Vanilla essential oil is obtained from the dried brown pods of the plant Vanilla planifolia. This is a climbing vine, which is defined by trumpet-shaped white flowers associated with the orchid. The oil is typically solvent and native to Madagascar.
Table of contents
- 1 Brief History of Vanilla Oil
- 2 The Basics of Vanilla Oil
- 3 How to Use Vanilla Oil
- 4 Vanilla Essential Oil Benefits
- 5 Vanilla Essential Oil Uses
- 6 Complimentary Oils and Blends
- 7 How to Make Vanilla Essential Oil Blends
- 8 In Conclusion
- 9 Sources and References
Vanilla oil can be carbon dioxide extracted, because this method will not leave any traces of elements that can significantly interfere with the chemical composition of the oil. Normally, the solvent obtained vanilla oil is regarded to as absolute liquid rather than aromatic oil.
Brief History of Vanilla Oil
The name vanilla is developed from a Spanish term vaina, which simply means a little pod or sheath. The Totonac folks of mountainous and eastern coastal of Mexico were first to grow the plant, and they were the leading fabricators until the mid-nineteenth century. Later, Spanish explorers gave the plant its current name. Vanilla is a genus of over a hundred species that is native to both western and eastern hemisphere, in addition to remote pacific islands. The genus consists of perennial vining herbs with extrinsic roots gripping tree trunks. Vanilla planifolia is a land-dwelling vine that is instinctive to seasonal wet as well as dry tropical forests. The plant’s present habitat and largest producers are Mexico and Madagascar.
The Basics of Vanilla Oil
Botanical Name: Vanilla planifolia
Extraction: CO2 extract is extracted from the pods, and the absolute is derived from the unripe pods
Color: Dark brown and syrup-like
The essential oil of vanilla is syrup-like in tackiness and dark brown in color. The oil does transform into crystals, when exposed to cooler temperatures, but you can get it back to liquid by warming. It has herbal, sweet, balsamic scent, and it is a base note. The carbon dioxide extracted vanilla oil does blend well with most natural oils, but the same cannot be said of the absolute version. Its fragrance is attributed to the constituent elements in its composition, including vanillin and phenyl esters.
The failure of the absolute vanilla oil to dissolve in vegetable oils makes it reusable. You can always add carrier oil and allow it to soak the aroma. In contrast, the carbon dioxide obtained the essential oil of vanilla does effectively dissolve in vegetable oils, creating a strong aromatic blend. According to aromatherapy experts, carbon dioxide obtained vanilla oil has a higher concentration of vanillin when compared to the absolute version, making it the best option for therapeutic use.
The chemical configuration of the essential oil of vanilla is not well understood. Vanillin is one of the main elements, but it exists in small quantities in fully ripe vanilla pods. The concentration of vanillin is enhanced during the extraction process. Pure vanilla oil has a delicate herbal, sweet, balsamic scent. The imitation does usually smell weird, which you can detect if you have used pure vanilla.
If you are not sure about the authenticity of the oil, you can always ask the commercial dealers to do a simple test to demonstrate the pureness.
How to Use Vanilla Oil
There are two ways through which you can use the essential oil of vanilla: inhalation and topical application. Most vanilla essential oil uses are through inhalation. Add a few drops of vanilla oil to a diffuser; it can be an ultrasonic or non-ultrasonic model. The first one does not use heat to breakdown the oil’s particles, while the second one uses heat. The ultrasonic one is effective because it does not interfere with the molecular structure of vanilla oil. Therefore, you get to experience the maximum therapeutic effects when you inhale the released mist.
The second most important method of application is massage. Integrating the essential oil of vanilla into a massage is also a reliable way of receiving the healing properties. Massage does multiple things at once, including: subduing stress and tension, easing muscular aches and pains, and stimulating blood as well as lymphatic circulation. You can come up with effective massage oil by combining 3 drops of vanilla oil to one ounce of carrier oil, and mix. Place a few drops of the blend in your hand, and apply it over your body as you massage.
Vanilla Essential Oil Benefits
There are several health benefits of this aromatic oil, the most popular ones include:
You should be aware of the damage done to your body by rogue molecules referred to as free radicals, a condition referred to as oxidative stress. This condition has been mixed up as a cause in a number of illnesses, such as Alzheimer and cancer. Nevertheless, vanilla oil satisfies the free radicals, thus helping prevent as well as alleviate any damage. As much as the human body produces many antioxidants, it does not produce enough to neutralize all the negative effects. Whereas the body cannot completely avoid free radicals, it is possible to minimize their manifestation in your by using the essential oil of vanilla.
The effectiveness of vanilla oil in preventing specific bacteria has been examined by some studies. Among the various essential oils used to inhibit the development of bacteria, vanilla has presented positive results. This is just the oil you need when you are busy fighting bacteria. Add a few drops of the oil into an aromatherapy diffuser and allow the mist to clean the atmosphere of your room of any pathogens. The mist will also clear your body of bacterial affect when you inhale it through your nose.
Vanilla oil is a reliable antidepressant essential oil. When you inhale the molecules of the oil, stress, tension, and depressing feelings will slowly disappear. This is one of the biggest vanilla essential oil benefits. The fragrance is pleasantly sweet as well as soothing. In fact, you can use the aroma with children. Historically, the oil has been used since the seventeenth century as a homemade treatment for anxiety and depression. The calming qualities of vanilla make it a good remedy for insomnia and anger as well.
As much as essential oil of vanilla is a good antioxidant, it is also an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Its antioxidant qualities are effective in minimizing any damaged that arises from inflammation. You can best receive the anti-inflammatory properties through an aromatherapy massage. All you have to do is diffuse a few drops of the oil with a carrier oil, and use the blend to massage the affected parts of your body. It is always advisable to do a patch test before using essential oils topically.
Vanilla oil has a good reputation as an aphrodisiac. Over the years, men have ingested beverages flavored with vanilla on their wedding nights. Medically, it is believed that a systematic use of the oil can successfully alleviate the following conditions: loss of libido, frigidity, erectile dysfunction, and impotency. It encourages the secretion of particular body hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. These hormones are important for productive sexual behaviors.
Vanilla Essential Oil Uses
Vanilla oil is widely used in pharmaceutical industries, aromatherapy, perfume manufacturing, food, and beverages as a flavoring agent and by medical professionals. Due to its pleasant aroma, it is useful in bath and beauty products. It helps in relaxing and lifting up the mood after aromatherapy, applying or bathing with it. Its sweet scent makes it a good antidepressant, which is of use for individuals suffering from depression. It is used to spice up massages due to its calming scent and antioxidant property.
The oil features sedative properties making it useful in reducing inflammation due to fever, stress, and hypersensitivity to allergens. You can keep it at a home as a remedy for healing wound and burns. It can be used at home as a remedy for digestive problems, stomach upsets, nausea, and antioxidant its property neutralizes free radicals hence, protecting the body from infections, wearing, and tearing. Its antioxidants also have anti-ageing benefits. Its antibacterial properties make it the best in treating acne and other skin infections.
Vanilla oil is the best source for B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid, which is essential for maintaining good skin. Vanilla oil features aphrodisiac properties. Patients with erectile dysfunction, loss of libido or frigidity can use the oil to relieve the problem. It stimulates secretion of specific hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which promotes sexual arousal. In women, it activates estrogen which helps in regulating menstruation. Adding a few drops of vanilla essential oil in a diffuser offers an individual a good night rest because of its tranquilizing property. Individuals suffering from insomnia can use it.
Complimentary Oils and Blends
The essential oil of vanilla blends well with the following aromatic oils:
- Lemon essential oil
- Chamomile essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Sandal wood essential oil
- Orange essential oil
- Neroli oil
Before you learn the various vanilla blends, you can learn how to make vanilla essential oil by mastering the following guidelines. Start by cutting vanilla pods to gain access to the seeds. Then infuse the seeds into a carrier oil of your choice, but some recommended vegetable oils are sweet almond, coconut, and jojoba oils. Place the ingredients in an airtight, clean glass bottle. Store the bottle away from light for at least a week, while you repeatedly shake the bottle to mix.
How to Make Vanilla Essential Oil Blends
You can make your own vanilla oil blends to boost the therapeutic effects of vanilla with other essential oils, such as lemon and lavender aromatic oils. The following are some of the best recipes you can use. You can make your own version to avoid spending a considerable amount of money or to avoid imitations.
Recipe #1 – Soothing Massage Blend
- 10 drops of the essential oil of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
- 90 ml of chocolate infuse carrier oil
- 120 grams of cocoa butter
- 30 grams of beeswax
Preparation and Application:
In a clean ceramic bowl, add all the ingredients and stir to mix. Use the mixture to massage your body. You can make your own chocolate infused vegetable oil by mixing half a cup of cacao nibs to one full cup of sweet almond or coconut oil. Add the mixture to a bottle, and expose it to sunlight for at least two weeks. The strength of the mixture grows with time as you leave it exposed to light.
Recipe #2 – Reviving Vanilla Scrub
- 9 drops of vanilla essential oil
- 15 vanilla beans
- 3 lemon juice
- 9 tablespoons of brown sugar
Preparation and Application:
Slice the beans lengthwise to open, and use a spoon to remove the seeds, and transfer them to a clean ceramic bowl. Then pour the lemon juice and stir to mix. Go ahead and add 9 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 9 drops of vanilla oil, and stir to blend. Use the blend to massage your body, and then rinse your body with warm water followed by cold water.
Recipe #3 – Chocolate Fudge Recipe
- 5 ml of vanilla essential oil
- 35 ml of virgin coconut oil
- 275 g of icing sugar
- 75 g cream cheese
- 50 g dark chocolate
Preparation and Application:
Melt the chocolate in the top of your double boiler over hot water. Combine the icing sugar and cream cheese, and beat to blend. Mix the cream cheese/icing sugar mixture to the melted chocolate, and mix properly. Add the essential oil of vanilla followed by the coconut oil, and mix. Pour the final mixture into grease pan and allow the fudge to gradually cool, then cut into square pieces and eat.
Most people would unintentionally overlook the effectiveness of vanilla oil probably because they do not know how resourceful the oil is to begin with. There are several benefits of vanilla oil, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, sedative, relaxing, and calming. There are no known side effects of ingesting vanilla oil, but you are strongly advised to use carrier oil that is safe for consumption, such as coconut, sweet almond, and jojoba oils. Conduct a patch test before you use vanilla essential oil or its blend on your skin.