Top 10 Benefits & Uses Of Vanilla Essential Oil- Oleoresin
Many agree – the aroma of Vanilla is unmistakable and unforgettable. Familiarity with this essence perhaps began for you with the wafting aroma of baked goods. The comfort we receive from this luscious and delectable essence is most likely imprinted in our memories.
And it’s because of our love for Vanilla that we’re discussing this oil in depth and sharing its many benefits and uses. Read on for our short guide on all things Vanilla.
The History Of Vanilla
Vanilla is a special aromatic, but unlike the way most essential oil is obtained via steam distillation, Vanilla- Oleoresin is not distilled and slightly differs from Vanilla extract and Vanilla CO2. In fact, it's not even an essential oil.
To understand Vanilla, let's dig a little deeper into its history. Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is a member of the Orchid family and is originally native to South and Central America. The climbing plant normally reaches about 100-200 feet in height and has clusters of 4-inch pale green and yellow flowers that, when pollinated, develop into 6-10 inch aromatic brown pods with tiny seeds inside.
The native habitat of the vanilla plant is Mexico. Its flowers are pollinated only by the indigenous Melipona bee and occasionally hummingbirds. What's more, there is a brief pollination window – the exquisite flower remains open for a mere 24 hours, during which it has to be fertilized to produce a bean pod. If this short interval is missed, the flower will wilt, die and fall to the ground.
Because of its innate value and high price tag, this plant traversed the globe in the 1800s. But without pollination from Melipona bees, the reproduction of the plant was hopeless.
Then in 1841, a 12-year-old slave on the island of Réunion named Edmond Albius was able to determine how to pollinate the flowers by hand with a stick and a flick of his thumb.
This technique was necessary for the birth of vanilla plantations in tropical regions across the globe from Madagascar to Indonesia. Today most of the world's vanilla is grown in Madagascar and Réunion and vanilla remains the second most expensive spice in the world.
What Is An Oleoresin?
Because the natural vanilla bean does not release its aromatic molecules during steam distillation, it must be solvent extracted using ethanol or another form of alcohol. This is where vanilla extract comes into play which is solvent extracted from the vanilla pod and bean. By removing the solvent, we are left with the viscous, deep brown, sensual and sweetly concentrated Vanilla- Oleoresin.
Vanilla- Oleoresin has constituents of vanillin and traces of other elements such as eugenol, piperonal, and caproic acid all adding to its unique nature. An oleoresin tends to be thick and because of its lipophilic nature, they do not dissolve in a carrier oil but disperse best in water and alcohol-based solutions, making them great in room and body sprays.
Health Benefits And Uses of Vanilla- Oleoresin
Historically, Vanilla essence has been used in lotions, soaps, body and hair care products, as an air freshener, incense, as a flavoring in baked goods, beverages, lip balm, medications and popularly in ice cream.
Most perfumes that delight the senses have at least some vanilla essence in them offering a soothing, warm and sweet aroma. Vanilla's amazing benefits include:
- Calming nervousness
- Optimizing mood
- Easing stress
- Releasing anxiety
- Melting away worry
- Inducing sleep
- Improving skin’s appearance
- Aiding wounds & healing burns
- Acting as an antioxidant
- Relieving nausea
Helping to soothe the mind, Vanilla- Oleoresin enhances optimism and assists relaxation after a long, hard day. In studies, constituents of Vanilla have shown an ability to reduce stress and anxiety in cancer patients during MRI procedures.
Here at Edens Garden, we delight in adding it to a warm bath for calming  the spirit and readying oneself before bed. Vanilla- Oleoresin oil offers a soothing and sweet aroma that can help relax the mind at bedtime. When combined with other sedative oils such as Lavender oil, this blend can help quiet the central nervous system, aiding sleep and keeping those that wake often, asleep.
Here are some top tips for using Vanilla oil:
- To make a diffuser blend using Vanilla oil for sleep, add 6 drops of Lavender and 1 drop of Vanilla- Oleoresin to an essential oil diffuser. Diffuse for 30 minutes leading up to your bedtime for a restful sleep. Note, that we don’t suggest leaving your diffuser running throughout the night to prevent overexposure.
- Vanilla makes a beautiful personal aroma. Dilute your Vanilla oil by creating a 2% dilution Try this recipe: combine 8 drops of Vanilla oil with 1 oz of distilled water in a 1 oz amber glass bottle with a spritzer for easy application. We recommend applying it to your pulse points, such as the inner elbows, neck, behind the knees or wrists. The pulse points give off a gentle warmth which helps to diffuse aromas making it an excellent area of application naturally.
- Because Vanilla- Oleoresin is water soluble, it doesn't blend well with carrier oil. However, you can still make a simple massage oil infusion by mixing 1 oz of carrier oil such as Jojoba into an amber glass bottle with a pump.
What Is Infusing And How Do You Infuse Vanilla- Oleoresin Into Jojoba?
Vanilla- Oleoresin is water soluble - meaning it doesn't blend with oil. We all know that water and oil don't mix. For oleoresin, it's the same principle just flipped around. When you add an oleoresin to oil, the oleoresin will just “sit” in the oil without dispersing. By letting one drop slowly infuse into a 1 oz bottle of Jojoba oil for 2 weeks, you will have an infused oil. The oleoresin will eventually just sink to the bottom of the bottle, letting you reuse the aromatic resin the next time you fill the bottle up.
Important Facts About Vanilla- Oleoresin
As a base note, Vanilla- Oleoresin helps to soften and round out blends. It goes extremely well with Coffee, Cocoa, Neroli, Peppermint and Orange- Sweet but don't be shy about blending this versatile oil with oils such as citruses, woods and spicy aromas.
- This oil is safe for children to use over the age of 2 when diluted to 1% or used in an essential oil diffuser
- Vanilla has a shelf life of 4 years and as with all essential oil products, is best stored in a cool dark place
- Its thick nature tends to clog diffusers – clean any residual resin by wiping out your diffuser with alcohol
Vanilla Oil Safety
- Do not use this oil with children under the age of 2
- This oil is safe for children to use over the age of 2 with a dilution of 1% 
- It has a shelf life of 4 years and as with all essential oil products, is best stored in a cool dark place.
- Never ingest oils unless under the care of a trained professional
- Safe to use topically at a 2% dilution. Always patch test new oils on the inner arm before using them on larger portions of the skin
For more information about the differences between Vanilla- Oleoresin and Vanilla CO2 oil, click here.
15% Off The Vanilla Collection
To further celebrate our love of Vanilla, today only we’re offering you 15% OFF all Vanilla products when you use code VANILLA15 at checkout. Stock up on your favorite aromas like Vanilla Sandalwood, Vanilla CO2 and Vanilla Ylang Ylang now until October 4th, 11:59 PT. This deal is too sweet to pass up so shop now!
Disclaimer: Use code VANILLA15 at checkout. Discount cannot be applied to orders placed prior to October 4th, 2022 12:00 AM PT. Sale ends October 4th at 11:59 PM PT. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.
- The History of Vanilla. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/plain-vanilla#:~:text=Vanilla%20is%20a%20native%20of,Totonacs%20of%20Mexico's%20east%20coast.
- Vanillin: a review on the therapeutic prospects of a popular flavoring molecule. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790484/
- Vanilla: Potential Health Benefits. https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2020/07000/vanilla__potential_health_benefits.10.aspx
- Fragrance administration to reduce anxiety during MR imaging. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7949692/
- Tisserand. Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition. 2014
- Vanilla Spices and Flavoring Crops: Uses and Health Effects. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/vanilla
- Studies on the antioxidant activities of natural vanilla extract and its constituent compounds through in vitro models. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17715988/
- Extraction of vanilla oleoresin (Vanilla planifolia Andrews) with supercritical CO2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237035461_Extraction_of_vanilla_oleoresin_Vanilla_planifolia_Andrews_with_supercritical_CO2
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