Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)

Vanilla is extracted from the mature pods of certain orchids, commonly the Vanilla planifolia. It belongs to the tropical climbing orchid family, native to Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Brazil.

Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world because it is so labor-intensive to produce. Vanilla plant flowers are hand-pollinated, and the bean pods are ripened, dried, and conditioned to create their distinctive flavor and aroma.

Among many compounds present in the extracts of vanilla, the main constituent is vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde), which is primarily responsible for the characteristic flavor and smell of vanilla. Whereas, Vanillic acid is an oxidized form of vanillin

Vanillin                                                         Vanillic Acid


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HEALTH BENEFITS

1. Neuroprotective Effect

Phenolic compounds found in vanilla, including vanillin and vanillic acid, may support brain health and protect nervous system.

Study show that vanilla can provide neuroprotective effect against Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD) by attenuating oxidative damage and preserving blood-brain barrier integrity (BBB). Vanilla post-treatment significantly improve early neurobehavioral deficits, decreased infarct volume and brain edema

2. Potential for Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia

Study showed that patient with sickle cell disease given vanillin showed a significant decrease in percentage of sickled red blood cell with increase of oxygen tension.

 

Provide Calming Effect

The scent of vanilla is known to have a direct impact on the nerves that induce calm and relieve stress. It promotes a state of relaxation, which can help improve sleep quality and relieve insomnia. It also provide relief from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

Help reduce added sugar intake

Vanilla is considered to be a pleasing taste by most and is associated with a sweet flavor despite its minimal calorie and sugar content. This suggest that adding vanilla to food and beverage may help consumers perceive the food’s sweetness when reducing sugar content.

Antioxidant properties

Vanilla is packed with antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals in the body. These free radicals are responsible for premature ageing and various health problems. Regular consumption of vanilla can therefore help to boost immune system and prevent chronic disease.

Anti-Bacterial

The main phenolic component of vanilla, Vanillin possesses antibacterial effect. It can help to fight breakout, cleanse the skin, reducing the occurrence of pimples and acne

Treatment of Respiratory Conditions

Vanilla extract is put in many different types of medicines and syrups to cover up for the syrup’s otherwise bitter taste, along with the fact that it has relieving effect for sore through, cough, and other respiratory infections.

Improved digestion

Vanilla is renowned for its beneficial properties on digestion. It helps regulate the production of gastric juices, which contributes to better digestion of food. It can also help soothe digestive problems such as bloating and stomach pains.

 

Usages:

  • used in food and beverages, perfumes, and pharmaceutical products
  • ingredient in health supplement

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) Standardized Extract Powder

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Reference

  1. Effects of o-vanillin on K+ transport of red blood cells from patients with sickle cell disease

    DOI: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2014.02.004

  2.  

    Neuroprotective effect of Vanillin on hypoxic-ischemic brain damage in neonatal rats

    DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109196