanka was commenced by the Dutch, and by the time the British took over, there was an estimated 15,000-16,000 hectares under cultivation, mainly along the western coastal belt of the Island. Even after the World War II, Sri Lanka continues to be the leading producer of “True Cinnamon” in the world.

Ceylon cinnamon could only be planted and produced in Sri Lanka. Today, Cinnamon is known to have naturalized in Madagascar and Seychelles after many attempts, although does not give the same quality as founded in Sri Lanka.

Uses of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is used for a large variety of purposes. Cinnamon has a significant role in the world of culinary all around world as well as an amazing value for medicinal uses.

Other Uses
  • Perfumery
  • Aromatherapy
  • Soaps
  • Cigarettes
  • Cosmetics