Arab Merchants’ Masked Secret! – Cinnamons (Lavangapattai) And Their Nutritional Boons!

3 min read

Cinnamon is also called lavangapattai in Tamilnadu. Yeah, Nobody would try to bite and munch the whole piece of lavangapattai present in our favourite Briyani feast!

If you are a hater of cinnamon sticks, make a meal by the recipe of Briyani not adding cinnamon and name it pulao! Cinnamon is such a powerful spice to make the whole dining room ambrosial. There can be nothing better than a plateful of quintessential  briyani made with succulent pieces of meat and scented spices!

Okay, let me come out of Briyani lol!
Cinnamon has been in use by humans for thousands of years as early as 2000 BC.
Cinnamon was particularly desirable as it could be used as a preservative of meat during winter. Despite of the widespread use of the middle ages, the origin of cinnamons was the Arab merchants’ best kept secret until the early 16th century to maintain their monopoly on the trade and justify it’s expensive price.

Another interesting thing for you! Let’s all go back to the 5 th century! Greek historian Herodutus said that large sized birds used to carry those cinnamon sticks to their nests and perched on narrowed peaks of  mountains which is impossible for any humans to climb.

As he said, people living in their habitats would leave large pieces of ox meat below these nests for the birds to collect. When the bird bring the meat to the nest, it’s weigh would cause the nests to fall on the ground allowing the cinnamon sticks to be collected. This story reminds me of the idiom “stealing someone’s thunder” 🙁

Cinnamon such a highly prized ingredient in ancient Egypt, where people used to value it more than gold (like saffron nowdays). It was used in array of different processes like foods, drinks, perfume products and even to embalming agent.

So, what’s so valuable about cinnamon? Let’s dive straight to the nutritional benefits of cinnamon!


Nutritional Boons Of Cinnamon

1. Loaded With Antioxidants

Generally,there are two types of cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon – which is also called true cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon – the most common variety found today.

These cinnamons are loaded with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are reducing agents, which protects the body against oxidative stress and associated pathologies such as coronary heart disease etc.


2. Natural Food Preservative!

Cinnamon has natural antifungal properties, to preserve food. Researchers concluded that cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon extract has ability to inhibit the  staphylococcus aureus growth.


3. Prevents Alzhiemer’s Disease

Alzheimer disease is a progressive irreversible brain disorder with an unclear etiology and no cure. According to researchers, an extract present in cinnamon tract called CEppt contain properties that may prevent symptoms from developing.

Animals studies shows that the most which consumed cinnamon extracts showed decreased symptom of Alzhiemer’s disease and improvements in thinking and reasoning ability.


4. Eliminates Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that Big Red the popular  cinnamon flavoured chewing gum made by Wrigley’s reduced bacteria in the mouth that reduce bad breath.

Cinnamon contains an oil called cinnamaldehyde that reduces mouth bacteria. Boil one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with cardomom and bay leaf in water and rinse with it.


5. Is It True That Cinnamon Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels And Cholesterol Levels  In The Body?

Depsite the numerous studies,It is noy very clear that cinnamon could reduce blood sugar levels in the body. Results from a clinical study published in Diabetes care journal in 2003 suggest that cassia cinnamon improved blood glucose and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

A daily intake of 1-6 grams of cinnamon varshon to reduce serum glucose and triglycerides, cholesterol levels after 40 days among 60 middle aged diabetic people. ( You should also refer to the daily required intake according to your body weight! )

The research published in the American journal of clinical nutrition in 2007 shows that 6 grams of cinnamon slow stomach emptying and significantly reduces hyperglycemia after meals.


6. Does It Helps Wound Healing Also?

Cinnamon oil when applied externally, heals wounds quickly. In Ayurveda medicine, 2-5 drops of cinnamon oil is applied over the sites of insect bites to detoxify local area and to releive stinging pain.


7. We Shouldn’t Not Overconsume Cinnamon!

Casia Cinnamon is a rich source of coumarin. The coumarin content of ground casia may range 7- 18 milligrams per teaspoon (2.6 grams) while Ceylon cinnamon only contains trace amounts of coumarin.

The tolerable daily intake of coumarin is approximately 0.05 mg/ pounds (0.1 mg/kg of body weight) or 5 mg for a 59 kg person.

  • Several studies suggest that too much liver can cause liver toxicity and damage. A 73 year old developed sudden liver infection causing liver damage after taking cinnamon supplements continuously for a week.
  • Animal studies shows that overdosage of coumarin content may increase the risk of cancer .
  • May cause low blood sugar and breathing problems.

As Mark Twain said ” Too much of anything is bad”, let’s consider the daily required intake and utilise the amazing nutritional boons of cinnamon in a healthy way!


Reference Links:



Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.
Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

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