COLOMBO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — World’s biggest cinnamon exporter Sri Lanka is experimenting on the medicinal power of the well- known spice as a treatment for diabetes, an official said on Tuesday.
D. B. T. Wijeratne, additional secretary of the Agriculture Ministry said a team from the medical faculty of the Peradeniya State University has been experimenting on the healing power of cinnamon as a treatment for diabetes and cholesterol.
“We have found cinnamon is working for diabetes and cholesterol and several other illnesses. Rather than giving as a raw material to the world we are looking to promote it as a medicinal finish product,” Wijeratne said.
“Cinnamon is already being used as a functional food,” and it would be a natural medical product once the experiments are successful, said Wijeratne who is also a food scientist.
Started in 2011, the government has allocated 70,000 U.S. dollars for the experiment and Wijeratne said that it is a long process where it would be first tested with the animals.
“Before sending to the world market we have to do a proper experiment first with the animal and second with the human,” Wijeratne said.
Sri Lanka commands more than 85 percent of the world market share for real cinnamon and it brought in revenue of 85 million U. S. dollars in exports in 2010.