Vanilla Essential Oil

Vanilla ( vanilla planifolia ) originated from Mexico but can be found growing elsewhere in the world today. It can be pollinated by hand which is the most reliable method for commercial use or the stingless Melipona bee that only lives in Mexico. The name came from the Spanish word "vainilla" meaning "sheath" which in turn derived from the Latin word "vagina." It's obvious why..
The plant is an orchid with flowers looking like trumpets. The green fruits are picked, cured, dried and fermented. The pods then turned brown before essential oil can be yielded through solvent extraction. The aroma of vanilla is sweet, creamy, dense and comforting. Today, Madagascar is the biggest producer of vanilla bean crop. The color, aroma and viscosity differ depending on the region where it came from. Indonesia and Tahiti are also producers of the perennial plant. Vanilla is the only orchid that is useful as a commodity. Long before coffee or tea were the rage in Europe, the Spanish were enjoying chocolate beverage sweetened with vanilla.
Vanilla essential oil health benefits
Vanilla essential oil health benefits

Today, its uses in culinary applications are endless. My aunt likes to bake vanilla and orange chiffon cake. Growing up, I used to cycle to her place just to grab a few slices before dinner. Put side by side with cinnamon buns, I will have trouble leaving. Vanilla flavors sauces, cookies, ice-cream, drinks and have been used in cosmetic care, perfumery and of course, aromatherapy. There are not many essential oils that benefit us in so many ways as vanilla. Delightful and delectable are only hints to the wonderful world permeated by the scent of this amazing brown pod.
Vanilla essential oil has antioxidant properties. One whiff and the aroma sends those little molecules to neutralize free radicals inside our bodies. With more healthy cells on the inside, we naturally look and feel better on the outside. The sweet smell causes the brain to change a person's mood temporarily by producing a positive attitude. Pleasant memories, joyful times and a lingering comfort follow the scent of vanilla. Just offer a vanilla ice-cream to a crying child and see those eyes lit up. It stabilizes emotions, calms the fire in us and especially useful for people who are angry. Regardless of age, this essential oil is ideal in alleviating all kinds of stress and depression.
It is useful in maintaining and regulating proper function across all systems in our bodies. Everything ( well, almost everything ) starts with a positive mental outlook and deep joy helps us to have a mind and body synergy. It is said that vanilla essential oil is that of an aphrodisiac. I have yet to explore this and might one day write about it.. Many aromatherapists used it to address sexual health problems like loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and frigidity. Although the oil is calming, too much can be stimulating especially when used at night. I think I would wake up and raid the fridge for something sweet before I even hit the bed! The power of suggestion without words is what vanilla can do to the psyche.

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