There’s not much talk about cinnamon’s brain health benefits. But that’s mostly because its healthy properties have not been fully explored. There have been efforts to study how it affects memory and learning, but the findings remain unestablished.

But recently, researchers at the Birjand University of Medical Science in Iran opted to take the road less traveled and review past studies exploring the effects of cinnamon on the brain and its cognitive functions. They then published their analysis in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

According to the team, they wanted to systematically review studies about the relationship between the famous spice from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree and the brain’s memory and learning functions.

After screening 2,606 studies about cinnamon from different databases, including PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar and Web of Science, the team found 40 studies that met the criteria for their systematic review.

While analyzing data from the studies, they found that cinnamon’s eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid components positively altered cognitive function. Some of the studies also reported that the spice’s components prevented and reduced cognitive function impairment.

One of the studies that centered on adolescents suggested that chewing cinnamon gum improved memory function and reduced anxiety. But overall, the findings highlighted the potential value of cinnamon for preventing memory and learning problems.

"This study aimed to systematically review studies about the relationship between cinnamon and its key components in memory and learning. Two thousand six hundred five studies were collected from different databases in September 2021 and went under investigation for eligibility. Forty studies met our criteria and were included in this systematic review," Samaneh Nakhaee, Alireza Kooshki and their colleagues wrote in their review.

The team indicated that they hope the findings could inspire other scientists to further examine the positive effects of cinnamon on the brain so the spice could be recommended for use in preserving brain function and slowing down cognitive impairment.

Aside from its brain health benefits and its use as an aromatic, there’s also scientific evidence that cinnamon has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, according to Medical Xpress.