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Vanilla is a succulent, herbaceous, perennial vine climbing trees or other support to a height of 12–15 m by means of long adventitious roots opposite the leaves. It is found growing in a humid, evergreen tropical forest and watershed areas climbing up trees. It thrives in friable, well drained, loamy soil rich in organic matter.
Vanilla is actually a tropical, climbing orchid grown in many places, including Mexico, Central and South America and Tahiti. The flavor is extracted from the pod of the plant, also known as the "beans.To make vanilla extract, vanilla beans are cured and dried then treated with alcohol to create the dark-colored liquid. Don't confuse 100-percent vanilla extract with commercially synthesized vanillin, which doesn't contain the beneficial properties of vanilla. The 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act defined and chemically enforced labeling and standards relating to what it means to be a standard vanilla extract, as opposed to an imitation.
Vanilla contains somewhere between 250 and 500 flavor and fragrance compounds, with vanillin being the most prominent and studied. Vanilla, as a natural spice, is expensive — second only to saffron — which is why so many artificial vanilla products made from petrochemicals exist. These artificial versions are about 20 times cheaper than the real stuff.
Possible side effects include:
- Skin contact can cause irritation and swelling (inflammation). It might also cause headache and sleep problems (insomnia),
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vanilla is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in food amounts. Larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.