Vanilla extract (Vanilla Planifolia Andrews) is a liquid form of vanilla concentrate commonly used in cooking and baking. Vanilla extract is made by dissolving vanilla beans in alcohol to create the dark colored liquid with the powerful scent of natural vanilla. All vanilla extracts are high in alcohol, but the alcohol evaporates when exposed to high heat, such as during baking. Vanilla extract is richer tasting and may offer health benefits you won’t get from the artificial version (artificial vanilla flavor).


  • Contains antioxidants: Natural vanilla extract contains numerous antioxidants, including vanillic acid and vanillin.
  • Shown to have anti-inflammatory abilities
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety,
  • Improve skin tone
  • Boost metabolism which can potentially stimulate weight-loss effects
  • Regulate menstrual cycles
  • Relieve digestion problems
  • Reduce fever
  • Fight internal infections in children


Vanilla is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. However, there are some side effects. Skin contact can cause irritation and swelling (inflammation). It might also cause headache and sleep problems (insomnia), especially for people who manufacture vanilla extract. Larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.


Source: Billings-Smith, Lana; “What Are the Health Benefits of Vanilla Extract?”,

See Also: Vanilla

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