English name: Vanilla extract
Botanical name: Vanilla planifolia
Vanilla extract is obtained from the vanilla bean found in Central America. In the early centuries it was extracted in Mexico. The extract is obtained in the purest form by the SCFE Co2 supercritical extraction method. Due to this, the extract is completely pesticide, solvent and residue free.
Vanilla extract contains strong antibacterial, antioxidant and tumor fighting and cancer fighting abilities. This spice is expensive and more studies are being conducted on it. Studies show that it is a good inhibitor of cancer cells and has anti carcinogenic and anti inflammatory properties.
Beneficial properties of vanilla have been discovered since the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Medicinal elixirs were created by grinding fresh pods of vanilla and also used as drinks by royal families.
Vanilla extract is used in many recipes and for flavoring coffee. It has a range of health benefits too. It helps in calming the stomach while feeling nauseous. Just a few drops can be added to a glass of water and then slowly sipped to reduce the feeling of nausea. People looking towards weight loss can make used of the scent of vanilla besides adopting a good exercise regime and diet.
Studies indicate that it has a positive effect on the mind of people suffering from anxiety and stress. The extract is also used for healing up wounds. Irregular periods in women can be regulated with vanilla extract. So keeping it around the house is always beneficial. Since it imparts a sweet flavor to food items the extract is also used to make vanilla powder.
Vanilla extract has medicinal properties too and can help treat fever, gas, prevent tooth decay and increase sexual desire. It is an excellent aphrodisiac to boost levels of testosterone in men, increase feelings of satiation and pleasure and cure impotency as well as per studies. Skin disorders like acne and pimples can be treated with vanilla. It is used for making anti aging products in the cosmetic industry. As a home remedy it is used to tread wounds, cuts and burns traditionally.
It is useful in masking bitter flavors. Herbal tea infused with vanilla extract can help in relieving digestion related problems. It is an excellent remedy for stomach upsets, vomiting and nausea. Just add a few drops to boiled water and use. Vanilla aroma helps in easing out queasiness even.
Vanilla extract in its purest form can be a bit pricey. It is at times diluted with extracts that are less expensive and hence should be purchased from a reliable supplier only. Vanilla extract should not be taken in excess. It is always good to follow the advice of a healthcare professional first before considering vanilla extract consumption. The extract is safe for pregnant and nursing women besides children if taken in recommended dosage. Vanilla is basically safe but could have some side effects like inflammation, irritation, sleep issues and headaches. To tap its vanillin medicinal properties, it is being used by the supplement industry also.