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Vanilla: Not Just for Baking. Who Knew?

Connecticut Cookie Company Vanilla

Green tea, ginkgo balboa, Bullet Coffee, goji berries. Vanilla may just be the new super item. If it’s not a super food, it’s at least overqualified as a multi-purpose household bit of magic.

Here’s a short list of some magical things real vanilla extract boasts about on it’s curriculum vitae:

  1. When added to household paint it neutralizes the smell.
  2. Perfume: as natural as it gets, dab vanilla behind your ears and on your wrists for a warm scent.
  3. Apparently vanilla is a hunger buster. This works by inhaling a large whiff before eating, in the theory of tricking your body into thinking you are more full than you are.
  4. Add several drops of vanilla oil or extract to a few cups of water in a spray bottle and use to scent rooms, your car or carpets. Not sure if this would work directly on Fluffy, but it’s all natural and wouldn't hurt to try! Litter box? Not potent enough to take that on.
  5. 5) Vanilla is packed with antioxidants. Blend into your favorite scrub and massage onto your skin in the shower.
  6. As a mom who loves to get outdoors with the kid, this one is my favorite: bug spray! The perennial search for a healthy, natural way to repel mosquitoes is over. This should be an even ratio of extract and water, then sprayed on to people or place. I can’t wait to spray all the doors and thresholds to the house in summer and give this a try.
  7. Vanilla extract relieves minor burns. Apply directly to light sunburn or other minor burns to relieve the sting.
  8. Sore throat soother.
  9. Stress release. Purportedly, vanilla is a calming agent and can relieve anxiety and nervousness. The extract healthily slows down one’s heart.
  10. Vanilla oil (not the extract) is an aid in relieving menstrual cramps. A great idea is to take a hot bath with the oil added in. Couldn’t hurt to massage some into your lower back after the tub. Perhaps this supports the tendency to eat more chocolate during this not-so-fun time-of-the-month, since most chocolate desserts have vanilla in them. I’ll explore that someday in a thesis.

I’m even more impressed with vanilla than I was before and you should be, too. If you’re not, start from the beginning and read this again. Vanilla sold at CTCOCO.

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