This Magical Vanilla Bean.
Better Sex, Mood, Physical and Mental Performance.
I always had something for vanilla beans.
As long as I can remember.
When I see a vanilla pod I just got to buy it. Even if I don’t really need it for anything in particular.
It’s so amazing — I’ll find something to use it for anyway.
Everything is better with vanilla, right?
I Put it in my smoothie, or tea. Or coffee. Or sprinkle it on a piece of chocolate I have daily.
Or I can put it in my shampoo. Or soap. Or body lotion. Or toothpaste.
Or just smell it all the time. Plain.
I just love vanilla.
Today I saw a pod in the store. Great quality from Madagascar. I couldn’t not get it.
Well, actually I got 2 kinds. Couldn’t resist.
I decided — maybe it’s time to learn some more about Vanilla.
What’s the story behind it?
What is it used for?
What is it good for?
I believe we have a strong desire for something for a reason.
Our bodies always know what we need.
What it needs. Our brain is not really great at it.
And there are not so many things in life I have a real thing, passion for.
It might be worth it to investigate why we are attracted to certain things.
Did you know that Vanilla bean comes from an Orchid Flower (my favorite flower by the way) or that its origins are in Mexico? And it was introduced to Europe in 16th century at the same time with chocolate? Or that most of Vanilla comes indeed from Madagascar (the one I got today) and it’s the second most expensive spice after saffron?
Or did you know that vanilla was first used by Mayans to flavor chocolate? No wonder it’s so good with chocolate. I love my hot chocolate with vanilla of course!
I did some further reading and researching, I found out that Vanilla has some really amazing properties!
Aphrodisiac: A systematic administration of vanilla essential oil to patients suffering from impotence, erectile dysfunction, frigidity, or loss of libido can relieve them of their problems. This oil stimulates the secretion of certain hormones like testosterone and estrogen which help bring about normal sexual behavior and promotes sexual arousal.
Anticarcinogenic: To some extent, the anticarcinogenic property of vanilla oil comes from its antioxidant properties. The free radicals or oxidants do not only damage tissues, but can also cause certain type of cancers, such as those of the prostrate and colon. Certain components of the essential oil of vanilla curbs the growth of cancerous cells, thereby helping to cure, prevent, or slow down cancer.
Febrifuge: Vanilla essential oil can effectively reduce fevers by fighting infections. The essential oil contains components like Eugenol and Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde, which fight infections. Being a sedative, it also reduces inflammation from fevers, so it is also considered an antiphlogistic.
Antidepressant: You were sitting alone, depressed. Then, someone brought you a vanilla ice cream cone or a vanilla-flavored drink. You drink it and suddenly, your spirits are lifted and the depression is gone! You start feeling pleased, satisfied and get into a much better mood. This is one of the biggest advantages of vanilla’s powerful aroma. It is far more effective if it comes from real vanilla, but synthetic vanilla or artificially synthesized Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde works as well. The flavor alone is so pleasingly sweet and soothing that everyone from toddlers to centurions enjoy the flavor. Vanillin Hydroxybenzaldehyde, a component of vanilla essential oil, is an effective antidepressant and mood lifter.
Sedative: The essential oil of vanilla soothes the body in innumerable ways. It soothes all types of inflammation and hyperactivity in the systems of the body, including the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous and excretory systems. It reduces inflammation stemming from fever, as well as convulsions, anxiety, stress, and hypersensitivity to allergens.
Relaxing: This oil has a relaxing and calming effect on the brain and the nerves that provides relief from anxiety, anger, and restlessness.
Tranquilizing: Vanilla Essential Oil helps you to get good night’s sleep as well. This is due to the sedative and relaxing properties of this oil. It lowers blood pressure and has a tranquilizing effect on the brain that makes it hard to keep your eyelids open. A small amount of vanilla essential oil or extract and the only thing you care about is pillows and dreams!
Other Benefits: It helps to regularize menstruation (although not exactly an emenagogue) by activating certain hormones like estrogen.
And what is even cooler for geeks/biohackers/learning freaks like me:
Using Vanilla to Increase Your Mental Performance!
“Vanilla has been used for centuries as an antioxidant and cognitive enhancing agent, and for good reason. Vanilla contains chemicals called vanilloids that activate receptors in a similar way to capsaicin, which is well known to reduce inflammation and improve mental performance.”
“For the biohackers reading this, vanilloid activators like vanilla and capsaicin work in part because they “use up” your body’s supply of the neuropeptide substance P, a primordial pain signaling chemical present in all animals, even snails. High levels of substance P are correlated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative diseases, and inflamed nervous systems. Vanilla specifically is an agonist for TRPV3, a neuropeptide found in pain pathways in the brain, skin, and spinal cord. (1) Vanilla not only helps to deplete substance P, but it plays a role in helping you mediate thermal sensitivity in warm to hot temperatures.”
Besides obvious ways to use vanilla — in desserts and as a fragrance to add to body care products — I discovered that vanilla can be added to fish to bring out natural sweet flavors in it.
Trying thing next time I cook salmon! I bet it will taste amazing!
In conclusion. Why does my body love vanilla so much?
I do quite a lot of mental work and vanilla probably helps to improve my cognitive abilities. Plus I train a lot and my body definitely can use some natural anti-inflammatory and relaxing agents. AND some additional electrolytes that vanilla is rich in will do me a lot of good too:
The mineral we’re hearing a good bit about these days is found in most all plant-based foods, including vanilla beans. Magnesium is a vital mineral necessary for overall health because it regulates the nervous system and acts as a balancing mineral. It assists with both relaxation and energy production. Magnesium is also responsible for many enzyme reactions in the body that assist everything with digestion to assimilation of nutrients to the regulation of muscle and nervous system cells. For your brain and mood, it relaxes nervous tension, prevents or helps with mild depression and PMS, and optimizes neurotransmitter function for optimal serotonin and dopamine production (our “feel good” hormones.) Magnesium is also necessary for healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
All plant-based foods are also rich in potassium and vanilla beans are no exception. One tablespoon of vanilla bean powder has over 100 milligrams, equal to around the powder of one large bean. Potassium is another mineral needed for healthy blood pressure levels, and it assists with water regulation in the body, proper heart contractions, and helps balance the body’s electrolytes. For your mood, it can help relax blood vessels (which is why it’s great for blood pressure) which in turn reduces stress and tension.
Another mineral everyone is looking to get more of without the cow’s milk, is calcium. Though it’s known as a crucial mineral for bone health, it’s commonly overlooked for its benefits on the mood and mind. Calcium reduces cortisol in the body, the stress hormone that’s associated with anxiety, depression, moodiness, and even weight gain. In fact, here’s an interesting note: one reason dairy was linked to weight loss in various studies years ago was because of its calcium content, not because the milk came from a cow or because other sources of calcium don’t exist outside of dairy. Calcium is found abundantly in the plant-based kingdom, with vanilla beans (and many other common foods) being an overlooked source. While foods like greens, white beans, and chia seeds are higher in calcium than vanilla beans, just one tablespoon of vanilla bean powder will still provide you with an ample dose that helps relax the mind and lower stress.
There’s a little bit more buzz surrounding this mineral than there used to be, and thank goodness for that! Manganese is essential to a healthy mood, metabolism, optimal nervous system function, and assimilation of other nutrients. It’s found in many nuts, seeds, and superfoods like cacao, vanilla, goji berries, and chia seeds. Vanilla bean powder actually has 30 percent of your daily manganese needs in just one tablespoon!”
Natural Antidepressants are always good as well in our stressful world.
Hey maybe that’s why I’m such an optimist?
And maybe that is why I’m so sensual?
I’m gonna continue enjoying my vanilla even more now.
Get some too!
Who these days doesn’t need a bit of more sweetness, happy mood, better mental performance, less inflammation and better sleep AND sex?
I wouldn’t say no to that! Would you?