Vanilla: the health benefits it can bring

Vanilla pods were harvested for the first time in Mexico, from wild orchids. It was then noticed very quickly that the fruits which fell on the ground had an exquisite smell. From its scientific name Vanilla planifolia, this plant is ideal for flavoring sweet and savory dishes, but also has health benefits. It has many nutrients and minerals including carbohydrates, lipids, sodium, proteins, iron, calcium and magnesium. Its active ingredient is vanilloside. It is a glucoside which becomes vanillin during the drying process. It is she who gives it this distinctive aroma. This plant also exhibits antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Currently, it is grown in Madagascar, Réunion, the Caribbean and Indonesia.

What are its medicinal properties?

the vanilla planifolia has a stimulating action on the nervous system, it:

  • Improves memory and concentration;
  • Calms and soothes;
  • Acts on cerebral fatigue;
  • Rebalance;
  • It is an aphrodisiac;
  • Comforts and reassures;
  • Promotes sleep.

In addition, this plant also has an action on the body:

  • It soothes chronic pain;
  • It contributes to the neutralization of free radicals in the body: its vanillin content gives it an antioxidant role;
  • It fights against chronic fatigue;
  • It treats fungal infections;
  • It fights against physical fatigue;
  • It calms stomach aches (stomachic and digestive properties) and abdominal spasms;
  • It promotes the secretion of bile (choleretic).

In what form can vanilla be used?

Vanilla planifolia provides a pleasant fragrance to herbal infusions and sweet desserts. In herbal medicineit can be used as:

  • Syrup;
  • Vanilla sugar ;
  • Of natural aroma;
  • Powder;
  • Dye;
  • Essential oil (it is used in Ayurveda).
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How to use it ?

To use a pod of this plant, you can start by cutting it lengthwise and then let it infuse in the preparation liquid (cream, milk, etc.). After the infusion, scrape the black grains and introduce them into the preparation to obtain the maximum of flavors. Vanilla planifolia is one of the ingredients of custard, canelés, pastry flan, filled waffles, as well as some duck or fish recipes. vanilla. Note that a beautiful pod must be very dark, or even black. It should also look greasy, shiny and supple.


To date, this plant has no contraindications. However, if you use his Essential oil, it is advisable to first make a first test. To do this, put a little of this oil on your skin. This will allow you to see if you are having an allergic reaction or not. If you notice swelling, redness or itching, it would be best not to use this essential oil.


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