Vanilla Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses & How to Make

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

Vanilla is a flavor that is not just a favorite in cakes and ice-creams, but also an essential oil scent. Its fragrance is enough to spark a dull and boring room within seconds. Apart from its commercial and baking specialty, the vanilla essential oil is a favorite amongst the masses for its health benefits too. The health benefits of vanilla essential oil might include its properties of an antioxidant, aphrodisiac, febrifuge, sedative, tranquilizer, and relaxing substance. Moreover, it also may have antifungal, antibacterial properties that promote healthy skin and hair, and might provides relief from muscle pain and cramps.

What is Vanilla Essential Oil?

Vanilla is a traditional flavoring agent procured from the cured beans of the genus Vanilla. The essential oil of vanilla is extracted by the solvent extraction of a 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. Most of the flavors including vanilla are not derived from proper vanilla. They are synthesized from hydrocarbons.

Vanilla Essential Oil Benefits

Apart from its use as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceutical industries, vanilla oil has several health benefits. Let us explore them in detail.

A jar of vanilla oil with dried vanilla beans on a small white tray

Vanilla absolute is an oil extracted from molasses-like vanilla oleoresin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Might have Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidant property of vanilla essential oil might neutralize free radicals and can protect the body from wear and tear, and infections. It also might repair the damage already done to the body. [1]

May be an Aphrodisiac

A vanilla essential oil concoction might have been given to patients who have impotence, erectile dysfunction, rigidity, or loss of libido relieving them of their problems. This oil might stimulate certain hormones like testosterone and estrogen, thereby boosting sexual behavior. Moreover, according to legend, wine mixed with ginger, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar is the perfect blend to possibly increase sexual mood. [2]

Might be a Febrifuge

The vanilla essential oil might effectively reduce fever by fighting infections. The essential oil may contain components that fight infections. Also, being a sedative, it may reduce inflammation from flushes, so it is also considered an antiphlogistic. [3]

How to Use Vanilla Oil

Be careful before purchasing vanilla essential oil as most of the brands sell fragrances or synthetic extracts. However, you can use the oil in the following ways:

  • Vanilla absolute is unfit for aromatherapy as it is thick and gummy. You may need to warm the oil to soften it and make it into liquid.
  • Vanilla absolute when blended with other aromatic oils, makes a scintillating cologne and oil blends.
  • It has a smoky fragrance, compared to the essence used in baking.
  • Vanilla oil is known to have potential aphrodisiac properties. So, it would be best to use it as a fragrance in an oil blend.

How to Make Vanilla Essential Oil?

Here are two simple ways to make this aromatic oil:

  1. Take a few vanilla pods and chop them evenly. Add them in a carrier oil, infuse it for two weeks, and shake it occasionally. Use it whenever required.
  2. Take a few vanilla pods and infuse them in an ethyl alcohol concentrate for two weeks, shaking it occasionally. Pour it into a dish to let the alcohol evaporate. The residue left behind is your pure vanilla oil!

Word of caution: Before application, it is advisable to dilute 5% or less in a carrier oil as an absolute. Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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