If you already know about all the amazing benefit of cinnamon and just looking for where to buy cinnamon powder in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Port Harcourt or where to buy cinnamon in Nigeria in general, then CLICK HERE.
Now, for the rest of us who want to know more about cinnamon, you're in for a hell of a ride.
Put on your seat belt and let's start our journey by traveling back in time to the origin story of cinnamon...
Origin Of Cinnamon
The origin of cinnamon trace back to ancient Egypt, as far back as 40 centuries ago. In fact, cinnamon was mentioned multiple times in the bible.
It's perhaps one of the oldest species. Back then, cinnamon was rare and very valuable.
How valuable was it?
Well, back then in ancient Rome, it would take earnings of about 10 months of serious hard work before an average labourer could afford to buy cinnamon. And it was presented as a gift to royalties.
That should give you some ideas on how valuable it was.
Fast forward to today, cinnamon is now more readily available and scientists have started confirming some of the many benefits long suspected by the ancient people.
Okay story time over, let's get down to the main business of the day. Let's start with the basic questions...
What Is Cinnamon? & How Is It Produced?
Cinnamon is a powerful and delicious spice that has been used as medicine and to enhance the natural flavour of food for thousands of years.
It provides many impressive health benefits when consumed regularly.
Cinnamon spice, as well as cinnamon oil, is gotten from the inner bark of a tree called Cinnamomum.
To make cinnamon, the stem of the Cinnamomum tree is cut down and the inner bark is extracted from it.
When the inner bark dries up, it curls into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. These sticks are then further grounded to form cinnamon powder.
The distinct scent, colour and flavour of cinnamon come from the oily part of the tree, which is rich in the compound cinnamaldehyde .
This compound (cinnamaldehyde) is responsible for many of the impressive health and metabolic benefit of cinnamon.
Local Name For Cinnamon in Nigeria
Cinnamon is not a herb native to Nigeria. They are imported. So not all tribe really have a name for cinnamon.
Cinnamon in Yoruba is called Oloorun. Cinnamon in Hausa language Kirfa. Cinnamon in Igbo language Pawuda
Nutritional Facts Of Cinnamon
2.6g of cinnamon, which is about a teaspoon contains :
- Energy: 6 calories (kcal)
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.1 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Calcium: 26 milligrams (mg)
- Iron: 0.2 mg
- Magnesium: 2 mg
- Phosphorus: 2 mg
- Potassium: 11 mg
- Vitamin C: 0.1 mg
- Vitamin A: 8 IU
Plus traces of vitamins B and K.
As you can see, as little as a teaspoon of cinnamon packs a lot of nutritional punch and can go long way.
Types Of Cinnamon & Which One You Should Buy
There are two major types of cinnamons. They are:
- Ceylon cinnamon: Also referred to as "true" cinnamon.
- Cassia cinnamon: Also called “Chinese” or “Saigon” Cinnamon
Although, both types of cinnamon provide similar health benefits, overall, however, there are still some noticeable differences between them. And one type (Ceylon) is actually considered to provide more health benefits than the other.
Now, what are differences between the two types of cinnamon? Let’s find out...
Difference Between Ceylon Cinnamon And Cassia Cinnamon?
Commonly Produced in Sri Lanka, South India and Thailand
Commonly Produced in China,Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Generally more expensive and harder to find in stores
Less expensive, and is more widely available
Has more health benefit
Has lesser health benefit
Contains trace of coumarins compound
Contains higher level of coumarins compound
Has a lighter and sweeter taste
Has a deeper and spicer (hot) taste
Light brown in colour
Brown to reddish-brown in colour.
Keep these differences in mind when looking for the right cinnamon for you.
Note: if the cinnamon label doesn’t indicate which type it is, then it’s most like Cassia because it’s the more common variety and the cheaper of the two.
Which Cinnamon Should You Buy & Where To Buy Cinnamon In Nigeria
Buying either of the two is fine and also depends on your preference. However, I suggest you go for organic Ceylon cinnamon because it contains less coumarins and you get most of the juicy health benefit cinnamon has to offer.
You can buy cinnamon if you're anywhere in Nigeria >> Here
or in Any Major Supermarket in Nigeria (Check the spice section)
Also, If you're in the North, you can buy cinnamon (called Kirfa in Huasa) from Hausa men that usually sell turmeric garlic, and ginger.
Speaking of benefit, cinnamon has a mountain of them. Let’s checkout some of them:
Benefits And Uses Of Cinnamon
There so numerous mouth-watering benefits and uses of cinnamon. Here are couple of them:
1. Help Boost Metabolism For Weight Loss
Cinnamon is one super spice that can help with weight loss and management.
You see, cinnamon is an effective metabolism booster because it helps controls insulin levels. And the faster your metabolism the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.
Also, cinnamons helps in lowering blood sugar, which is another important weight loss factor.
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2. High Source Of Antioxidants
Cinnamon is choke-full of a wide variety of protective antioxidants that slow down ageing and fight against free radical damage in the body.
Well, as a matter of fact, according to this study, out of 26 of the top-most popular herbs and spices, cinnamon clearly ranked number 1 when it came to the level of antioxidant content. Beating “superfoods” like garlic, thyme, oregano and so on.
3. May Help Protect Heart From Diseases
Studies have shown cinnamon to be beneficial to the heart health. By cutting the risk of common heart disease like high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels and high bad cholesterol levels.
In this particular study, cinnamon was found to help reduce the total level of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides while keeping “good” cholesterol stable.
There are many other notable heart benefits of cinnamon like helping the heart tissues and other tissues in need of regeneration and much more.
4. Effective Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is a natural reaction in the body that happens to defend against infection, illness or injury.
Although Inflammation is important to the body, however chronic or long-term inflammation that affects the body’s own tissues can be dangerous.
Cinnamon contains several natural compounds that wrestle against dangerous levels of inflammation in the body. Therefore makes a perfect home remedy for reducing swellings and pains. Some studies have demonstrated how cinnamon can help in relieving PMS pains, muscle soreness and even pain caused by ageing [4, 5]
5. Beneficial For Brain Health And Function
Due to the cinnamon’s protective antioxidant properties, it has been shown to protect the brain from various neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases .
Also, since Cinnamon contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, it helps to slow down the effect of ageing on both the brain and body.
6. Helps Fight Diabetes And Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Several studies [7, 8, 9] has shown cinnamon to help lower fasting blood sugar levels by up 29% in people with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes happens when insulin resistance occurs and the body is unable to manage how much sugar (or glucose) is absorbed into the bloodstream.
You see, cinnamon has several mechanisms in which it lowers blood sugar.
First, cinnamon contains a compound that acts like insulin in our cells. It helps to enhance absorption of glucose by cells in the body.
Secondly, cinnamon is shown to reduce the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream, particularly after a high-sugar meal. By interfering with several digestive enzymes, therefore slowing the breakdown process of carbs in the digestive tract [10, 11].
Finally, cinnamon helps enhance the sensitivity of insulin hormone, which is the key hormone required for blood sugar balance 
7. Fights Infections & Viruses
Cinnamon has long been used by many cultures to help fight infections and viruses. It can help protect the body from illness because of its anti-viral, antibiotic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
Cinnamon’s essential oils fight against certain some bacterias and contain immune-boosting properties 
8. Might Help Lower The Risk Of Cancer
At the moment, test only limited to animal studies and test tube experiments, cinnamon is suggested to protect against cancer. This is due to the powerful antioxidant property of cinnamon, which can aid protection against cancerous tumour growth, DNA damage, and cell mutation.
9. Oral Health And Fresh Breath
Studies have shown cinnamon extract help protect against bacterias found oral microflora that can cause tooth decay, bad breath, cavities and other mouth infections 
Also, just like peppermint, cinnamon has the ability to freshen breath. That’s why it’s used as an ingredient in some chewing gums to add natural flavour.
10. Help Stop Common Cold
Suffering from common cold?
Then using cinnamon can help provide some relief.
Immediately you notice some common cold symptoms like sore throat, coughing, or sniffing, stop it by adding cinnamon to your tea.
11. Fights Off Yeast Infections
Yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of fungus (or yeast) on the body.
Although yeast infections can occur anywhere on the body, however, most yeast infections occur in the vagina. And the most common yeast infection is known as candida strains.
Since cinnamon is a powerful anti-fungal it helps fight off yeast infections in and on the body.
One study concluded that cinnamon oil was particularly effective in treating candida yeast infections.
Another study revealed that cinnamon may help stop or cure Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract .
12. Helps With Arthritis
Arthritis is a serious inflammation of the joints, which causing pain, redness, and limited mobility.
Now, because of cinnamon powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it is an all-natural alternative used to relief arthritis pain.
In addition, cinnamon can help prevent arthritis in the first place, because it slows down the rate of ageing of cells that can potentially cause inflammations.
13. Increases Your Sex Drive
Cinnamon has long been considered an aphrodisiac spice. It is said to increase appetite and heighten the senses .
One study found cinnamon to significantly increase sexual function in rats.
14. Beneficial For The Skin
Cinnamon has a wide range of wonderful benefits for the skin.
For starters, cinnamon’s antibiotic and anti-microbial properties make it a good skin protector. It can help protect the skin from infections, rashes, irritations, and allergic reactions.
cinnamon is also an antibacterial, which makes it a promising treatment for eczema and acne, and a homemade facial exfoliating scrub.
Also, cinnamon encourages production of collagen, which can make the skin look firmer and younger .
Lastly, direct application of cinnamon essential oil directly to the skin can help reduce skin inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness .
15. Helps Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms
IBS is a disorder that affects the large intestine.
Symptoms of IBS include pain in the stomach, inconsistent bowel movements, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhoea.Cinnamon can assist in easing pain and symptoms that come with IBS.
Also, cinnamon can prevent GI tract infection removing harmful bacteria in the intestines.
16. Manages Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a medical condition in which women develop small cysts on their ovaries. It is mostly caused by a hormonal imbalance of estrogen and progesterone.
Some of the symptoms include weight gain, infertility, decrease in breast size, pain in the pelvic region, acne and excess growth of hair on the body.
Now, although cinnamon cannot cure the syndrome, it can only help manage it. By improving fertility, metabolic hormone profiles and ovulation regulation in patients 
17. Fight Against Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS and cramping associated with menstruation can be eased by using cinnamon. Because of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, it can help relieve premenstrual pain.
Also, manganese, calcium and fibre present in cinnamon are beneficial for women suffering from cramping and PMS.
18. Insect Repellant
Use of cinnamon is an environmentally friendly way to deal with mosquitoes and other insects (or pest)
Although cinnamaldehyde, the chemical responsible for the aroma of the spice may be pleasant to you, however, it is toxic to insects and pest.
One study confirms that cinnamon oil can repel mosquitoes and kill their hatchlings .
19. A Sugar Substitute To Sweeten Recipes
Cinnamon is a great healthy alternative to sugar because of its naturally sweet taste. And cinnamon has a lot of benefit over sugar.
One being cinnamon is lower in calories and contains no sugar, which can help with weight management and food cravings.
Another being, cinnamon is healthy and contains lots of nutrients compare to sugar with empty calories that causes diabetes. Instead of sugar, use cinnamon in your teas, meals and recipes
20. Natural Food Preservative
Cinnamon essential oil can be used as a natural food preservative because of the anti-fungal properties.
Also, cinnamon hinders the growth of yeast, bacteria, and mould that cause food to get spoilt. Some studies suggest that cinnamon can extend shelf life foods even without being refrigerated [22, 23, 24]
Phew! There you have it, some of the wonderful benefits of cinnamon. And am sure more benefits are yet to be discovered by science. Anyways, there are some things you should watch out for when using cinnamon. Let’s find out what they are...
Caution About Use Of Cinnamon
Just like any other food, spice or herb, allergies can occur when you use cinnamon.
If you find yourself allergic to cinnamon, then it is recommended you stay away from it.
Also, although Cinnamon is generally safe, consuming too much (especially Cassia cinnamon ) can lead to potentially dangerous side effects.
Cassia cinnamon contains way higher amount of coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon with just a trace of it. Well, as a matter of fact, on average, Cassia contains about 63 times more coumarin than Ceylon (source)
Anyways, how much is too much?
You see, the amount of coumarin an adult can handle daily without any risk of side effect is about 0.1 mg per kg of body weight (Source)
And that estimates to:
For Cassia Cinnamon: One tablespoon (0.5 to 2 grams) daily max
For Ceylon Cinnamon: 2.5 teaspoons (5 grams) daily max.
Note that children would handle lesser amount.
Cinnamon spice should be one of the spices that should be found in your kitchen cabinet because, as we have seen, it’s one of the most delicious and beneficial spices on planet earth.
It boasts of a lot of important properties such antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, immunity-boosting and much much more.
Try to buy Ceylon Cinnamon over Cassia Cinnamon, as it contains lesser coumarin. If you must use Cassia Cinnamon, then limit it to smaller doses (not more than a tablespoon daily)