Overview

Vanilla is a plant. The bean (fruit) is commonly used for flavoring, but it is also used to make medicine. Because vanilla extract can be expensive, lab-produced vanillin is usually used as a substitute for vanilla. Sometimes less expensive extracts, such as tonga bean extracts, are used to dilute vanilla extracts. Some of these extracts contain a chemical called coumarin, which is banned by the FDA.

People use vanilla for conditions such as intestinal gas, fever, tooth decay, to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac), and to reduce anxiety, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. In foods and beverages, vanilla is a well-known flavoring. In manufacturing, vanilla is used as a flavoring in syrups for medications. It is also used as a fragrance in perfumes.

How does it work ?

Vanilla contains chemicals that are high in flavor and fragrance, but it is not known how it works for medicinal uses.

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