Properties, benefits and uses of vanilla

Properties, benefits and uses of vanilla

Vanilla is one of the most recognized species in the world. Its exquisite aroma and flavor make this plant widely used in the gastronomy, perfumery and aromatherapy industry.

But beyond these uses, vanilla offers a variety of benefits that have been used in natural medicine. If you want to know more about it, be sure to read this article.


What is Vanilla?

It is a component that comes from the orchid Planifoliate Vanilla, originally from Mexico. Vanilla is detached from these plants in the form of pods (sticks) whose size varies from 5 to 22 centimeters. These, when ripe, are roasted in the sun until they acquire a brown hue and a firmer consistency. In the end, the expected product will turn out – vanilla.

Its name was given by the Spanish conquerors. However, the ancient Totonacs recognized it as “Xahanat” or “Black Flower”, while the Aztecs called it “Tixotlil”.

From its origins, vanilla was used as a flavoring agent and as a tribute to the gods.

There are several types of vanilla, such as:

  • fine vanillaLength: It varies from 20 to 30 cm, it is black in color and its aroma is concentrated.
  • woody vanillaAppearance: It is dry, dull red in color and measures between 13 and 20 cm.
  • Vanillon: It results from a pod in band, flat and rarely frosted. Its size varies between 10 and 12 cm. Its aroma is strong and pungent.

In the market you will find the sale of vanilla in various presentations, such as liquid, powder, bar or essence.

properties of vanilla

Studies published by the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture claim that this species has medicinal properties thanks to its antioxidant compounds, which protect the body’s cells from free radicals.

This publication also confirms the antibacterial properties of vanilla, making it a plant that helps prevent infectious diseases.

It is estimated that each 100 grams of vanilla provides the body with the following nutrients:

Sodium 9mg
Magnesium 12mg
Zinc 0.11mg
Potassium 148mg
Calcium 11mg
calories 51.40
carbohydrates 12.7 grams
Fiber 28.50
Protein 0.1g
sugars 12.65
vitamin B2 0.1mg
vitamin B3 0.4mg

Health Benefits

  • Its consumption helps to minimize inflammation of the intestines, relieving stomach aches and other discomforts of the digestive system. Vanilla has been used throughout time to improve digestion. In addition, its pleasant aroma helps fight nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Its antiseptic and analgesic properties help relieve pain and prevent infections.
  • Thanks to its nutritional and aromatic richness, vanilla contributes to the better functioning of the nervous system.
  • It contains relaxing properties, which help calm abdominal pain, as well as other body ailments.
  • Helps calm stress and anxiety, improving mood. Traditional medicine assures that its pleasant smell directly affects the perception of the brain, inducing a state of balance and calm which helps to reduce stress.
  • It is an aphrodisiac product, which promotes relaxation and stimulates sexual desire.
  • Prevents diseases of the cardiovascular system, minimizing cholesterol levels.
  • Helps prevent cancer, thanks to its antioxidant properties that fight free radicals.
  • Protects the body’s immune system, increases defenses and helps prevent disease.
  • Promotes the proper functioning of the liver.
  • Relieves musculoskeletal pain, helping to prevent arthritis.
  • It is an excellent healing agent, in addition to helping regenerate the skin. In addition, its use is recommended for people with acne problems, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
  • It is a powerful anti-inflammatory throughout the body. Studies published in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology support its use for neuroinflammation.
  • Helps in hair growth, strengthening and shine.
  • It is an excellent product to give taste and smell in the preparation of cooking recipes.
  • It is used to flavor environments.

uses of vanilla

in gastronomy

Since ancient times, vanilla has been used to flavor and flavor a wide variety of cooking recipes. It is an essential ingredient in confectionery, ice cream, cookies and pastries.

in natural medicine

Here are some home remedies prepared with vanilla:

  • to ease the pain. Mix one tablespoon of vanilla in 8 ounces of water and drink before bed.
  • for gum disease. Mix together a tablespoon of vanilla, 1 banana, half a cup of skim milk and half a cup of blackberries. The liquid is then drunk to fight bacteria in the mouth and attack gingivitis.
  • for the livid: Pour 10 grams of vanilla and 90 grams of sugar into a completely closed container. It is recommended to drink 2 grams of this preparation dissolved in a cup of hot milk twice a day, on an empty stomach and before going to bed.

Other uses

  • It is an excellent product for aromatherapy, so you will find that vanilla is widely used in the preparation of incense, air fresheners and oils.
  • It is used in the perfume and personal hygiene industry, finding vanilla-scented lotions, as well as shampoos and moisturizers.


Its consumption is not recommended for people suffering from chronic gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome or neurological, hepatic or renal diseases.

You should always consult your doctor before starting any herbal treatment.

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