Wondering Why?

Why is cinnamon hot?

Cinnamon is a spice that was identified a long time ago. The bark of this plant is taken and dried for further use. It is also made into a stick form which is called a quill. The cinnamon can also be ground into a powder form. The smell that is characteristic to the cinnamon originates from the essential oil that exists in the bark and leaves known as cinnamon aldehyde.

The cinnamon is a spice that is known to generate heat when it hits the nerve endings present in the taste buds. The nerve channels that help in sensing hot and cold temperatures are connected to the nerves. The actual increase in temperature is seen to be very little by the triggering from cinnamon. Apart from the cinnamon, the other triggers of the nerve endings to increase the temperature are capsaicin and piperine. These substances are found to be the cause of the burning sensation in the eyes as well as on the skin that is sensitive. The ground cinnamon is prepared from the bark of the cinnamon tree while the cinnamon oil is prepared from the leaves of the cinnamon plant. This oil is also utilized in aromatherapy. The cinnamon oil is that is golden yellow in color has a hot, aromatic taste.

The cinnamon oil is also obtained in a concentrated form from the tree bark as well. This oil cannot be consumed but can be used for aromatherapy. An overdose of this oil can destimulate the central nervous system.  But treatment using this oil has to be done under the guidance and suggestion of a healthcare professional. The essential oil comprises about 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent in its composition. The oil smell is very characteristic to that of cinnamon. The cinnamon oil or powder is known to have a hot, aromatic taste. Fresh cinnamon oil and sticks will smell and taste hot. As the bark ages, it might taste pungent, and the scent produced by the compound present is called cinnamic aldehyde. Therefore, cinnamon is hot as it has a hot, aromatic taste and is a strong spice.


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