In this article, I will be talking about the uses of Vanilla aside just being a flavoring ingredient we will look at it’s benefits to the human body.
Vanilla has more uses than just being used to flavor baked items and ice creams. It does treat acne, improves hair growth and apparently speeds healing (as ancient groups have used it).
Vanilla also reduces inflammation, prevents chronic diseases, and helps to protect the heart by lowering cholesterol levels.
Okay, let me assume you know nothing about vanilla.
What is vanilla? A brief background.
You must have known vanilla from the ice cream shops you have attended or even from things like vanilla teas and other cosmetics.
Vanilla is a spice that comes from a plant that is self-pollinated. This helps the plant to produce the fruit from which the vanilla spice is obtained. The fruits from the plant are usually called vanilla beans (pods).
This spice is native to Mexico, even though it is now being grown all over the world. The top producers of vanilla are; Indonesia, Madagascar, Tahiti, and Uganda. These are the most common flavors of vanilla you will find on the market.
Before maturity, vanilla pods will be anywhere from 5cm. These pods/beans are considered good quality when they are larger and longer. They are then hand-picked (before they split their seeds). This is a labor-intensive process but worthwhile due to the price vanilla beans command on the market.
Usually, fully grown vanilla pods range from 12cm to 22cm. They are usually graded according to moisture levels, lengths, color, and aroma (which largely comes from the origin). Grading is usually done after the curing process.
Curing is the process where preservation happens. During this curing process, the beans are immersed into boiling water to kill off their plant life hence preserving them.
Forms of vanilla
You will find vanilla in the following forms;
- Vanilla beans also called vanilla pods. You can check these out from our shop here.
- Extract – you can make this at home.
- Vanilla powder.
These are the most common forms of vanilla you will find. Once you buy the beans, you can make vanilla extract or vailla powder on your own at home. Let us now dive into the uses of vanilla beans.
Uses of vanilla include the following:
1. For health; people take vanilla (in any form), for the following reasons
Vanilla helps to reduce risk of heart attacks. Vanilla has an active ingredient called vanillin which research has proved to help lower cholesterol levels.
It also helps to stimulate healing as it is rich in antioxidants which help prevent cell breakdown. Research also proves that the antibacterial nature protects the immune system and lowers stress.
It has also reduces inflammation in the body
For centuries, vanilla in numerous forms has been used to soothe inflammation throughout the body. This is particularly effective for inflammation of the liver, which can occur for numerous reasons, especially if you are a heavy drinker. Vanillin is a crucial part of this remedy’s beneficial effects and can help ease conditions of arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions.
Stimulate healthy hair growth
Vanilla is often included in hygiene and beauty products because of its many effects on the hair and skin. If you suffer from frequent split ends or hair loss, applying its essential oil in a carrier oil of some kind can measurably strengthen the hair and induce blood flow to the scalp, encouraging growth and more aesthetically pleasing hair.
For people who regularly struggle with acne, it can often feel like a losing battle. Fortunately, the antibacterial nature of this beneficial flower makes it a powerful ally in the battle against pimples, as it can eliminate the underlying infection and speed up the healing process of the skin. It can even reduce the appearance of scars from a particularly bad bout of acne.
Although some people remain skeptical of aromatherapy (the use of plant materials and aromatic plant oils for improving psychological or physical well-being). Some of the best natural remedies can have an effect simply through our olfactory (odor) sense. The smell of vanilla, in fact, is known to directly impact the brain and induce calmness. Therefore, the extract can be one of the best and most accessible remedies for anxiety and chronic stress.
Aids in Weight Loss
Some research has pointed to vanilla as a weight loss agent, due to its appetite-suppressing properties. The extract of this plant is also known to help lower cholesterol levels, making your body and metabolism more efficient, and effectively supporting weight loss goals.
Cures Respiratory Conditions
When you are battling a cough, cold, or respiratory infection, any sort of analgesic or anti-inflammatory substance can be helpful. Vanilla extract can help to coat the throat when mixed with warm water and provide an anesthetic effect to the throat. The antibacterial properties can also help eliminate the underlying infection or illness while easing coughs and sore throats.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
There are a number of ways that vanilla has been used throughout history to optimize digestive function. The scent of this herb (link to the previous blog) is known to calm feelings of nausea, while vanilla-infused herbal tea can soothe inflammation in the gut and prevent vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, and stomach upset.
This is all I have for you today!
I know you have learned a lot from this article and I strongly recommend that you add Vanilla into your catalog of spices (if you have one).
Please drop me a comment or a question below and I’ll get back to you at soon as possible.
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