Cinnamon (cinnamomum verum)

Take thee principal spices : of pure myrrh, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, and of sweet calamus and of cassia and of oil olive an hin. And  it shall be an Holy Anointing Oil.
- The Bible

The characteristic, bitter- sweet aroma of cinnamon is absolutely unmistakable. It is also hard to compare to any other smell or taste, so unique is the spicy, tingling, sweet quality of this herb.  And cinnamon is definitely a herb : the inner bark of the cinnamomum tree, which forms characteristic, curled canes while peeling off the trunk, is then dried and powdered, making it cinnamoni cortex from the herbalist's point of view. The most common use for cinnamon is seasoning cakes, desserts, chocolate and sweets, as I am sure You are well aware. It is fairly widespread in confectionery industry and popular in home cooking. Cinnamon goes especially well with apples, and as such it is an obligatory ingredient of apple pies.
Some recipes that benefit from adding cinnamon :
  • sweet pancakes
  • french crêpes
  • apple pie
  • chocolate cake
The interesting thing about cinnamon canes is that they can be eaten directly, making for quite an eccentric snack.
Medicinal uses
Curiously enough, cinnamon has been rather looked over by the scientists when it comes to studying health aspects of food. Although its high anti-oxidant properties are accounted for, pharmacists seem not interested. This is probably due to the difficulties of working with essential oils, which need much care, skill and appropriate conditions. However, nothing stops us from profiting of the anti-oxidant properties of cinnamon by adding it to our meals or drinks. Not to mention the anti-anxiety properties : no stress, no matter how devastating, will persist when treated with a cup of hot chocolate with cinnamon and whipped cream.
Magic uses
There is much use for cinnamon in magic. I have already presented a recipe for scented candles that call for it, as most prosperity charms do. The dual nature of this herb makes it useful in different occasions : the hot, warming, invigorating quality is the one addressed in spells for inspiration, energy and prosperity, including money-drawing charms. The sweet, aromatic, aphrodisiacum aspect is drawn upon in love spells, as You will see in the recipe for the Heartwarming Wine. Cinnamon is also a good catalyst for most herbal charms, although to serve in this way whole canes must be used. Since it is, essentially, dried tree bark, it can be used as a symbol of Nature, channelling the aspect of growth, strength, vitality and endurance.

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