Vanilla is sourced from a Mexican species of orchid, Vanilla planifolia. Each orchid must be hand-pollinated, a labor-intensive task. As such, Vanilla is the second most expensive spice by weight, after Saffron. Vanilla has historically been considered an aromatic stimulant that provides support for the nervous system.* It also was used traditionally as an aphrodisiac, but today Vanilla is primarily used for its aroma and flavor.*
The main component of vanilla is vanillin, which provides it primary flavor and aroma.
Uses of Vanilla
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.