Sometimes running a business, or just life in general can be stressful. The following guest blog post talks about anxiety treatment using vanilla. Guest Blog Post Contributed By: Fay Smith Vanilla is one of the most famous and widely used food flavorings in the world. In a 2013 survey by International Ice Cream Association (IICA), […]
Sometimes running a business, or just life in general can be stressful. The following guest blog post talks about anxiety treatment using vanilla.
Guest Blog Post Contributed By: Fay Smith
Vanilla is one of the most famous and widely used food flavorings in the world. In a 2013 survey by International Ice Cream Association (IICA), vanilla was voted the most popular ice cream flavor in the US.
But there is more to vanilla than just a delicious taste.
Vanilla is also extensively used as an ingredient in perfumes to instill comfort, relaxation, and euphoria. Aside from its taste and sweet smell, vanilla also possesses several therapeutic properties beneficial to your health.
Some people go for a jog or morning exercise to relieve stress. Others attend a yoga or meditation session to relax and ease body tension. Still, others may turn to alternative treatments like essential oils to help calm down and reduce anxiety.
You may also use vanilla to produce a calming effect. This popular food flavor has several physical and mental benefits that may contribute to your health and wellness.
Studies have shown that the flavor and aroma of vanilla can provide health benefits. More importantly, vanilla offers a variety of ways to treat anxiety.
New York-based Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center included vanilla as one of the fragrances tested on 85 patients who underwent MRI scans. These patients showed 63% less claustrophobia compared to those who had other fragrances.
Vanilla came out as the most relaxing of the scents tested. Consequently, Sloan-Kettering included vanilla fragrances as a standard part for MRI scan procedures.
It has been well documented that vanilla has a calming effect on premature neonates, reducing crying in newborns.
Vanilla has calming effects on adults as well, reducing startle reflex. These results were based on a study done by Tubingen University in Germany.
Vanilla also helps alleviate stress and reduce anxiety, which is why it is often used in aromatherapy.
A 2019 study showed that inhaling vanilla extract also prevents sleep apnea in premature babies. It also works the same in adults.
Similar to drinking chamomile tea to help you relax before bedtime, vanilla oils can help you get a more profound and calmer sleep at night.
Vanilla’s antianxiety characteristic makes it effective for sleep. Its soothing scent has sedative effects powerful enough to help lower blood pressure and make you sleepy fast.
A 2005 study published by Oxford University revealed that vanilla bean fragrances generated high happiness and relaxation response levels.
So, the next time you feel that the blues may be setting in, remember that the smell of vanilla may help uplift your mood and serve as your cheer-up scent.
Vanilla’s powerful aroma stimulates the brain and releases endorphins. As a result, you will feel a soothing relief and calmness.
Indeed, vanilla is more than just ice cream and cake flavor or a perfumery ingredient. It offers more benefits than just being essential to relaxation and treatment of anxiety.
- Vanilla may benefit heart health. It may help bring the cholesterol level down and prevent inflammation of the arteries and blood clots.
- As an antioxidant, vanilla may help prevent the breakdown of cells and tissues in the body, making it also potentially beneficial to skin health.
- Vanilla has antibacterial properties that may help prevent infection. A 2014 study showed that vanilla essential oil prevented the growth of specific bacterial cells in medical devices.
- Research conducted in 2011 noted that vanilla’s antibacterial activity might help fight Cronobacter species. These bacteria cause fatal infections in infants and adults with compromised immune systems.
- Animal studies suggest that vanilla may help with weight loss as it suppresses appetite.
- Mexican Vanilla is cultivated in Mexico.
- Madagascar Vanilla, otherwise known as “bourbon vanilla,” is a variety from Madagascar.
The only difference Madagascar vanilla has from Mexico vanilla is the pollination process. In Mexico, vanilla orchids are pollinated by bees. In Madagascar, humans pollinate the orchids.
- Tahitian Vanilla has a distinct floral aroma and flavor. This vanilla species contains less vanillin responsible for the taste and is thus more preferred for perfume use.
Vanilla extract is the most used form and is the most affordable. There are two types of vanilla extracts: imitation and pure.
Imitation vanilla has less strength in flavor and has an aftertaste of alcohol. It is cheaper compared to pure vanilla that has a robust solid flavor.
Vanilla paste is a cross between vanilla extract and vanilla beans. The paste is a result of infusing vanilla beans into sugary syrup.
Vanilla paste has a more robust vanilla flavor than extract, but not as much as vanilla beans.
Vanilla beans have a strong smell and flavor. This form of vanilla is best for baking.
With vanilla’s purported health benefits, it’s easy to see why you feel a certain calm when wearing a vanilla-based perfume.
The next time you feel agitated, you may want to grab a scoop of vanilla ice cream to help you relax.
- Vanilla: Potential health benefits https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0000000000000412
- Vanilla remains Top ice cream flavor with Americans https://www.idfa.org/news/vanilla-remains-top-ice-cream-flavor-with-americans
- Fragrance administration to reduce anxiety during MR imaging https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7949692/.
- The smell report http://www.sirc.org/publik/smell_vanilla.html
- The Calming Effect of Vanilla Odor on Preterm Infant Without Mother’s Breast Milk Feeding (VANILLE). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03626974
- Impact of the odors of vanilla extract and breast milk on the frequency of apnea in preterm neonates http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jjns.12271
- Effects of Fragrance on Emotions: Moods and Physiology. https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/30/suppl_1/i248/270387
- Blood Pressure lowering effects of Vanilla inhalation are reduced after moderate and abolished after severe traumatic brain injury. https://www.autonomicneuroscience.com/article/S1566-0702(15)00232-5/fulltext
- Vanilla Potential Health Benefits https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2020/07000/vanilla__potential_health_benefits.10.aspx
- Efficiency of vanilla, patchouli and ylang ylang essential oils stabilized by iron oxide@C14 nanostructures against bacterial adherence and biofilms formed by Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical strains. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25375335/
11. Effect of vanillin, ethyl vanillin, and vanillic acid on the growth and heat resistance of Cronobacter species. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22186046/