The Spice Council of Sri Lanka has begun a three year project to research whether Cinnamon can be used to control diabetes. The Chairman of the Spice Council of Sri Lanka Mr Sara De Silva revealed that, 650 diabetes patients visit to Peradeniya Hospital and National Diabetes Centre Battaramulla will be put on a test and monitored. The patients will be divided in to two groups and one group will be given a tablet containing Cinnamon while the other group given a tablet does not contain Cinnamon. If the researchers can prove excessive usage of tablets containing Cinnamon can control diabetes it will be a revolution in Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon trade. ‘University of Peradeniya and Ministry of Agriculture joint with us to perform this research to the International Standards. If we succeeded then the future of Sri Lankan Cinnamon will be fruitful’ said Mr.Sara De Silva. History of Cinnamon in Sri Lanka goes beyond 15th Century. Arabians were the first to dominate in the Cinnamon trade which Portuguese captured in 16th Century. Then it was Dutch seized the world's largest Cinnamon supplier Ceylon, from the Portuguese. 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. Originated in the central hills, cinnamon cultivation is presently concentrated along the coastal belt stretching along from Kaluthara to Matara, it has also made inroads to the inland of Kalutara, Ambalangoda, Matara and Ratnapura. The extent under cinnamon in Sri Lanka is 25,500ha. Sri Lanka has 95% market share in the World’s Cinnamon trade as it is has an international recognition as “True Cinnamon”. There is another variety which can be seen commonly sold as Cinnamon in European countries, namely "cassia" or "Chinese cinnamon." But Sri Lankan Cinnamon has more delicate taste and a high demand internationally. But unfortunately Sri Lanka has not made any value addition for this spice and if they do so it will become one of the main income sources of the Country.
Nutrition Value of Cinnamon
Health Benefits of CinnamonIn traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset, and diarrhea. More recently, modern medical research has turned its eye on cinnamon and is coming up with some intriguing results. It has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. It also slows the spoiling of food (which is probably related to why it was used as an embalming agent in ancient Egypt), and has anti-fungal properties as well. The essential oil, eugenol, has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gum.
Culinary uses of CinnamonCinnamon spice is widely used as a spice around the World as it is a principle condiment and flavoring base. This spice is generally ground just before preparing dishes and added at the last moment in the cooking recipes, because prolonged cooking results in evaporation of essential oils so it keep the fragrance and flavor intact. In Asian and Chinese dishes it is being used in marinating chicken, fish and meats. Indian vegetarian and chicken curries and rice dishes (biriyani) contain small amounts of grounded powder. In the Middle East, it is used in meat and rice dishes.
Other uses of CinnamonPerfumery, Aromatherapy, Soaps, Cigarettes and Cosmetics
Adverse ImpactsIn traditional medicine, high doses are not given to pregnant women, due to possible stimulating effects on the uterus. Uncooked cinnamon spice can cause choking and respiratory distress. Excessive use of the cinnamon stick may cause inflammation of taste buds, gum swelling, and mouth ulcers. Large quantities can cause difficulty breathing, dilate blood vessels, and cause sleepiness, depression, or even convulsions.
Sandun joined Lanka Help Magazine as a contributor in June, 2011. He has been consistently writing articles to our magazine. Many useful articles of this site are under Sandun's name.
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