Historical note Cinnamon has been used since ancient times for a variety of uses and was considered a precious commodity. In ancient Egypt, it was used as a flavouring for beverages, in combination with other spices for embalming, and as a medicinal agent. Ancient Chinese herbals mention it as a medicinal treatment as early as 2700 BC(Castleman 1991). In medieval Europe, cinnamon was a common ingredient in cooking, often used together with ginger. Due to the high demand for cinnamon, discovering lands where it grew was a primary motive for a number of explorers' enterprises in the 1 5th and 1 6th centuries. Today, two main types of cinnamon are cultivated, Cinnamomum verum, also known as Ceylon cinnamon, and Cinnamomum cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon.

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