Better Health for All
The pungent Cinnamon aroma is unmistakable, and it usually evokes dreams of hot cinnamon rolls from the oven.
Cinnamon was once so highly prized that it was used as currency and wars were fought over it.
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 Cantonese language today.
Its botanical name derives from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, meaning fragrant spice plant.
In the first century A.D., Pliny the Elder wrote that 350 grams of cinnamon as being equal in value to over five kilograms of silver, about fifteen times the value of silver per weight.
Cinnamon was so important in the Roman Empire, that the insane Emperor Nero ordered a year's supply of cinnamon to be burnt after he murdered his wife, as a sign of remorse.
In the 17th century, Holland seized the world's largest cinnamon supplier, the island of Ceylon, from the Portuguese. They demanded outrageous quotas from the poor laboring Chalia caste.
When Holland learned of a cinnamon forest along the coast of India, they bribed and threatened the local king to destroy it all, thus they preserved their monopoly on the prized spice.