Scientific Name: Vanilla planifolia

Bahasa Indonesia: Vanila


Basic Information:

Vanilla is an extremely popular ingredient in many different culinary preparations around the world, and the scent of vanilla is unmistakable to most people. This flavoring is derived from the orchids of the Vanilla genus, which bears fruits that are shaped like pods. These pods can range in size from 5-22cm in length and are considered of a higher quality when they are larger. However, these pods must be hand-picked at precisely the right time to ensure that the seed pods don’t pop and that they are properly ripe. Harvesting the pods is a time-intensive process, but there is a global demand for vanilla in many different forms, not only for its use in food preparation but also in natural healing.

Health Benefits:

  1. Heart Health – Research on the cardiovascular impact of vanilla, particularly its active ingredient, vanillin, has shown that it can measurably reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
  2. Healing Properties – Vanilla is rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent the breakdown of cells and tissues around the body, and stimulate the body’s natural regrowth.
  3. Reduces Inflammation – For centuries, vanilla in numerous forms has been used to soothe inflammation throughout the body. Vanillin is a crucial part of this remedy’s beneficial effects and can help ease conditions of arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions.
  4. Hair Care – Vanilla is often included in hygiene and beauty products because of its many effects on the hair and skin.
  5. Prevents Acne – The antibacterial nature of this beneficial flower makes it a powerful ally in the battle against pimples, as it can eliminate the underlying infection and speed up the healing process of the skin. It can even reduce the appearance of scars from a particularly bad bout of acne.
  6. Soothes Anxiety – The smell of vanilla, in fact, is known to directly impact the brain and induce calmness.
  7. Aids in Weight Loss – Some research has pointed to vanilla as a weight loss aid, due to its appetite-suppressing properties. The extract of this plant is also known to help lower cholesterol levels, making your body and metabolism more efficient, and effectively supporting weight loss goals.
  8. Cures Respiratory Conditions – Vanilla extract can help to coat the throat when mixed with warm water and provide an anesthetic effect to the throat. The antibacterial properties can also help eliminate the underlying infection or illness while easing coughs and sore throats.
  9. Promotes Healthy Digestion – The scent of this herb is known to calm feelings of nausea, while vanilla-infused herbal tea can soothe inflammation in the gut and prevent vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, and stomach upset.

Fun Facts:

  • There are more than 150 different varieties of vanilla plants. It is the only edible fruit of orchid family.
  • Flowers are hand pollinated by using a wooden needle to duplicate the process in other parts of the world.
  • The flower that produces the vanilla bean lasts only one day. The beans are hand-picked and then cured, wrapped, and dried in a process that takes 4 to 6 months.