Health benefits of vanilla

April 20th, 2011 BY Angelina Leigh | No Comments

There’s a whole lot of healing that goes on in our kitchen but most of the time it all goes to waste because we just don’t realize we’ve got them. I’ve come to learn that everything nature has to offer has some form medicinal properties or another. Used in the correct dosage and with the correct complimenting combination, what you have in your kitchen just may be the long hoped for cure you were seeking for your ailment.
Now for today I’d like to turn the spotlight on something we all have in our kitchen – vanilla. We may stock  it in different forms – essence, pods, ice-cream, etc but the point is, it’s something we all love.
I’m not too sure if everyone already knows this, but vanilla is actually a spice. And next the saffron, well it’s the 2nd most expensive spice in the world so you can be pretty sure that when you buy something commercial and it reads “vanilla flavoured” then chances are it’s synthetic vanilla flavouring being used.
Pure vanilla extract is bitter. It smells delightful but it taste really really bitter. The active compound in vanilla is vanillin and all the goodness is centered here because Vanillin is a polyphenol with strong antioxidant activity. Being so rich in antioxidants, vanillin prevents the brain cells from deteorating and aids in the fight against cancer as it has been proven to positively decelerate cancer cell metastasis.
But let’s talk about ailments closer to home. Do you know what else vanilla is good for? Gastric that’s what! If you have gastric then taking some vanilla ice-cream a few days apart each week will help sooth gastric pains and prevent gastric attacks from reoccurring. But in this case, it’s important to stress that it only works in combination with cream so you can’t take vanilla extract alone for this.
Vanilla is also great for treating nausea, anxiety and stress. The pleasant scent of it somehow works magic on the calming the body. Some people would mix a drop or two into a glass of water and sip, but I’d recommend putting it in milk if you aren’t tolerant of a bitter flavoured water.