Vanilla

What other names is Vanilla known by?

Bourbon Vanilla, Common Vanilla, Madagascar Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla, Réunion Vanilla, Tahitian Vanilla, Tahiti Vanilla, Vainilla, Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla tahitensis, Vanille, Vanille Bourbon, Vanille de Bourbon, Vanille de Madagascar, Vanille du Mexique, Vanille de Tahiti, Vanillin.

What is Vanilla?

Vanilla is a plant. The bean (fruit) is commonly used to make flavoring, but it is also used to make medicine.

People take vanilla to treat intestinal gas and fever. They also use it to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).

In foods and beverages, vanilla is a well-known flavoring, but it is also added to foods to reduce the amount of sugar needed for sweetening. Some people add vanilla to food to help stop tooth decay.

In manufacturing, vanilla is used as a flavoring in syrups used in making medications. It is also used as a fragrance in perfumes.

Vanilla extract can be pricey. So lab-produced vanillin is often used as a substitute for vanilla. Sometimes vanilla extracts are diluted with less expensive extracts. Vanilla extracts from Mexico have been diluted with tonga bean extracts, but these contain a chemical called coumarin. Since 1954, the FDA has prohibited the use of coumarin in food.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of vanilla for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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