Vanilla is a vine that climbs trees or existing structures. The world’s largest producers of Vanilla are Madagascar and Indonesia. The vanilla seed measure 1/3 of an inch by half a foot and is colored brownish red or black when ripe. The pods contain the oily liquid filled with tiny seeds.
The flower is beautiful colored yellow, looks like an orchid and bears a fruit that only lasts for one day. The fruit is actually a seed capsule when left on the plant will ripen and open. When it dries, the compounds will crystallize and releases its distinct aroma. Both the seeds and pods are used for culinary purposes. The beans contain more than 200 compounds varying in concentration depending where it is harvested. It contains vanillin, guaiacol, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde and anise alcohol, which are important in the vanilla aroma profile.
Vanilla Essential Oil is an extract of the plant Vanilla planifolia, a species from the Orchidaceae family. Vaina is a Spanish word that means, “little pod”. The oil is widely used for domestic and commercial baking, aromatherapy and perfume making.
It brings about a variety of therapeutic benefits though technically it is not an essential oil. Pure Vanilla Essential Oil can fight inflammation, effective anti-depressant and has high antioxidant levels that help in preventing cancer cells from growing. It fights diseases and infections caused by inflammation and oxidation. The oil promotes hair and skin health, relief for muscular cramps and pain, and naturally balances hormones.
Vanilla Essential Oil Benefits
Vanilla Essential Oil benefits include:
- A potent antioxidant
- Boosts sex drive
- Provides relief for PMS symptoms
- Helps in the prevention of cancer
- Fights infections
- Acts as antidepressant
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces blood pressure
Pure Vanilla Essential Oil is expensive. If you bought it for a bargain price that means it is not of high quality. Read labels carefully. Products that contain lab-produced vanillin and synthetics are not pure. Mexican products that contain vanilla extract mixed with Tonga bean extract contain the coumarin chemical. The FDA bans this in the 1950s because it is not safe to consume.
Vanilla Essential Oil Uses
- Vanilla Essential Oil as Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory. High levels of anti-oxidants contained in Vanilla Essential Oil protect the body from its aging by neutralizing the free radicals. It contains substances that prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. Oxidation leads to formation of the free radicals, which damage the body’s tissues and associated with premature aging and cancer.
- Vanilla Essential Oil for Enhancing Sex Drive. Vanilla Essential Oil encourages the secretion of estrogen and testosterone hormones, which help people with erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and impotence. Erectile dysfunction is caused by lowered testosterone levels, poor diet, medications, stress, fatigue, depression and other ailments.
- Vanilla Essential Oil as Anti-Depressant. Since the 17th century, vanilla has been used to fight depression and anxiety together with nutrition. It calms the brain, helps with insomnia, anger, anxiety and stress. Studies show that vanillin, a component of Vanilla Essential Oil, is comparable to flouxetine, a drug that is used in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. The sedative properties of Vanilla Essential Oil make it an effective and natural treatment for depression.
- Vanilla Essential Oil as Anti-bacterial. Vanilla Essential Oil contains components such as vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde and eugenol that can fight infections. It is a proven antibacterial agent according to a study made in Basel, Switzerland in 2014. The study shows that the oil inhibits the adherence of bacteria that is commonly found in the skin and human respiratory tract.
- Vanilla Essential Oil as Anti-Cancer Treatment. Vanilla Essential Oil contains anti-carcinogenic properties that help in inhibiting cancer development, which makes it a potential natural treatment for cancer. It curbs cancer cell growth and works as an anti-oxidant preventing the oxidation of cell. The anti-oxidants kill free radicals of the body and reverse the oxidative chronic disease caused by stress.
Vanilla Essential Oil Side Effects
Though vanilla is safe to consume, there are still possible side effects. If you are to blend vanilla pods or beans with carrier oil to make the infusion, use carrier oil that is safe to consume like coconut oil.
Adverse effects of the oil being used topically or internally are inflammation, irritation or swelling. Start by using the oil in small doses. Perform a skin test first before applying Vanilla Essential Oil on the skin.
How to Use Vanilla Essential Oil
- As a massage oil. Massage around 10 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil infusion to the chest, neck, feet and stomach to relax the mind and body. This provides relief for PMS, muscle pains, anxiety, cramps and functions as antibacterial agent.
- In aromatherapy. Inhale around 3 to 5 drops of the oil before going to bed or take a bath by adding around 5 to 10 drops of the oil in warm water to improve your sleeping patterns.
- In perfumes. To smell nice, add 10 to 20 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil in a spray bottle with equal parts of water and jojoba or almond oil. Spray the oil blend to your body, hair, furniture and sheets.
How to Make Vanilla Essential Oil
There are several methods that can be used to create Vanilla Essential Oil. The first one is infusion where chopped vanilla pods are soaked in a carrier oil for about two weeks. The infusion is shaken every so often and can be used anytime after that. The beans are left soaking in the oil.
Another option is to infuse the pods in ethyl alcohol. The highly concentrated alcohol evaporates when poured off, and only pure Vanilla Essential Oil is left in the container. The downside of this second method is that there is less oil created.
Vanilla Essential Oil Recipe
Vanilla Essential Oil Infusion
- Handful of vanilla pods or beans
- Carrier oil like jojoba oil
- Airtight jar
- Chop the vanilla pods or beans into little pieces. Remove the seeds.
- Add the chopped vanilla to the carrier oil.
- Allow the blend to sit for 1 week or longer. The fragrance gets stronger in time.
- Keep the blend in an airtight jar.
- Filter the pods when you are about to use the oil if you prefer (though it’s not necessary).
Vanilla Essential Oil Tincture
- Vanilla pods
- 151-proof rum
- Airtight container
- In a jar, soak a handful of vanilla pods with 151-proof rum for around 2 weeks.
- Using a strainer, remove the solid particles
- Keep tincture in an airtight container.
Where to Buy Vanilla Essential Oil
Vanilla Essential Oil can be easily bought from online and physical stores selling essential oils and aromatherapy materials. Popular sources are Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay. The bean itself can be purchased from grocery stores and markets or sites like www.lgbotanicals.com
More Information on Vanilla Essential Oil
- Vanilla Essential Oil is popular in aromatherapy because of its soothing and relaxing scent. It has the ability to lift a person’s mood.
- Cannot sleep? Vanilla Essential Oil is known for tranquilizing properties. The oil relaxes the brain, lowers blood pressure, and makes a person feel sleepy immediately.
- Vanilla Essential Oil is also helpful to people who have irregular menstrual periods. It activates hormones such as estrogen, and this helps make cycles normal.
- If you want to blend essential oils, Vanilla will be great with Sandalwood, Orange, Neroli, Chamomile, and Lavender, among others.