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Alternative medicine: Vanilla
Wed, 26 Dec 2007 15:51:45
By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran
Traditional medical literature describes vanilla as an excitant, antioxidant, aphrodisiac and a
remedy for fevers, hysteria and tumors.
Botanical: Vanilla planifolia
Vanilla is a flavoring substance originally extracted from genus Vanilla orchids in Mexico.
Vanilla is a vine which can reach up to 25 meters or more in height.
Each Vanilla flower produces one fruit which contains flavoring compounds.
Part Used Medicinally:
Ferulic acid is another phenolic aromatic chemical found in vanilla. Vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-
methoxybenzaldehyde), vanillic and protocatechuic acids are catabolic products of ferulic acid
Vanillin is the compound primarily responsible for the flavor and smell of vanilla.
Vanillin is commonly used to flavor sweet foods like ice cream and chocolate.
In traditional medical literature, vanilla is described as an excitant, aphrodisiac and a remedy
Vanilla is used to treat hysteria and tooth decay.
The essential oils of vanilla and vanillin are sometimes used in aromatherapy.
Vanillin has antioxidant and anti-tumor effects.
Vanillin reportedly suppresses in vitro invasion and in vivo metastasis of mouse breast cancer
It also blocks the bacterial virulence factor, responsible for infection.
Its antioxidant content can help fight several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
and Parkinson's as well as septic shock and inflammation.