In grade school, my teachers would always give my class cinnamon gum before our yearly standardized tests. They would tell us that it would keep us concentrated and make us smarter! To this day I still chew cinnamon gum when I take tests because I have adapted to this idea that it will make me smarter… but does it really?
The Rush University Medical Center created a study in July 2016 to test how cinnamon effects the brain. The easiest and safest way for them to figure this out, was to test it on mice. Scientists fed slower learning mice food and observed as they became smarter. This is because of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of our brain that does everything involved with memory, such as storing and organizing it. The mice were fed pure ceylon cinnamon and results were seen immediately. Right after consuming the cinnamon, the mice’s bodies metabolized and began turning into sodium benzoate. This showed that it was positively affecting their bodies and brains because sodium benzoate helps treat brain damage. Kalipada Pahan is has a PhD, and is the head researcher of the study and the Floyd A. Davis Professor of Neurology at Rush. He believes that cinnamon really does improve the learning and memory of the brain. They then put the mice in a maze learning experiment. The maze was a Barnes maze. The constant variable in this test was by having all of the (soon to be experimented) mice see how they would do on this task, without consuming any cinnamon. These results were taken and calculated. A month later, these same mice were given the cinnamon to consume, and were given the same task, which was to finish the Barnes maze. It was found that the slow learning mice began to start learning as quickly as the fast learning mice.
Next time you are taking an exam, studying for a test, or just completing one of these blog posts, I suggest you chew cinnamon gum, or sprinkle some cinnamon on your toast. It is clearly shown that cinnamon is a brain booster and directly affects your hippocampus, leading you to learn better and focus.