The Love Bean: The Magic of Vanilla
The sweet scent of vanilla is comforting, welcoming, and warm. It is a scent that engenders a loving, cozy feeling – whether it is coming from the vanilla-scented candle burning on the coffee table or the fresh baked cookies with a splash of vanilla extract cooling in the kitchen.
We love vanilla — and vanilla inspires us to love. The scent is irresistible and instantly attractive. Very few can resist vanilla’s compelling and tantalizing aroma. It’s no wonder that the vanilla fragrance is also a powerful aphrodisiac.
There’s something plain, basic, but still uniquely special about vanilla’s magic. However, vanilla’s story, from seed to harvest, is nothing short of extraordinary. The task of cultivating the perfect vanilla bean is very much an art form.
Very specific conditions must be met or the vanilla flower will never produce its prized fruit. Harvesting the fruit correctly requires impeccable timing, utmost attention, and daily care.
After harvest, there is still a whole curing process of sweating, drying, and conditioning that must be undertaken to ensure the vanilla bean attains and retains the utmost quality.
That being said, next time you sit down to enjoy that wonderful bowl of vanilla ice cream, never make the mistake of taking that vanilla flavor for granted. It is a sheer act of magic that brings vanilla’s flavor, scent, and beauty onto your table, into your home, and into your life.
Vanilla the Aphrodisiac
With its seductive, honeyed aroma, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that vanilla is a potent aphrodisiac. Its tantalizing fragrance excites and arouses the senses. It is a savor of passion that quickens the blood flow and stimulates the libido.
The Mayans were keen to incorporate Vanilla into various drinks and concoctions to pique desire. For instance, The storied Mayan beverage, Chocolatl, included an assortment of bewitching flavors and spices, chief among them chocolate and vanilla.
The legendary Aztec emperor, Moctezuma, was fabled to drink around 50 cups of vanilla-infused beverages a day. Not surprisingly, he was also known to possess a sizeable harem of women to whet his pleasures.
Of course, the lesson here isn’t consuming vanilla will make you a prolific womanizer like Moctezuma. Instead, the main takeaway should be that vanilla has a deep history of stimulating sexual desire.
Men especially stand to benefit from the aphrodisiac capabilities of vanilla. Research has shown that vanilla can increase blood flow to the phallus. In this regard, it is more effective than the aromas of other arousing scents, like lavender and pumpkin pie.
Not to mention, women can employ the sensual powers of vanilla as well. Treat it like a perfume, using a little dab of vanilla oil behind the ears or on the pulse point of the wrists. This will help enhance your seductive powers and provoke the appetitive pleasures of your lover.
Promoting Healthier Hair with Vanilla
You might think that the only reason Vanilla shows up in so many hair care products is because of its fabulous scent. But actually, the inclusion of Vanilla provides much more than just aromatherapeutic benefits to your hair care routine.
Vanilla promotes healthy hair growth. It houses benefits from the hair follicle to the ends. For example, it contains antioxidants, which can help keep your beloved mane from aging prematurely. This means fewer split ends and breakage, ensuring that your hair remains full, strong, and vibrant for many years to come.
Your hair needs vitamins to grow vibrant and lustrous. Fortunately, Vanilla is replete with beneficial vitamins. Vanilla contains vitamin B2, which you may also know as riboflavin.
Riboflavin is essential to the production of proteins, such as keratin. If your body is having an issue synthesizing keratin, it will result in frizzier, less glossy hair. Allow Vanilla to supplement your keratin production, and in turn, your hair will reap the benefits.
If you blow-dry your hair often or use a straightening iron, Vanilla can help repair the damage done by these tools. It contains Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid can help repair and rebuild hair shafts damaged by heat, overexposure to the sun, and the damage wrought by shampoos.
Vanilla contains a secret ingredient for those wishing to restore their deep, natural hair color: Vitamin B6. Interestingly enough, Vitamin B6 helps the body produce melanin, a component in your hair’s natural color. Consider a Vanilla hair mask if you wish to help your hair return to its original coloration. You can also add a couple of drops of vanilla oil to your favorite hair care products and reap the benefits.
Finally, for those with hair that tends to become somewhat oily, the Vitamin B6 in Vanilla can help regulate that. It regulates sebum production, which will help unburden your hair from its oily constraints.
Think of all the places you use sugar. Perhaps you put a heaping teaspoon of sugar in your morning coffee. Or maybe you’re an avid baker and enjoy making batches of soft sugar cookies for friends and family. The fact of the matter is, we can’t help but indulge our taste buds here and there with a bit of sugar to please the sweet tooth.
Now imagine infusing that sugar with the seductive flavor of vanilla. Suddenly, your morning coffee routine is a little more refined by vanilla’s rich, irresistible taste. Additionally, you can save time and skip that most crucial step while baking those holiday cookies if you imbue your sugar with the essence of vanilla beforehand.
Vanilla and sugar go together like cookies and ice cream. Almost everywhere you would include a little sugar, can benefit from a touch of vanilla as well. Not to mention, vanilla sugar is amazingly effortless to make and makes for a delightful holiday gift!
Vanilla Ice Cream Can Help Ease Nausea
If you’ve ever experienced nausea, you’ve probably tried all sorts of remedies to relieve it. However, have you considered vanilla ice cream? Vanilla ice cream has a mild and smooth taste and a non-overbearing amount of sweetness. It just might be what the doctor ordered to help settle your queasiness.
It might be hard to conceive that you can treat your sickly woes with a sweet treat. Nonetheless, the studies prove it. In a scientific experiment, pregnant women experiencing moderate to severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) were given vanilla ice cream. As a result, they saw their symptoms significantly lessened.
The same is true with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can often lead a patient to experience nausea and difficulty keeping foods down. As such, it’s common to recommend mild-flavored foods such as applesauce, cottage cheese, and vanilla ice cream to those undergoing treatment.
So, eat to your health! Uh, well, eat to help yourself feel better. After all, nausea is uncomfortable and awful. Treat yourself to a warm, cozy blanket, a good Netflix show, and a nice cold bowl of vanilla ice cream.
- Botanical Name: Vanilla planifolia (Most commonly used form)
- Folk Names: Banilje, Tlīlxochitl
- Gender: Feminine
- Planet: Venus
- Element: Water
- Magical Attributes: Love, Lust, Mental Ability
Magical Ways to Use Vanilla
- When coupled together, vanilla and cinnamon can make an amazing and truly powerful mixture. Burning cinnamon and vanilla incense together can raise potent love-attracting vibrations, and cinnamon and vanilla oil can be used to dress and green candles and burned to attract wealth.
- Vanilla is a powerful appetite suppressant. Both ingesting vanilla and its scent will help curb cravings, which can help with weight loss.
- Vanilla beans are full of amazing, uplifting power. Consider carrying one and enjoy a boost to your energy levels.
- The scent of vanilla is quite potent in quickening the mind and concentration. Allow its scent to help improve your memory recall.
- When engaging in relaxing aromatherapy, don’t forget vanilla. Its scent is an excellent stress reducer and great for combating feelings of anxiety.
Understanding the Symbolism of Vanilla
To understand the magic that lies within the vanilla plant means understanding its scent. The scent of vanilla reminds us of the comforts of home. It is the scent of all that was pleasing and wonderful in our childhood.
If the people and places we felt the most comfortable and cozy with had a scent, it would be vanilla. It is a welcoming, inviting scent, luring us in with the sweetness and warmth of its aroma.
The vanilla flower, with its plush, evenly-shaped stark white petals – also harkens to innocence and purity. Between the fragrance and the flower we can find nothing beguiling about the vanilla plant – it is simply a good thing.
Vanilla is also the life of the party. It is the aroma of celebrations and birthday parties and summer fairs. But it also represents a sense of something basic, original, plain, and comfortably normal — like vanilla ice cream.
Vanilla Interesting Facts
- Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, with saffron being the most expensive. This is because the process of producing vanilla fruit is very labor-intensive – from seed to harvest and beyond.
- While there are many species of the vanilla plant, the most commonly used form is vanilla planifolia, also known as Madagascar or Bourbon Vanilla, named after the former name of the French Island of Réunion — Île Bourbon.
- Vanilla flowers must be pollinated within 12 hours of opening, or they won’t produce vanilla beans.
- It wasn’t until 1841 that a working hand-pollination technique for the vanilla flower was discovered – by a 12-year-old slave by the name of Edmond Albius. This discovery allowed for the global cultivation of the vanilla plant.
- A vanilla plant is a form of orchid.
- Vanilla is a diminutive version of the Spanish word vaina, which means “sheath” or “pod,” and literally translates to “little pod.”
- French vanilla originates from a French style of making vanilla ice cream – using a custard base, vanilla pods, cream, and egg yolks.
- The Aztecs referred to vanilla as tlīlxochitl, meaning “black flower.” This is due to the appearance of the vanilla fruit once it is picked — it shrivels and turns black shortly afterward.
- You can tell a dish is made with real vanilla beans as it will have characteristic black seeds.
- 95% of vanilla dishes are actually flavored with vanillin which is synthetically produced from lignin, a polymer found in wood.
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