How Was Cinnamon Used in Ancient Times?

Cinnamon is a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world today. However, did you know that cinnamon has been used for more than just flavoring food?

Cinnamon has a long history of use in ancient times for various purposes. In this article, we will explore how cinnamon was used in ancient times.

What is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the bark of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. The inner bark is dried and rolled into sticks or ground into a powder. Cinnamon has a sweet and warm flavor and is commonly used in baking, cooking, and beverages.

Ancient Use of Cinnamon

Cinnamon was highly valued by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was considered to be a luxury item and was often used as a gift to royalty or as an offering to the gods.

Egyptian Use of Cinnamon

The ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as part of their embalming process. It was also burned during funerary rites to create a pleasant aroma.

Greek and Roman Use of Cinnamon

The Greeks and Romans used cinnamon for medicinal purposes. It was believed to have properties that could cure coughs, sore throats, and other ailments. They also used it as a perfume and added it to their wine.

Cinnamon Trade

Cinnamon trade played an important role in ancient times. The spice was mainly produced in Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) and traded throughout the Middle East, Europe, and India via the Silk Road.

Cinnamon was so highly valued that traders often kept its source location secret. This led to many myths about where cinnamon came from, including stories about giant birds that guarded cinnamon trees or dangerous snakes that lived near them.


In conclusion, cinnamon has been used for many purposes throughout history, including religious ceremonies, embalming, and medicine. Its value was so high that it played a significant role in trade and commerce. Today, cinnamon remains a popular spice used in cooking and baking, and its history adds to the allure of this sweet and warm spice.