We are all familiar with the fragrance of vanilla. That sweet scent that wafts into a room and swirls around our senses to bring memories of warm wonderful treats. You might be surprised to know that this same ingredient is used in a number of natural healing therapies as well and has been sourced for the essential oil throughout the centuries.
Native to Mexico and a few surrounding countries, the vanilla plant (Vanilla Planifolia) is known as a ‘creeper plant’, producing a long bean that is used for cooking and aromatherapy. The actual essential oil of vanilla is derived in a completely different manner. It is actually the solvent extraction of the fermented bean resin, which contains Capric Acid, Acetic Acid, Isobutyric Acid, Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde, Eugenol and Furfural. The flavor that we associate with vanilla are from hyrdocarbons from the extraction.
The essential oil of vanilla is a marvelous miracle of nature for therapeutic and healing properties:
Antioxidant: Free radicals within the body are a major cause of illness. The purpose of free radicals is to actually cause an oxidation of the tissues and cells and they have the ability to change the DNA structure which can lead to damage of the organs, a weakened immune system, memory loss, slow hearing and vision loss, macular degeneration, malfunction of the nervous system and mental instability. Vanilla essential oil contains antioxidants that combat free radicals so that they don’t have an opportunity to attack and harm cellular structures. As an antioxidant, vanilla essential oil also stimulates repair to any damaged area.
Anti-carcinogenic is a term that means the ability to reduce cancer cell growth. The main antioxidant properties of vanilla essential oil allow it to work against the cancer cell growth and the components aide in healing or slowing down the damaged area development.
Febrifuge in vanilla essential oil acts as a combatant in the reduction of fevers due to infection. The natural ingredients of Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde and Eugenol fight against the infections themselves as well as acts as a calming sedative and therefore is also considered to be an anti-phlogistic. Vanilla essential oil has been a main ingredient in some of the most successful topical pain relief products.
Antidepressant: The aroma of vanilla is not only pleasing, but has been shown to elevate moods and act as an antidepressant. Scientific studies involving patients with extreme depressant disorders have shown vanilla to be a key olfactory ingredient in elevating their moods.
The next time you walk into a room and smell the sweet scent of vanilla you can recognize that it is doing more positive to the body than just acting as an enticement for your appetite. Some of the highest quality vanilla essential oil is now being included in massage therapies and pain relief application as a complete mind-body healing process.
Always confer with a primary care physician prior to making any changes in your medical regiment.