Vanilla (Vanilla planifolium)

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Vanilla Summary

Vanilla is both one of the most expensive, and most widely used herbs in the world. This is mainly due to its role as a flavoring agent for culinary applications.

Vanilla is an orchid originating from central/South America. It grows as a long vine, with highly fragrant seed pods.

 

+ Indications

  • Low libido
  • As a flavouring agent
  • Flatulence
  • Indigestion

+ Contraindications

  • Onset of contact dermatitis
  • Onset of vanillism (insomnia, headache, dermatitis)

Herbal Actions:

  • Aphrodisiac
  • Flavouring agent
  • Carminative
  • Antipyretic
  • Antimicrobial
 

Main Uses:

Vanilla is used as a flavouring agent, and mild carminative.

 

Herb Details: Vanilla

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Seed pod

Family Name

  • Orchidaceae

Distribution

  • Vanilla is native to Central and South America. Cultivated throughout the tropics.

Constituents of Interest

  • Vanillin
  • Vanillic acid
  • P-hydroxy-benzaldehyde

Common Names

  • Vanilla

Pregnancy

Avoid high doses of vanilla while pregnant — no eexpected adverse effects with small amounts as a flavoring agent.

Duration of Use

  • Avoid long-term use in therapeutic doses.
 

Botanical Information

Vanilla is a member of the Orchidaceae family of plants, which is the largest family of flowering plants in the world.

The orchid family consists of 763 genera and 28,000 species.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

 

Clinical Applications Of Vanilla:

Vanilla is not commonly used in herbal medicine. It most often used as a flavouring agent. Vanilla may be useful for improving the flavour of herbal formulas. It's used occassionally in herbal medicine for its antimicrobial and carminative actions.

 

Cautions:

None noted.

 

Author:

Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated May 2019)

 

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