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Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material, being largely used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, chocolate and spicy candies and liqueurs. In the Middle East, it is often used in savoury dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavour cereals, bread-based dishes, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. In medicine it acts like other volatile oils and once had a reputation as a cure for colds. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity (PMID 16190627, PMID 10077878). The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties (PMID 16104824). This property may allow cinnamon to extend the shelf life of foods. In the media, "cinnamon" has been reported to have remarkable pharmacological effects in the treatment of type II diabetes. However, the plant material used in the study (PMID 14633804) was actually cassia, as opposed to true cinnamon. Please refer to cassia's medicinal uses for more information about its health benefits. Cinnamon is also used as an insect repellent. It is widely used when a manufactured insecticide is not wanted or cannot be used because of possible health side effects or allergies.


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