Vanilla extract is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacturing and aromatherapy, but many people don’t realize the array of health benefits that come from using vanilla oil, even though it is not technically an essential oil. Internally, pure vanilla oil fights inflammation, works as an antidepressant and contains high levels of antioxidants — preventing the growth of cancer cells.
It’s been proven to fight infections and diseases caused by oxidation and inflammation. Vanilla oil also promotes skin and hair health, relieves muscle pain and cramps, and balances hormones naturally. For thousands of years, it’s been used by men and women who struggle with loss of libido, anxiety and high blood pressure.
Vanilla oil is derived from Vanilla planifolia, a native species of the Orchidaceae family. The Spanish word for vanilla is vaina, which is simply translated as “little pod.” It was the Spanish explorers arriving on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the early 16th century who gave vanilla its current name.