Vanilla planifolia


Vanilla planifolia


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.*

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Traditional Health Benefits of Vanilla

What is Vanilla Used for?

The main component of vanilla is vanillin, which provides it primary flavor and aroma.

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Active Constituents of Vanilla

tannins, vanillic acid, cinnamic acid, glucoside A & B, Ferulic acid, glucovanillin.

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1.) Schwarz, B. and Hofmann, T. Identification of novel orosensory active molecules in cured vanilla Beans (Vanilla planifolia). J Agric Food Chem 5-13-2009;57(9):3729-3737. 2.) Funk, C. and Brodelius, P. E. Phenylpropanoid Metabolism in Suspension Cultures of Vanilla planifolia Andr. : II. Effects of Precursor Feeding and Metabolic Inhibitors. Plant Physiol 1990;94(1):95-101. 3.)

Important Precautions

If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


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.

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