9 Incredible Benefits of Vanilla Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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The health benefits of vanilla essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antioxidant, aphrodisiac, antimutagenic, febrifuge, antidepressant, sedative, tranquilizing, and a relaxing substance.

What is Vanilla Essential Oil?

The essential oil of vanilla is extracted by the 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 derived from proper vanilla at all. They are synthesized from hydrocarbons.

Health Benefits of Vanilla Essential Oil

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 complete explanation of these medical benefits is explained below.

Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidant property of vanilla essential oil neutralizes free radicals and protects the body from wear and tear, and infections. It also repairs the damage already done to the body and stimulates repair. Oxidation is one of the biggest causes of most of our health troubles and diseases. It is, directly and indirectly, responsible for several 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 results in a weakening of the body’s immune system, loss of memory, organic and nervous malfunctioning, gradual loss of vision and hearing, mental instability, macular degeneration, and the body becomes prone to diseases.

Aphrodisiac

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

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

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 regular sexual behavior and promotes sexual arousal.

Antimutagenic

According to a study by researchers from the New York University School of Medicine, vanillin has potential anti-mutagenic properties and inhibited the mutation factor in colon cancer cells. Further studies are needed to explore the potential of vanilla essential oil in cancer treatment.

Febrifuge

The vanilla essential oil can effectively reduce fever 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.

Relieves Depression

Vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde, a component of vanilla essential oil, is an effective antidepressant and mood lifter. You start feeling 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 seniors enjoys the flavor.

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 relaxing and calming effects on the brain and the nerves that provide relief from anxiety, anger, and restlessness.

Tranquilizing

Vanilla oil helps you to get a 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 regularize menstruation (although not exactly an emmenagogue) by activating certain hormones like estrogen.

Blending: The essential oil of vanilla blends well with the essential oils of orange, lemon, neroli, jojoba, chamomile, lavender, and sandalwood.

Uses of Vanilla Oil

Vanilla essential oil, as mentioned earlier, does not really exist. You have to be careful when you purchase this as most of the brands sold in the market are fragrances or synthetic. However, you can purchase the vanilla absolute that is extracted with the help of an alcohol solvent.

Vanilla absolute is not suitable for aromatherapy as it is thick and resinous. You may need to warm the oil to soften it and make it into liquid. Vanilla absolute is best used when blended with other aromatic oils to make your own cologne and oil blends. It has a smokey fragrance, rather than the one you may be familiar with in baking. Vanilla oil is known to have aphrodisiac properties; however, it has not been verified. So, it would be best to use it as a fragrance in an oil blend.

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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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