Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and is a product of the laurel tree. According to InDepthInfo.com, the first mention of cinnamon was a reference in Chinese writings from 2800 B.C.
Originally, cinnamon was used for its medicinal properties to treat colds, the flu and digestive problems. In Egypt and Rome, cinnamon was used for its pleasant aroma; Egyptians used it for embalming mummies, and Romans burned it during funerals. Another use for cinnamon was to mask the smell and taste of meat that had spoiled. Although cinnamon is common now, it was once so highly sought after that quests to find it contributed to the exploration of the world.