The health benefits of Vanilla Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antioxidant, aphrodisiac, anticarcinogenic, febrifuge, antidepressant, sedative, tranquilizing and relaxing substance.
If you always thought that the word ‘Vanilla’ was the proprietary property of all those industries producing those mouth watering ice creams, chocolates, cakes, pastries, custards, biscuits, confections and soft drinks, and that there could not be a better use for it, then you were wrong.
The Essential Oil of Vanilla is extracted by solvent extraction of a resinous substance obtained from fermented vanilla beans. These beans come from vanilla plants, a creeper that grows mainly in Mexico and neighboring countries and bears the scientific name Vanilla Planifolia. Its main components are Acetic Acid, Capric Acid, Eugenol, Furfural, Isobutyric Acid and Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde. Most of the flavors that include “vanilla” are not actually derived from proper vanilla at all. They are synthesized from hydrocarbons.
Apart from its widespread use as a flavoring agent in certain organic foods, beverages and pharmaceutical industries as well as in culinary endeavors, the essential oil of vanilla has found extensive use in the world of medicine as well. A more complete explanation of these medical benefits are explained below.
Antioxidant: This property of vanilla essential oil alone can take care of most of your problems. You may not be aware of this important fact, but oxidation is one of the biggest causes behind most of our health troubles and diseases. It is directly and indirectly responsible for a number of diseases caused by organic malfunctions and infections. Oxidizers, also called free radicals, cause oxidation of living cells and tissues and burn them to death, or change their DNA structure to that of cancerous cells. Gradually, this result in a weakening of the body’s immune system, loss of memory, organic and nervous malfunctioning, gradual loss of vision & hearing, mental instability, macular degeneration, and the body becomes prone to diseases.
The antioxidant property of vanilla essential oil neutralizes these free radicals and protects the body from wear and tear, infections and even some forms of cancer, such as those of the prostrate and colon. It also repairs the damage already done to the body and stimulates repair.
Aphrodisiac: A systematic administration of vanilla essential oil to patients suffering from impotence, erectile dysfunction, frigidity, or loss of libido can relieve them of their problems. This oil stimulates the secretion of certain hormones like testosterone and estrogen which help bring about normal sexual behavior and promotes sexual arousal.
Anticarcinogenic: To some extent, the anticarcinogenic property of vanilla oil comes from its antioxidant properties. The free radicals or oxidants do not only damage tissues, but can also cause certain type of cancers, such as those of the prostrate and colon. Certain components of the essential oil of vanilla curbs the growth of cancerous cells, thereby helping to cure, prevent, or slow down cancer.
Febrifuge: Vanilla essential oil can effectively reduce fevers by fighting infections. The essential oil contains components like Eugenol and Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde, which fight infections. Being a sedative, it also reduces inflammation from fevers, so it is also considered an antiphlogistic.
Antidepressant: You were sitting alone, depressed. Then, someone brought you a vanilla ice cream cone or a vanilla-flavored drink. You drink it and suddenly, your spirits are lifted and the depression is gone! You start feeling pleased, satisfied and get into a much better mood. This is one of the biggest advantages of vanilla’s powerful aroma. It is far more effective if it comes from real vanilla, but synthetic vanilla or artificially synthesized Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde works as well. The flavor alone is so pleasingly sweet and soothing that everyone from toddlers to centurions enjoy the flavor. Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde, a component of vanilla essential oil, is an effective antidepressant and mood lifter.
Sedative: The essential oil of vanilla soothes the body in innumerable ways. It soothes all types of inflammation and hyperactivity in the systems of the body, including the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous and excretory systems. It reduces inflammation stemming from fever, as well as convulsions, anxiety, stress, and hypersensitivity to allergens.
Relaxing: This oil has a relaxing and calming effect on the brain and the nerves that provides relief from anxiety, anger, and restlessness.
Tranquilizing: Vanilla Essential Oil helps you to get good night’s sleep as well. This is due to the sedative and relaxing properties of this oil. It lowers blood pressure and has a tranquilizing effect on the brain that makes it hard to keep your eyelids open. A small amount of vanilla essential oil or extract and the only thing you care about is pillows and dreams!
Other Benefits: It helps to regularize menstruation (although not exactly an emenagogue) by activating certain hormones like estrogen.