Cinnamon is one of the best known and loved spices in the world. The sticks can be purchased in the open market in Ghana for about a Cedi. While the cost of this great spice is relatively cheap today, cinnamon remains one of the world’s most valuable substances in terms of its impact on health and nutrition. Many traditional cultures around the globe have been using cinnamon not just as an ingredient in their favorites dishes but as a medicine as well. In fact, cinnamon has been highly valued for its medicinal properties for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years.
Although there are four main varieties of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular. Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes called true cinnamon. It is more expensive and has a sweet taste. The quills are softer and can be easily ground. In Ghana, Ceylon cinnamon comes already ground, although a few brands come as sticks.
They come in the form of quills(full and broken tubes), featherings, chips, ground(powder) and whole.
Most cinnamon sold in the markets in this part of the world comes from the less expensive variety, Cassia cinnamon. It has a darker colour and the quills are harder. Unlike Ceylon cinnamon, it can’t be easily ground into powder.
Entrepreneurs of today can take advantage of this wonderful spice and create a marvelous business venture which would further employment opportunities for the youth of Ghana and African as a whole. For that to be done, one has to know more about Cinnamon and what could be derived from it. Below is just information and entrepreneur would need.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF CINNAMON
Cinnamon is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. It also has good amounts of sodium, iron, and manganese, along with small amounts of zinc, copper, and selenium.
Vitamin Content of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is rich in choline and has good amount of vitamin A, C, E (alpha tocopherol), niacin, and betaine. It also has small amounts of vitamin K, B6, and pantothenic acid.
Caloric Content of cinnamon
100 grams of Cinnamon has 247 calories. Calories from fat are only 10.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CINNAMON:
SEVERAL HEALTH BENEFITS CAN BE DERIVED FROM THE USAGE OF CINNAMON. SOME OF WHICH INCLUDE THE UNDERLISTED:
Improved digestion: Cinnamon and other related spices have long been used as a digestive aid, and those who suffer from stomach cramps, IBS, and other common stomach disorders often find that adding cinnamon to their favourite dish aids digestion.
Toning of tissues: Considerable anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that cinnamon may have the ability to tone and constrict tissues in the body.
Relief from congestion: Cinnamon and other spices have long been consumed to relieve congestion that comes from colds, allergies, and other common conditions.
Muscle and joint pain relief: Those who eat cinnamon on a regular basis often report that their muscle and joint pain, as well as stiffness, is reduced or even eliminated.
Relief from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomfort: Cinnamon has long been used to treat the discomfort that accompanies menstruation, and many women report that a daily amount of cinnamon greatly reduces cramping, pain, and other common menstrual complaints.
Thinning of the blood and better circulation: Like garlic, cinnamon is a blood thinning agent. Though not as powerful as garlic, cinnamon also acts to increase circulation.
Relief from arthritis pain: Recent studies have suggested that cinnamon may contain anti-inflammatory compounds which may be useful in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Prevention of urinary tract infections: Many who eat cinnamon on a regular basis report a lower incidence of urinary tract infections.
Prevention of tooth decay and gum disease: There is much anecdotal evidence that cinnamon may be helpful in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.
Killing harmful bacteria: Cinnamon has been shown to be a powerful antimicrobial agent, one that has the ability to kill germs as E. coli and other harmful bacteria. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties
A MIXTURE OF HONEY AND CINNAMON ALSO CURES MOST DISEASES.
Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who already had an attack, if they do this process daily are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heartbeat.
INSECT BITES: Take one part honey to two parts of lukewarm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.
ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.
Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min. and then wash the hair. It was found to be effective even if kept on for 5 minutes.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.
TOOTHACHE: Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied 3 times a day till the tooth stops aching.
CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. If taken 3 times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. Pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.
COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE MADE FROM CINNAMON:
NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLANT: Tired of those frustrating Mosquito bites? Then Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil is your only effective natural solution to get rid of Mosquitoes and prevent bites. There is no processing of Cinnamon Oil. It is steam distilled without any additives.
Preventing Mosquito bites especially in this part of the world where that seem to be a daily battle could mean life and death. Everything from Malaria to Dengue fever could be prevented. Cinnamon Oil makes the most effective natural Mosquito repellent known to man. It’s well documented to kill Mosquito larvae. For example, a 15% Cinnamon Oil to water ratio kills the larvae in 6 hours, while a 5% solution killed the larvae in 24 hours. This tells us that Cinnamon Leaf Oil is a powerful anti Mosquito solution. It’s natural and very safe but you must dilute it properly. A little bit of Cinnamon oil goes a long way.
The first choice for those looking for a refined tea with all its wonderful healing properties. Diabetics take this tea to control their blood sugar. Others take it to alleviate symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Because Ceylon Cinnamon has ultra low levels of Coumarin (a substance that can cause liver failure), you can take this everyday without worries on what it will do to your liver. Cinnamon also has powerful disinfectant properties and is a known digestive as well as being an anti microbial and vermifuge properties that promote good health.
Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are also known as True Cinnamon. Unlike regular Cassia Cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are soft, rolled like a cigar with multiple thin strips of cinnamon bark and flake easily for grinding into fine powder or to add into curries or custards.
FACE MASK: This face mask is semi thick to maximize value. With the recommended 1 tsp. per each application this container is good for between 25-30 applications. It is designed to be used as face mask or a scrub or both. Especially good for feet. It’s equally effective for face as well as hands, neck and feet to give you softer, brighter skin. It contains anti-bacterial properties, bleaching action, scrubbing action, moisturizer and improves blood flow.
CEYLON CINNAMON CANDLE:
The only Cinnamon candle that uses premium 100% pure Cinnamon Bark oil instead of the blends or artificial scents used by the majority of candle makers. It has a warm and comforting aroma with a hint of Citrus. This is a 4 oz candle with an estimated burn time of over 36 hours. While most candles have 2-3% essential oils, Cinnamon candle has 6% essential oil content for better aroma diffusion and maximum scent throw. That means there is no need to use a chemical scent enhancer common to many candles. The candles are healthier than paraffin wax candles because they won’t emit toxic chemicals when burned.
Not only does it help remove food particles between your teeth and freshen your breath, Cinnamon toothpick has anti bacterial properties that will reduce the amount of germs in your mouth. For smokers, this is a real great anti smoking aid. Keeps the mouth busy with that slight hot taste. The more you chew the hotter it gets. This could help in the quest to quit smoking.
Cinnamon is indeed a great spice with immense commercial value which the entrepreneurs of Africa can tap into to make a difference. Let us take advantage and make Africa rise from its slumber.
Author: Solomon Sackey