Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices and has been used for thousands of years in food preparation, as a perfume, meat preservative and for its many medicinal benefits. Its history is one filled with war, colonisation and great exploration – all to gain control of the trade of this fragrant spice.
Arab traders initially provided this amazing spice to the European market, and during the 16th century, Portuguese explorers discovered where it was grown – on the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) – and gained control of the lucrative trade. From here Ceylon Cinnamon spread throughout the world.
How To Differentiate Between Ceylon Cinnamon & Cassia Cinnamon
They may taste quite similar to the untrained palate, but Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon are actually very different:
- Ceylon (also known as ‘true’) cinnamon is grown in Sri Lanka and India; Cassia is mostly grown in China and Indonesia
- Cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of coumarin, a naturally occurring chemical that thins the blood; and if taking in high quantities can be carcinogenic, and toxic for the kidneys and liver
- Ceylon cinnamon is thin, smooth and fine enough to roll into a filled cigar-shape; Cassia bark is much thicker and rolls into a hollow tube
- When it comes to taste, Ceylon cinnamon is delicate and aromatic while Cassia is stronger and may have an underlying peppery taste
- Ceylon cinnamon costs more due to its superior taste, fragrance and health benefits
Source: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
Health Benefits Of Ceylon Cinnamon
- Improve blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetes and may reduce insulin resistance
- Cinnamaldehyde is a component of cinnamon and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
- Has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and is an antioxidant
- Aids in weight loss as cinnamaldehyde activates the fat burning process
- Protects against heart disease
- Improves digestion and provides relief from heartburn, indigestion and nausea
Cinnamon has always been used as a traditional home remedy and research is ongoing to discover more benefits and ways to enhance its properties. The general guideline for consumption is 2-4g (approx. ½ to 1tsp) of Ceylon cinnamon daily and this can done by adding it to smoothies, baked goods, stews, hot drinks and sprinkled onto desserts, fruit and pancakes.
As stated above, there are many ways to enjoy and integrate cinnamon into our diets. An easy and delectable way is to have it as a drink and Rhymba Hills® offers a wide variety of herbal infusions and features Ceylon cinnamon as one of the primary ingredients. This homegrown Malaysian brand only uses the best ingredients sourced from farmers who don’t use pesticides or chemicals. Rhymba Hills® teas have no caffeine, sugar, preservatives, flavouring or colouring.
Made from a blend of Java tea (Misai Kucing) and Ceylon cinnamon, this infusion helps lower high blood pressure, cholesterol, uric acid and high blood sugar. Misai Kucing is a tropical herb that is a natural anti-inflammatory and diuretic; and used to treat gout and kidney stones. Note that this tea is unsuitable for those suffering from low blood pressure.
This refreshing blend comprises Ceylon Cinnamon, Lemongrass and Roselle (a species of Hibiscus) and is the ideal combination for those looking for a restorative tea. The ingredients are all known for their immunity boosting and antioxidant properties, so is particularly suitable to help ease the symptoms of the flu and coughs, indigestion and to improve oral health.
There are other infusions available using locally sourced ingredients like Bentong ginger, lemongrass and pandan. Most of these are grown in the north of Malaysia in soil that has been fed with water from the surrounding limestone hills. Testimonials from satisfied customers prove that these herbal infusions have helped with digestion, gout and even insomnia. They also make great gifts!
Rhymba Hills® tea can be found at premium supermarkets likeJaya Grocer, Village Grocer, B.I.G supermarkets; and at local organic shops, cafés,wellness centres and leading e-commerce sites. The brand believes is giving back to the community so a portion of sales is donated to Dignity, an education centre for the underprivileged and refugee children.