A strong, sweet-scented spice, Cinnamon is a stimulator of insulin activity, thus potentially helpful for those with Type 2 diabetes. It also leads to mild anti-coagulant activity.
Native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), true cinnamon, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, dates back in Chinese writings to 2800 B.C., and is still known as kwai in the Chinese language today
 All about cinnamon
Although available throughout the year, the fragrant, sweet and warm taste of cinnamon is a perfect spice to use during the winter months.
Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in its dried tubular form known as a quill or as ground powder. The two varieties of cinnamon, Chinese and Ceylon, have similar flavor, however the cinnamon from Ceylon is slightly sweeter, more refined and more difficult to find in local markets.
 Selection and storage
How to Select and Store
Cinnamon is available in either stick or powder form. While the sticks can be stored for longer, the ground powder has a stronger flavor. If possible, smell the cinnamon to make sure that it has a sweet smell, a characteristic reflecting that it is fresh.
Oftentimes, both Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon (cassia) are labeled as cinnamon. If you want to find the sweeter, more refined tasting Ceylon variety, you may need to shop in either a local spice store or ethnic market since this variety is generally less available. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown cinnamon since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiating cinnamon may lead to a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.)
Cinnamon should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cinnamon will keep for about six months, while cinnamon sticks will stay fresh for about one year stored this way. Alternatively, you can extend their shelf life by storing them in the refrigerator. To check to see if it is still fresh, smell the cinnamon. If it does not smell sweet, it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.
 Cinammon and health
Cinnamon's unique healing abilities come from three basic types of components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.
- Anti-Clotting Actions -- The cinnaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.
- Cinnamon's ability to lower the release of arachidonic acid from cell membranes also puts it in the category of an "anti-inflammatory" food that can be helpful in lessening inflammation.
- Anti microbial activity -- Cinnamon's essential oils also qualify it as an "anti-microbial" food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida.
- Blood Sugar Control --Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on your blood sugar levels
- Calcium and Fiber Improve Colon Health and Protect Against Heart Disease
- In addition to its unique essential oils, cinnamon is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber, iron and calcium.
- Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
- In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
- 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon