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How Vanilla beans or vanillin benefits were found? 

Thin, long pods containing Vanilla beans obtain from a type of orchid. Commercially vanilla bean is cultivated in West Indies, India, Madagascar, Puerto Rico, and Indonesia. The dark, waxy pods contain brown colored flecks which are the source of the sweet fragrance of vanilla beans. [1] 

In Mesoamerica culture first identified the Vanilla orchid. [2] According to the ancient cultivation history of vanilla had started at Totonaco Indians of Mexico. French people shipped vanilla beans to the Réunion and Mauritius islands in 1819. However, Mexico was the primary vanilla producer till mid of 19th century. [3] Vanilla has a long history of culinary application, especially in the preparation of sweet desserts. [2] 

Some traditional medicinal applications of Vanilla include treatment of dyspepsia, dysmenorrhea, fever, hysteria, reduces toothache and prevention from dental caries and alleviates ulcers. The traditional medicinal application had acknowledged that analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of Vanilla seeds. Vanilla is effective to treat stomach ailments, chest congestion, chest pain due to respiratory issue, coughing, etc. [3] 

Bourbon-Madagascar, Mexican and Tahitian are three different varieties of Vanilla. Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla has a thin pod, while Tahitian vanilla contains the thickest and darkest-colored pod. Bourbon-Madagascar is the sweetest variety of Vanilla with a rich and sweet flavor, while Tahitian vanilla has an aromatic property with less flavorful than the other two varieties.  

The vanilla seeds collected from the plant cannot directly be used as a flavoring agent. The pods are air-dried and fermented for four to six months to develop distinct vanilla flavor and taste in it.  

What are the phytochemicals present in Vanilla beans or vanillin? 

The primary phytochemical of vanilla bean is vanillin. Approximately, the volatile composition of the vanilla bean contains 85% of vanillin, which is responsible for its sweet aroma and flavor. Other phytochemicals of Vanilla bean include anisic acid, anisaldehyde, anisyl alcohol, caproic acid, vanillic acid, vitispiranes, hydroxy benzoic acid, phenols, benzyl ether, eugenol, phenol ether, etc. It also has water content, carbohydrates, B-complex, fat, mineral salts like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, etc. [3] Phytochemicals in Beans

What is the Mode of action of Vanilla beans or vanillin health benefits? 

There are different health benefits are identified through different research studies. However, no research study had explained the mode of action of vanilla bean or vanillin. 

What are the different forms of Vanilla bean or vanillin? 

Raw vanilla beans are available in the market. But most convenient dosage forms of vanilla seeds are powder and paste. Vanilla paste is prepared by mixing the products obtain from scraping of vanilla pod along with thick sugar syrup. Vanilla powder is available without added sugar and alcohol. Vanilla oil is also obtained from vanilla beans' extract. This oil has a variety of health benefits. The buyer needs to maintain caution during the buying of Vanilla oil. The scope of adulteration is high. Heavy processing and mixing with synthetic materials reduce its purity, though the label of the product may claim "100 percent pure vanilla oil." Since 1940, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been ban a combination of vanilla oils from Mexico with coumarin containing tonka bean. [4]    

Forms of Vanilla Beans | HealthSoul

Vanilla Beans Uses

  • Skin health and Beautification: The topical application of vanilla oil on burns helps to heal and also promote skin health and hair growth. [4] 
  • Pain symptomsVanilla oil is also used for massage purposes to cure muscle and joint pain. [4] 
  • Aromatherapy: Vanilla oil also uses in aromatherapy. It increases calmness, ease nausea and reduce vomiting tendency. The potent antioxidant property of Vanilla oil has an antispasmodic, wound healing, stomach problems and fever relieving benefits. [4] 
  • Prevent chromosomal damageVanilla bean containing Vanillin has anticlastogenic property, which is effective to reduce chromosomal damage that occurs due to exposure of X-ray or UV rays. [3] 
  • AnticancerVanillin and vanilla bean acts as a DNA-dependent protein kinase inhibitor, which provides both antimutagenicanticarcinogenic effects. [3] 
  • Antimicrobial propertyVanilla bean and vanillin have antimicrobial properties against yeasts and other microorganisms. [3] Vanilla has a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect which is effective against most resistant bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The potent antimicrobial effect of Vanilla is effective against Eschericha coli, Lactobacillus planatarum, and Listeria innocua. [6]  
  • Benefit of Sickle cell anemiaVanilla bean and vanillin inhibit red blood cell sickling in patients suffering from sickle cell anemia. [3] 
  • Sexual desire: The aphrodisiac activity of vanilla bean and vanillin boost sexual desire. [3] 
  • Antioxidant activity: Vanilla bean can quench free radicals due to its antioxidant activity. [3] The potent antioxidant property of Vanilla bean is effective to formulate nutraceuticals and health supplements. [7]  
  • Anti-fatigue and liveliness boosterThe specific aroma of vanilla bean has fatigue preventive effect and often used as a flavoring agent in public office. Vanilla flavor also eradicates the exhaustion during driving. This flavor also encourages and strengthens the human heart for a fearless drive. [6] 
  • AppetizerVanilla beans act as an appetizer and increase food intake. It also prevents nausea and vomiting tendency in chemotherapy patients. [6] 
  • Detection of Alzheimer disease: Vanilla essence also helps to identify Alzheimer's disease, as patients unable to distinguish the smell of Vanilla aroma. [6] 

Vanilla beans Uses | HealthSoul

Vanilla beans side effect 

Vanilla bean and its oil are generally safe to use, but prolong exposure to the flavor can cause harmful effects in the nervous system.  

Vanilla beans Side effects | HealthSoul

When should I avoid vanilla bean or Vanillin? 

Some individuals may have allergic symptoms with Vanillin containing vanilla oil, then consult your doctor. Some individuals may experience nausea or headache after inhaling vanilla oil, then immediately stop using it. [4] 

References:

  1. Nutritional Benefits of Vanilla Bean for Your Mind and Mood

  1. Vanilla as a Medicinal Plant 

  1. Vanilla Planifolia: A Review of a Plant Commonly Used as Flavouring Agent 

  1. Why Vanilla Beans Are Absolutely Worth It

  1. Antimicrobial activity of Vanilla planifolia. Indian Journal of Science and Technology. 

  1. The uses and misuses of orchids in medicine

  1. Studies on the antioxidant activities of natural vanilla extract and its constituent compounds through in vitro models

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