Vanilla is an aromatic and commercially viable orchid. Beans of vanilla are the fruit pods of the plant. This tropical orchid exists in three different varieties Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pompona and Vanilla tahitensis. Out of these three, Vanilla planifolia is the most commercially important one. This plant is an ancient member of the flora community. According to historians, Mayan people used to add vanilla to their chocolate beverages for enhancing its flavor.
Vanilla beans are originally native to the tropical rain forests of Central America. But these plants are now being commercially cultivated in India, Indonesia and Madagascar. We can generally find vanilla extract or brown vanilla pod in the market. These vanilla pods are made to undergo some processes before they are sold as the brown pods in the market. Firstly, the unripe and green pods are allowed to ripe. The ripe yellow pods are then blanched and sun-dried for weeks to obtain the brown colored pods.
Vanilla extracts from the pods have incredible health benefits. Vanilla has mostly been exploited for its aromatic essence. But, now people are increasingly becoming more aware of the health benefits of this wonderful orchid. Some of those amazing health benefits have been listed below.
1. Weight Loss
Vanilla extracts have many unusual ingredients in them that scientists are still trying to figure out. But, researchers are constantly finding out the benefits of vanilla for weight loss. There are some aromatic ingredients present in vanilla that can effectively help in weigh loss. But it is important to remember that diet and exercise are still the cornerstones for weight loss, but adding vanilla in the mix can surely do no harm.
2. Say Bye To Digestive Woes
Vanilla extracts have always been used in traditional medicine for treating digestive problems like upset stomach and nausea. The aroma of vanilla is known for having a powerful effect on the senses which can cure nausea and other discomforts. Vanilla extracts can be taken as a herbal tea. It can also be taken as a decoction made by boiling some vanilla beans in some water. These preparations can help in providing relief from digestive discomforts.
3. Incredible Antioxidant
The incredible flavor and the aromatic essence of vanilla come from the presence of 200 compounds in it. These compounds have many potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are known for their ability to hinder degeneration of cells by eliminating free-radicals. Owing to this wonderful property, vanilla can be useful for preventing diseases like cancers, Alzheimer’s etc.
4. Enhances Dental Hygiene
Vanilla extracts contain a compound called vanillin. This compound is quite similar to euganols found in cinnamon. This compound has strong analgesic and anesthetic effect. Hence, a few drops of vanilla extract can relieve toothache and fight cavities.
5. Potent Aphrodisiac
Mayan people were known for using vanilla as an aphrodisiac. Aromatherapy researches have discovered that the aroma of vanilla can heighten sexual desire in men by increasing their testosterone levels. Regular ingestion of vanilla can cure impotency. The aroma of vanilla can activate pleasure senses in our bodies. Hence, it is widely used in perfume industries for the same reason.
6. Skin Care
Vanilla can provide wondrous skin benefits. The extracts of vanilla are rich in antioxidants which can help in restoring skin vitality by removing several signs of aging like age spots, wrinkles, dark spots etc. You can conjure up a home skin remedy by infusing some vanilla beans in an organic salve like oil. Vanilla extracts can also help in treating acne because of its anti-bacterial properties. You can mix a little amount of vanilla extract in a carrier oil and apply it regularly to get rid of pimples and acne scars.
So, get some vanilla extract today for saying good riddance to your health woes.