True Cinnamon Tree or Cinnamomum verum or
Ceylon cinnamon tree is a small evergreen tree belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka.
Although the inner bark of several other Cinnamomum species is also used to make cinnamon, cinnamon from C. verum
is considered by culinarians to be of superior quality.
True Cinnamon Tree is a small evergreen tree 10–15 meters tall, native to Sri Lanka and South India. The bark is widely used as a spice due to its distinct odour. In India it is also known as "Daalchini". The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, 7–18 cm long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color, and have a distinct odor. The fruit is a purple 1 cm berry containing a single seed. Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity, and it was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and other great potentates. It was imported to Egypt from China as early as 2000 BC, and is mentioned in the Bible in Exodus.
True Cinnamon trees are 10–15 metres (30–50 feet) tall. The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape and 7–18 cm (3–7 inches) long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color and a distinct odor. The fruit is a purple 1-cm drupe containing a single seed.
The trees grow as leafy bushes, usually maxing out about 3 meters (10 ft) in height. They are first harvested at 3 years old, and continue producing well for 40-50 years. Small side branches (1.5-5 cm in diameter) are removed from the trees. The outer bark is removed, and made into mulch. Twigs, leaves & berries (seeds) are crushed and make cinnamon oil, a less valuable byproduct. The inner bark of the branches is loosened by being rubbed with a brass rod, then split with a brass or stainless steel knife, and then peeled off, as intact as possible. Long, full 'quills' of cinnamon are more valuable than broken pieces. These quills are then dried over several days, in the shade, then in darkness. All this work is done by hand by experienced workers; this is the most expensive part of producing cinnamon spice. Finally, the dried bark is cut into sticks or ground into powder for sale to consumers.
There is a thin ointment that evaporates from the skin of the cinnamon. It's on the skin. .75% to 1%, 60-70% of the ointment is cinnemaldehyde. Eugenol can be extracted from all parts except the leaf. Also found are benzaldehyde, cuminaldehyde, pine, cymene, and cariobilin. The bark also contains sweet mannitol. Camphor is isolated from the genus Cinnamomum camphor.
Cinnamon enhances digestion. Will make the taste. Relieves cough and shortness of breath. Good for clearing the voice.