We must go back up to year 3000 BC to find the first traces of cinnamon in Egypt, where it was used to embalm the dead.
Cinnamon comes from an Island in the East, known as Sri Lanka, and it was introduced in the Western world thanks to the Arabs. The specific origins of cinnamon didn’t became clear until the Middle Ages. Until then, mythical tales encompassed this amazing spice. According to a lot of classical roman authors for example, cinnamon grew around a lake protected by colossal birds. Whoever wanted to take it, would have to discover a way to mislead them.
In the Middle Ages, Arabs were no longer the only ones to market cinnamon from the Western world. Spice trade gained a massive political and economical role. One of the original goals of Columbus’ journey, that ended up with the discovery of America, was to expand the trade routes to the East.
Venice started to buy cinnamon in the Arabs and became the sole trader in Europe. This monopoly lasted until 1505, when Portugal discovered Sri Lanka (Ceylon), a goldmine for cinnamon. They were defeated by the Dutch one hundred years after.
Nowadays Cinnamon is cultivated in several countries, like India, Brazil and Vietnam to name a couple, although Sri Lanka still produces 90% of cinnamon.
In spite of all of the political and historical changes, the methods by that cinnamon can be used remain the same: as a medicament, in the kitchen, and more recently to keep away insects.