Natural vanilla extract is made from vanilla pods, which are commonly found in tropical areas of the world. They are widely used in flavored drinks, foods, and bakery products. Also, vanilla is used in perfumes and medicines. Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world because of its laborious production. The vanilla blossoms are artificially pollinated and the bean pods are then ripened, dried, and conditioned to create a distinctive aroma and flavor.
The high demand for pure vanilla extract is expensive where synthetic vanilla is made from coal tar and wood pulp for a substitute use. Pure vanilla extract is used for many health benefits. The healing properties of vanilla make it perfect for skin and hair, but it can also be used for reducing cholesterol levels.
Skin Benefits of Vanilla
You may find this surprising but the benefits of vanilla extract or essence can be used for the skin. In various skincare products, vanilla is used as an ingredient. It can be found in lip balms, beard balm, body lotions, and creams, etc. to impart fragrance.
Treatment of Acne
Vanilla has antibacterial properties that make it beneficial for the treatment of acne. Vanillin contributes to its antibacterial effects that help to reduce the appearance of acne and pimples and to cleanse the skin.
Vanilla is rich in antioxidants that reverse and prevent skin damage caused by free radicals. Also, it helps to slow down the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and age or dark spots. Also, vanilla is widely used in anti-aging benefits and the cosmetic industry due to its fragrance. Vanilla pods infused with organic oil give you a soothing and softening skin with a chocolate scent.
As a traditional remedy, vanilla has been used to treat cuts, wounds, and burns. It is recommended that essential oil or concentrated vanilla extract should not be applied directly on fresh burns. For this purpose, topical treatments containing vanilla extracts would be viable. Before you use any of the remedies for skin burn, it would be wise to consult your doctor.
Vanilla is a good source of B Vitamins such as vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins help to maintain healthy skin. The antioxidant properties of vanilla protect the skin from damage caused by toxins and environmental pollutants. To revive the skin from the inside out, you can prepare an exfoliant.
To prepare an exfoliant follow these steps:
- Cut 5 vanilla pods and scrape off the seeds.
- Add these seeds with 3 tbsp of brown sugar.
- Add 2 drops of vanilla essential oil to freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Mix the ingredients properly.
- Now apply the paste to your face.
Massage the face for a few minutes after applying paste to it. Then rinse your face with lukewarm water and then run the cold water over the face.
Hair Benefits of Vanilla
The list of benefits of vanilla is incomplete without talking about the hair benefits. It is because it is a good source of many nutrients that help to maintain the health of hair.
You can make your hair smooth, shiny, and silky by mixing different ingredients with vanilla. For this purpose, follow these steps:
- Melt 4 oz. Shea butter in a kettle.
- When completely melted, add 5 drops of vanilla essential oil.
- Now add 2 tbsp castor, jojoba, and almond oil.
- Mix the mixture till you get a smoother consistency.
- Apply the mixture on hair for 10-15 minutes.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo.
As a result, you will get manageable and soft hair without a greasy look. Also, you can refrigerate the mixture or store it at room temperature for future use.
Essential oils and carriers promote hair growth. These oils can be used in a combination of vanilla essential oil. To start the procedure:
- Detangle the hair from a wide-tooth comb and rinse it with lukewarm water.
- Heat a 1/4 cup of carrier oil such as coconut, almost, jojoba, and virgin olive oil for 30 seconds.
- Now add 10 drops of each lavender with vanilla essential oils and mix well.
- Apply the mixture to the root and top of the hair.
- Massage the scalp in circular motions for 2-3 minutes.
- Make sure that you apply the mixture to the full length of the hair.
- Focus more on the dry ends.
- Now wrap a hot towel around the head and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Again, wrap a hot towel for 15 minutes.
- Finally, wash off the hair with a mild shampoo.
As a result, you will have shiny, fuller, and softer hair with an amazing scent.
Health Benefits of Vanilla
Traditional practices around the world have found wide-ranging therapeutic uses for vanilla such as aphrodisiac and to help relieve gas. Studies have shown that the aroma and flavor of vanilla can offer certain health benefits.
Anxiety & Depression
Some neurological studies have shown that vanilla extract is having a positive effect on anxiety and depression disorders. The vanilla scent is particularly useful for such disorders. In some cases, drinking milk or water containing vanilla extract can help to reduce anxiety.
Also, vanilla is beneficial for the nervous system. Exposure to vanilla aromatherapy can be effective in relieving claustrophobia symptoms.
In some cases, vanilla extract can help to lose weight. The special efforts of exercise and diet plan can be complemented by taking the vanilla extract for greater benefits.
One of the best benefits of vanilla extract is that it can calm the stomach during nausea. For this purpose:
- You have to add a few drops of vanilla extract to a glass of water.
- Then drink it slowly.
The aroma of vanilla will help you to feel relieved from nausea. Also, vanilla is a good medication for nausea and it can be an effective substitute.
The vanillin in vanilla is similar to the eugenol in cinnamon and capsaicin in chili peppers. Eugenols works as a topical anesthetic and capsaicin as an effective pain reliever. Vanilla has both of these properties which can have a positive effect on the central nervous system. As a result, it can work best for toothaches and infections.
Since ancient times, vanilla has been used as an aphrodisiac. Some aromatherapy studies have shown that vanilla can increase sexual desire by increasing testosterone levels in men. Also, the usage of vanilla has been effective in curing impotency. It is because the aroma of vanilla induces sensations of satiety and pleasure.
The distinctive health benefits and flavor of vanilla essence can be attributed to the presence of around 200 compounds that have antioxidant properties. The high level of antioxidants can help to reduce the free radicals in the body. These free radicals can be wastes from harmful and normal metabolic processes. As a result, they can cause a variety of diseases such as cancer. Due to its antioxidant properties, vanilla can be used as an anticancer.
Vanilla – Skin, Hair, and Health Benefits
Vanilla is not only used for flavor and fragrance in desserts, bakery products, beverages, and ice creams but it can be used for various health purposes. The vanillin in vanilla is the main component for all cures and health benefits. Mostly, the vanillin is present in the vanilla extract that contains caproic acid, eugenol, lactones, esters, aliphatic and aromatic carbohydrates, etc. All these constituents help treat various diseases.
Vanilla can be used for skin care such as anti-aging, treatment of acne, soothing burns, etc. Also, vanilla can be used for hair treatment such as hair growth, silky hair, etc. On the other hand, vanilla can be used for various health problems such as anxiety, toothache, weight loss, nausea relief, and others because of its antioxidant properties.