Latin Name : Vanilla Planifolia
Each pod weighs approximately 2-3 grams and its length it’s about 14-16cm.
Vanilla is produced from a species of orchid that seems to have been first cultivated in Mexico in the 15th century. Its taste is complex and its aroma is gentle and intoxicating. In the beginning it was used mainly for medicine and not so much for cooking.
Health Benefits of Vanilla Pods:
– Increased libido: Since ancient times, vanilla has been regarded an aphrodisiac. However, ongoing aromatherapy studies suggest that vanilla may increase sexual desire by boosting testosterone levels in men. While there is no concrete evidence to prove this, experts believe that the aroma of vanilla does induce feelings of pleasure and satiation.
– Skin disorders: Antibacterial properties of vanillin help cleanse skin problems such as pimples and acne. Moreover, antioxidant properties of vanilla help fight the damage caused by free radicals. It may even help slow signs of aging. The cosmetic industry uses vanilla both for its fragrance as well as anti-aging properties.
– Burns: Traditionally, home remedies to heal burns, cuts, and wounds have used vanilla. However, it is perhaps unsafe to use concentrated vanilla extract or essential oil on recent burns. Topical treatments containing vanilla may prove beneficial
– Coughing: Cough syrups often use vanilla flavouring to mask bitter tastes. Although there is little evidence to prove the effect of vanilla extract on coughing, the mild anaesthetic properties may relieve symptoms such as pain from a sore throat or headache.
– Toothache: Vanillin found in vanilla falls under the same category of vanilloids that include capsaicin from chilli peppers and eugenols from spices such as cinnamon. Both these active compounds have an effect on the central nervous system. Capsaicin acts as a pain reliever, while eugenols work effectively as topical anaesthetics. These mirroring properties in vanilla may help you fight a toothache and infection.