Vanilla Health Benefits & Quick facts

Vanilla Scientific Classification

Scientific name Vanilla planifolia
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Order Orchidales
Family Orchidaceae
Genus Vanilla Mill.
Species Vanilla planifolia Jacks.
Super division Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Liliopsida
Sub Class Liliidae
                                                          Vanilla Quick Facts
Name: Vanilla
Scientific Name: Vanilla planifolia
Origin Mesoamerica – Mexico and Guatemala
Colors Green when young turning to dark brown
Shapes Pendulous, narrow cylindrical capsule, 10–25 cm by 0.8–1.5 cm,
Taste Wonderful
Calories 599 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Manganese (20.78%)
Carbohydrate (20.24%)
Copper (16.67%)
Vitamin B2 (15.23%)
Potassium (6.55%)

Health Benefits of Vanilla

Vanilla, apart from being a flavoring agent is also a therapeutic herb. Vanilla essential oil is used as a medicinal product to cure many diseases and vanilla beans, powdered or extract, also used in treatment of many medical conditions. Vanilla acts as an antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antidepressant and aphrodisiac providing numerous health benefits. Major health benefits of vanilla are:

1. Antibacterial

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of vanilla oil for preventing certain bacteria. The testing also evaluated ylang ylang and patchouli oils. For the bacteria in question – a strain of Staph. – Vanilla was able to prevent its development.

Essential oils with antibacterial benefits are extremely useful. In today’s age of chemical synthetics and overuse, we find ourselves with more harm than benefit when using commercial antibacterial products. To stop the spread of dangerous bacteria without risking our health is invaluable!

2. Anti-ageing Benefits

Vanilla is wonderful source of antioxidants which prevent and reverse skin damage caused by free radicals. It helps to slow down signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. It is extensively used in the cosmetic industry for its fragrance and anti-ageing benefits. Applying raw vanilla beans infused with organic oil imparts a great chocolaty fragrance besides making your skin smooth and soft.

3. Anti-depressant

As we all know that essential oils are often used for their uplifting, antidepressant abilities thanks to their simple applications and quick results. Simply smelling a fragrance can so quickly and effectively reach and affect the brain!

Vanilla has been studied for its in vitro ability to relieve depression. Tracking markers of depression in mice, researchers were able to determine antidepressant activity with the vanillin compound.

4. Relieve Pain

Vanillin is a compound of magical properties. It acts as a pain reliever as well as has anesthetic properties. These properties make it appropriate for naturally relieving pain. It helps soothe toothache, pain due to inflammation etc.

5. Lowers Blood Pressure

Vanilla oil’s sedative effects on the body allow it to naturally lower blood pressure by relaxing the body and mind. High blood pressure is the state when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted, causing extra stress on the heart. High blood pressure levels can put you at risk for having a stroke, heart attack and diabetes.

Main cause of high blood pressure is stress; by relaxing the muscles and mind, vanilla oil is able to lower blood pressure levels. Vanilla oil helps you to get more sleep, which is another easy way to lower blood pressure levels. Vanilla oil serves as a natural remedy for high blood pressure because it also acts as an antioxidant, so it reduces oxidative stress and dilates the arteries.

6. Soothes Burns

Vanilla has been used as a traditional remedy to heal burns, wounds and cuts. Concentrated vanilla extracts or essential oil should not be used directly on recent burns. Topical treatments containing vanilla extracts might be helpful. It is recommended to consult your doctor before using any such home remedies for burns.

 7. Anti-cancer

As usual with cancer and essential oils, the preface for this discussion is that more research must be executed. Thanks in no small part to its antioxidant ability, though, vanillin and substances that contain it (like vanilla!) are among the oils and compounds considered for anticancer ability.

Until we know more specifically how these actions work in the body and the best ways to incorporate them for direct effectiveness, we can enjoy using a substance that cancer doesn’t like!

8. Promotes Healthy Skin

Vanilla is a good source of B-vitamins like niacin, thiamin, Vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid which play an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. The antioxidant properties of vanilla help to protect your skin from damage caused by environmental pollutants and toxins. You can prepare a scrub to revive your skin from within. All you need to do is slice open 5 vanilla beans to scrape out its seeds. Add these seeds along with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 drops vanilla essential oil to freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix the ingredients and apply it on your face. Massage for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Then, splash some cold water on your face.

9. Beneficial for Children

Vanilla extract added to a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar can help to reduce fever and fight infections in children. In addition, the taste may also appeal to children.

10. Good for digestion

Vanilla is a natural substance that is good for digestion. There are many ways done by vanilla in enhance digestive health. The distinctive aroma of vanilla is useful to prevent nausea. Another way in preventing gastrointestinal problems with vanilla is vanilla tea. Vanilla tea also prevent vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and prevent abdominal cramps.

11. Boost Cognitive Actions and Mental Health

Vanilla helps to improve mental health and boost cognitive functions. Its antioxidant property and free radical removing activity boost neural functions, decrease risk of nervous breakdown, prevent nervous damage and improve memory. Frequent consumption of vanilla may actually improve cognitive abilities and mental health.

12. Treatment of Anxiety

Certain neurological research have proved that vanilla extract have a positive effect on those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Vanilla scent is specifically helpful for this purpose. Drinking water or milk that contains vanilla extract helps reduce anxiety in some people.

This aromatic spice is helpful for your nervous system. Research conducted by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York indicated that exposure to vanilla aromatherapy has proven to be effective in relieving the symptoms of claustrophobia.

13. Increased libido

Since prehistoric times, vanilla has been regarded an aphrodisiac. However, ongoing aromatherapy researches recommend that vanilla help to increase sexual desire by increasing testosterone levels in men. A 1970s research also claimed that majority of its participants believed that vanilla had cured their impotency. While there is no concrete proof to prove this, experts believe that the aroma of vanilla does induce feelings of pleasure and satiation.

14. Treatment of Cough

Cough syrups normally use vanilla extract as a flavoring to mask their bitter taste. Though additional research is necessary in this regard, the mild anesthetic properties of vanilla extract can relieve symptoms such as pain from a sore throat or headache.

15. Anti-inflammatory

Also in line with the effects of antioxidants, vanillin is likely to be anti-inflammatory. This effect tends to happen with antioxidant substances thanks to that cellular level repair that takes place.

As non-traditional oil, topical applications are outstanding for performing this effect, massaging it deep into the muscles and joints that are inflamed or applying it to skin that is plagued with inflammation.

16. Dental Health

Vanillin contained in vanilla is similar to capsaicin in chili peppers and euganols in spices such as cinnamon. This compound has a positive effect on the central nervous system. Capsaicin is an effective pain reliever while euganols act as topical anaesthetics. Vanilla possesses both these properties which help fight toothache and infection.

17. Treatment of Acne

The antibacterial properties of vanilla make it beneficial for the treatment of acne. Vanillin, through its antibacterial effects, helps cleanse your skin, decreasing the occurrence of pimples and acne.

18. Aids Weight Loss

Researches have shown that vanilla extract help people lose weight. Though exercise and diet play a main role in weight loss, these efforts can be supplemented with the intake of vanilla extract for greater benefits. Additional research is required to validate this claim.

19. Relieves Nausea

Vanilla extracts help calm the stomach in case of a feeling of nausea. Just add a few drops of vanilla extract to a glass of water and sip it gradually. The amazing vanilla scent helps to relieve the feeling of nausea. In fact, it is as good as nausea medicine and can effectively substitute it.

20. Treatment of Menstrual Problems

Irregular menstrual cycle, pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other menstrual problems can be cured by including vanilla in regular diet. Vanilla is high in magnesium content that controls the production of hormones that boost functioning of neurotransmitters and so reduce PMS related issues of mood changes and depression. Vanilla’s calcium content reduces pain and irregularities in menstrual periods. Drink vanilla extract in water or as a tea to comfort you from menstrual problems.

21. Aids Wound Healing

Since ancient times vanilla extract is used for healing wounds. Its anti-inflammatory properties can calm inflamed areas on the skin. It is considered a great home remedy for wound healing. Note that the direct use of vanilla extract on open wounds and burns should be avoided.

22. Repels Mosquitoes and Bugs

For a natural pest-deterrent, just mix a tablespoon of vanilla extract with a cup of water and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz it on exposed skin to ward of those irritating mosquitoes, flies and even ticks.