Cinnamon has a rich and exotic history over the last 4000+ years. It has been used in foods as a medicine, a spice, to preserve meats, and was seen as a luxury item only accessible to the wealthy. Ancient Egyptians even used cinnamon as an embalming agent. Arab merchants, who kept the source of this ingredient a secret for many years, distributed cinnamon in limited quantities in order to maintain a monopoly on the expensive cinnamon trade.
Today, there are two varieties of cinnamon that we encounter most frequently. Cinnamonium cassia (cassia cinnamon) and Cinnamonium zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon). Some people refer to Ceylon cinnamon as true cinnamon. There is some debate on the superiority of Ceylon cinnamon vs. cassia.
Offers a more delicate flavour, and is slightly sweeter. Excellent for use in desserts.
Considered by some to be the superior cinnamon, and is more expensive than Cassia.
According to Health Canada’s Natural Health Products database, Cassia can be used to treat bowel complaints (dyspepsia, flatulency,..