We must go back up to year 3000 BC to get the first traces of cinnamon in Egypt, where it was used to embalm the dead.
The specific origins of cinnamon didn’t became apparent until the Middle Ages. Until then, mythical tales encompassed this remarkable spice. According to a lot of classical roman authors for instance, 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 function. One of the first goals of Columbus’ journey, that ended up with the discovery of America, was to enlarge the trade routes to the East.
Venice began to purchase cinnamon in the Arabs and became the sole trader in Europe. This monopoly lasted until 1505, when Portugal found Sri Lanka (Ceylon), a goldmine for cinnamon. They were defeated by the one hundred years after.
Nowadays Cinnamon is cultivated in several countries, such as India, Brazil and Vietnam to name a couple, although Sri Lanka still generates 90% of cinnamon.
Regardless of all of the political and historic changes, the methods by that cinnamon can be used remain the same: as a medicament, in the kitchen, and more recently to keep insects away.