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The Crazy Spicy Story of Cinnamon November 03 2015

At one time, cinnamon was such a coveted commodity in Ceylon that they created myths about fabled creatures, including bats and winged serpents, who guarded swamps and marshes where the cinnamon trees were claimed to have grown. Once discovered by surrounding countries however, the drive for Ceylon cinnamon inspired more than stories. It helped prompt outsiders to invade the small territory. The Portuguese conquered Ceylon in 1505 but were later usurped by the Dutch and then British forces seized what became known as Sri Lanka in 1798. 

Expensive to export and transport, ceylon cinnamon was expensive and limited in supply to even the highest classes of European societies which transformed the spice into an early status symbol. The fantastical stories of where and how the Arabs obtained Ceylon cinnamon helped to drive up the spice's worth and maintain their monopoly on the cinnamon trade. Tales of giant birds, whose nests were lined in cinnamon sticks were created in order to dissuade other gatherers. European travelers, including Columbus and Gonzalo Pizzaro, attempted to find their own treasure of cinnamon sources but were disappointed when what they found was not the favored spice. 

Today, we also are often fooled by what passes for true cinnamon in the grocery store. Real, organic ceylon cinnamon comes almost exclusively from Sri Lanka from trees that grow up to 30 feet in height. Ceylon cinnamon is often more expensive than the Cassia cinnamon you find on store shelves but is noted for its mild, sweet flavor that is popular for its aroma and therapeutic benefits. 


Surprising Uses for Cinnamon November 03 2015

If you ever want to evoke mental images and feelings of family holidays just break out the cinnamon. Seemingly intrinsic to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the exotic spice is sure to bring about the melancholy yearnings that we are all familiar with. Funny enough, the scent and taste of cinnamon is so strongly tied to certain seasonal holidays, that the whiff of it in even July or August arouses the recall of holidays gone-by. True cinnamon's uses can be enjoyed outside of the holiday season and its benefits goes far beyond just the health advantages with many people being big fans of using it throughout the home. Tap into the aromatherapy of cinnamon in the following ways:

  • As a quick and easy air freshener. Simply pour a few tablespoons in a small, shallow dish to freshen the surrounding air. 
  • As a scent spray for linens. Spray throw pillows and blankets with a quick spritz of cinnamon essential oil and water to help dispel unwanted odors.
  • As a healing aftershave. You'll need a jar with a screw-on top, which you'll fill with dried bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks, broken and a tablespoon of cloves. Add enough dark rum to soak the herbs and let steep for at least two weeks. Shake daily then strain the liquid through a coffee filter. The liquid splash delivers a sweet and spicy scent that also delivers anti-bacterial properties that heal cuts and stops mild bleeding.
  • As a repellent for moths. Combined with whole cloves and black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks help keep moths from your clothes. Simply fill fabric sachets with a mixture of such and hang the sachet in your closet.
  • As a convenient scent diffuser. A drop of cinnamon essential oil on a lightbulb will help disperse cinnamon scents throughout a room. Make sure to place the oil on the bulb when off and still cool.

Help Reduce the Risk of Arthritis with Turmeric November 01 2015

As the agent that adds the bright and unmistakable hue to both mustard and curry, turmeric is known for its spice and color and now for its many health benefits too. For centuries, turmeric has been noted for its digestive, liver and heart health benefits but is just now understood to be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. 

Though Western medicine professionals may be relatively new to the concept, both Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine techniques have treated both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis with turmeric for centuries. By blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, the key element in turmeric, curcumin helps to reduce the pain of arthritis in both intensity and frequency of occurrence. In some studies, the use of curcumin worked better to prevent joint inflammation in study participants better than some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin, found in varying amounts in turmeric powder, should be ingested daily for the best results. 

High doses of turmeric have been shown to cause stomach upset and may act as a blood thinner. Consult your doctor before beginning any health regimen, especially if you have existing health concerns that may be exacerbated by certain organic compounds. 

The Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric October 14 2015

The use of turmeric powder has been shown to help with a variety of physical ailments for close to 4000 years now. Sought-after by both health experts and culinary professionals, organic turmeric powder delivers the following health benefits:

Three Reasons You Should be Using Turmeric Powder for Your Face August 28 2015

Yes, we're talking about the same turmeric that's used in your favorite curry dish. But turmeric isn't just a spice bringing amazing flavor to your local restaurant; it's also great for your skin! Turmeric has been used in Indian culture as a skin treatment for centuries. It offers some incredible benefits to your skin: 

  • Treats acne at any age. Turmeric contains natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agents which can help treat and prevent acne on your skin. 
  • Helps you get rid of wrinkles. Turmeric is also a natural antioxidant, which fights free radicals in your cells and prevents premature signs of aging like wrinkles. 
  • Treats skin problems like rosacea and eczema. These painful, itchy and embarrassing skin problems could find relief with a turmeric scrub, which gently exfoliates the skin while it nourishes. 

These are just three of the benefits turmeric powder can add to your skin; there are many more, including controlling dandruff and decreasing oil on your skin. There are countless recipes for turmeric skin masks online and a quick search will turn up great recipes that will help you treat your particular skin condition. One of the great things about turmeric powder is it can help your face whether you are taking it internally (with water or in your food) or applying it externally. It's a versatile spice that you'll want in your kitchen and in your medicine cabinet. 

Place an order for turmeric powder for your face with Organic Wise. Our certified organic turmeric is available in our online store for $19.95 for a one pound bag. We'll even ship your order for free so you can start enjoying all the great benefits turmeric can bring. 

Ceylon vs. Cassia: Why True Cinnamon Matters August 28 2015

Chances are the cinnamon in your kitchen cupboard right now isn't true cinnamon. Cassia is a type of cinnamon that is commonly sold by grocery stores. The taste of cassia cinnamon is strong and spicy, and probably what you think of when you think of how cinnamon tastes. However, cassia cinnamon isn't true cinnamon and turns out that can make a very big difference in your health. 

True cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon, which is also known by its Latin name Cinnamomum verum, or "true cinnamon." This cinnamon offers a light, brighter flavor than Cassia. In terms of health benefits, the two couldn't be further apart. Cinnamon has been shown to have benefits such as helping to regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and there is even evidence that it could help with arthritis. In order to get those benefits, though, you'll need to take more cinnamon every day than just a sprinkle on your morning oatmeal, and that's where the issues between Cassia and Ceylon come to light. 

Cassia cinnamon can lead to liver damage when taken in high doses. Ceylon cinnamon is much safer, allowing people to take the amount of cinnamon they need in order to get the benefits they want but with a much lower risk of liver damage. So why are they selling the potentially toxic cassia cinnamon in your local store? Because it's much cheaper to make and allows your local store to turn a higher profit on your purchase. 

Organic Wise offers true cinnamon in our online store at a great low price, though. You can get one pound of Ceylon cinnamon powder for just $23.95 right now and we'll even ship it to you for free. Place your order today!

The Danger of Grocery Store Spices August 26 2015

Flavoring your organic food with spices or seasonings that aren't certified to be the same, is akin to taking a bath in dirty water. Your good intentions are canceled out. 

Using mass produced seasonings and spices that cannot promise to be free of harmful fillers, preservatives and chemicals, ruins the effort that you put forth when choosing organic foods. That free-range chicken that you so lovingly prepared is now a toxin-ladened slab of meat. The organic roast that you're serving to your family? Unfortunately, the spices you added to the mix turned it into a entree of chemicals and poisons. Many spices and seasonings found in your local supermarket contain GMOs and are often irradiated in order to kill bacteria. Many of the hazardous chemicals banned in Europe are still allowed in these foods in the United States. 

Irradiation is a problem when it comes to spices because the process generally kills beneficial properties within the herbs. Both natural enzymes and vitamin levels are decreased during the radiation process, affecting the food's natural properties. They are less flavorful and contain less nutritional value. The cinnamon that you buy from the store shelf is less able to help you fight inflammation and the turmeric that is offered to you has much less of an ability to fight the formation of cancer cells than its organic counterpart. 

Our core belief is that food should be beneficial to the human body and that by consuming only those products that are certified as organic, we can take advantage of the myriad of health benefits that are inherent in natural food sources. Boosting your food's flavor by adding organic spices and seasonings is not only fun, adding variety and spice to your meals, but add to your diet nature's medicinal elements; helping you heal what ails you and boosting your optimal health. Shop our exclusive selection of organic cinnamon and organic turmeric and experience the Organic Wise difference.