Surprising Health Benefits and Uses of Vanilla Essential Oil

Vanilla Essential Oil
If you think that the name 'vanilla' is associated only with production of mouth-watering ice creams, custards, pastries, chocolates, soft drinks, biscuits, and cakes, then you are wrong. The health benefits of vanilla oil are numerous. The oil has a soothing effect on the mind and body. Its wonderful aroma makes it a great choice for perfumes.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
vanilla
Vanilla plants, scientifically known as 'Vanilla Planifolia', are creepers and are mainly grown in Mexico and its neighboring countries. These plants bear vanilla beans which contain acetic acid, caproic acid, eugenol, furfural, isobutyric acid and vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde.
flavoring agent
Vanilla is widely used as a flavoring agent in culinary, in the food, beverages, and pharmaceutical industries, but the oil has use in the world of medicine too. Vanilla essential oil is extracted by solvent extraction of a resinous substance obtained from fermented vanilla beans.
The familiar vanilla bean pod is obtained when the green pods of the plant are cured, fermented and dried. Then the whole pods go through CO2 process. Finally with the 'total' extract process, vanilla oil is obtained. After CO2 distillation, one can enjoy the exceptional quality aroma from the pure oil. The unique aroma of vanilla is offered by the chemical component 'vanillin', present in it.
Concentration of this component is different in different varieties, from just a few percent in some varieties, to about 27% in the CO2 distillate from Madagascar. It is not possible to obtain vanilla oil by steam distillation of vanilla beans. CO2 and solvent extraction is necessary to obtain the precious, aromatic and flavorful vanilla extract.
Properties:
• Relaxing
• Febrifuge
• Tranquilizing
• Anti carcinogenic
• Antidepressant
• Aphrodisiac
• Sedative
• Antioxidant
▶ Uses of Vanilla Essential Oil
Antioxidant
Vanilla oil exhibits antioxidant properties. It helps avoid oxidation, which is the biggest cause behind most of your troubles and diseases. Free radicals or oxidizers are responsible for oxidation of living cells and tissues, burning them to death, which leads to weakened immune system, loss of memory, organic, and nervous malfunctioning. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals and thus protect the body against diseases. They also repair the damages already done to the body.
Antidepressant
Vanilla aroma makes you happy and relaxed.The aroma is exclusive if it is real vanilla, but synthetic vanilla or artificially synthesized vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde also offer good aromas and they also work great for depression. The flavor is so pleasant, sweet and soothing that everybody, ranging from toddlers to elders, loves it. Vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde is the component of vanilla oil which particularly acts as anti depressant and mood up-lifter.
Aphrodisiac
It is well proven that vanilla oil, taken under proper guidance, helps relieve the problems of impotency, erectile dysfunction, frigidity, loss of libido etc. This oil enhances secretion of certain hormones like testosterone, estrogen, etc., which results in normal sexual behavior and promotes arousal.
Febrifuge
Some of the elements like eugenol and vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde present in vanilla oil help reduce fever by fighting infections and by reducing inflammation. Being a sedative, it helps reduce inflammation due to fever (anti phlogistic property).
Anti Carcinogenic
The free radicals or oxidants causing certain type of cancers are neutralized by vanilla oil and thus the growth of cancerous cells is prevented.
Sedative:
The vanilla oil soothes all types of inflammations and hyperactivity in all the body systems. It helps reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, allergy, fever, and convulsions.
Tranquilizer
Vanilla oil offers you a sound sleep. The sedative and relaxing properties of the oil help lower blood pressure and have a sort of tranquilizing effect on the brain too.
Relaxing
Vanilla oil has a relaxing and soothing effect on the brain and the nerves, because of which you can get rid of anxiety, anger, restlessness, etc., within short period of time.
Blending
Vanilla oil blends well with other essential oils of orange, lemon, neroli, jojoba, chamomile, lavender, sandalwood, etc.
Other Benefits
It helps regularize menstruation by activating certain hormones like estrogen.
▶ Recipes
vanilla oil extract
Vanilla Extract Essential Oil
Vanilla bean carbon dioxide or vanilla bean absolute are expensive. You can create an alternative vanilla extract essential oil which is alcohol based.
Process for making vanilla essential oil
Ingredients

• 8 oz. clean, dark glass bottle with cap
• Muslin for straining
• 7-8 ounces of vodka.
• 3-4 fresh, high-quality 6" vanilla beans

Remember, vanilla beans should be dark with consistent coloring on the entire bean. If you want more concentrated extract, you can use 1 or two more beans.

Procedure

• Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise carefully.

• Again cut them into small pieces of about 2 cm.

• Put all pieces into the bottle.

• Pour vodka into the bottle, leaving some space at the top, so that you will be able to shake the bottle well.

• Close the bottle with the cap, tightly.

• Place the bottle in a dark area for 30 days, do not forget to shake the mixture daily.

• After 30 days, carefully strain the extract through the muslin fabric. All beans and particles should be removed.

• Strain this vanilla oil extract as many times as required.

• Re-bottle the extract into a clean, dark glass bottle. Your vanilla essential oil is ready to use.
Vanilla Rose Bath Fizz
• Take ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¼ cup citric acid in a glass bowl.

• Mix them well. Take 1 tsp melted cocoa butter and 1 tsp vanilla essential oil in another small bowl and add to it ½ tsp rose otto oil.

• Now, take 1 tsp rose water and slowly blend the mixture of vanilla and otto oils with butter, in it. Mix everything well. Pack the mixture into molds.

• Take out by turning it out on wax paper, by slightly pressing the mold. Let them dry for 24 hours and then store them in airtight containers. Every time you can add a fizz to the tub full of warm water and enjoy the bath.