The use of cinnamon dates back over 4,000 years. It has a broad range of historical health applications in different cultures, and over those years some of the anecdotal uses included boosting cognitive function and memory, treating rheumatism, helping with digestion and relieving certain menstrual disorders. In addition, when added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

A more significant use was recently discovered at the United States Department of Agriculture. Dr. John Andersonis found cinnamon beneficial for regulating glucose. In the body, sugars and starches are broken down into glucose, which then circulates in the blood. According to the research, cinnamon appears to mimic insulin and helps to drive glucose into the cells. This improved insulin function could be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon is also being recommended in a more current use: to help curb the urge for tobacco. The National Institute of Health recommends chewing cinnamon sticks when trying to quit the use of tobacco. Another effective product that people use to help with overeating and tobacco use is cinnamon toothpicks.

"A lot of our customers use our cinnamon toothpicks to help curb the urge to snack and smoke," explains Randi Caporale, Operation Manager for Candy Crate, Inc. "Smoking Centers and Rehabilitation Centers are a big part of our Cinnamon Toothpick sales," explains Caporale. Candy Crate recently launched their own line of Hot Cinnamon Toothpicks under the label of Taste-T-Picks. Candy Crate decided to get into this niche market after their existing supplier stopped production and customers were anxious for a replacement, so they started working on an "All Natural" Cinnamon Toothpick. "The only other comparable product out there contains sugar and artificial flavoring," explains Caporale. "Our flavored toothpicks contain pure cinnamon oil - that's it - simple and pure tasty picks."

Some people like to chew it, others enjoy baking with it. From seasoning main dishes to desserts, to helping folks curb their urges, cinnamon has proved to be a popular ingredient in foods and a spice with many health benefits. Fill the kitchen with the sweet smell of cinnamon when you cook next time and you may be doing more for yourself than just satisfying your taste buds.

Entering into their 10th year on the web, is one of the leading Internet sites for hard-to-find old-fashioned candy and memorabilia. Their Internet site also contains useful information such as a list of "Candy through the Decades," "The History of Candy," and "Chocolate and Candy Trivia." For more information, visit, or stop by their warehouse in Hesperia, California.