Vanilla (Vanilla planifolium)


Vanilla Overview:

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 flavouring 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)

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Aphrodisiac
  • Flavouring agent
  • Carminative
  • Antipyretic
  • Antimicrobial

Main Uses:

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


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

8 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

40-50 mL


Part Used

Seed pod

Family Name



Vanilla is native to Central and South America. It is cultivated throughout the tropics.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Vanillin
  • Vanillic acid
  • P-hydroxy-benzaldehyde

Common Names

  • Vanilla

Botanical Info:

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.

Level Of 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 is used occassionally in herbal medicine for its antimicrobial and carminative actions.



None noted.


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For a list of references visit the full vanilla monograph.