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Probably the most famous orchid and source of one of the most expensive spices in the world. Origin of the Vanilla orchid is Mexico, the region around Veracruz. Mainly due to the aromatic ingredient Vanillin, developed during fermentation of the seed vessel, it was already famous in Aztec times.
They added Vanilla to their cocoa drink and it was also already known as perfume, spice and remedy. Nowadays the orchid is cultivated in tropical regions around the world, mostly in Madagascar and Réunion. However, in these regions, the flowers have to be artificial pollenized, while in Mexico Kolibris and insects are the natural pollinators. The source of our Vanilla bean is rather unknown since we procure it from Colombia.
Next, to known effects like mood lifting, calmative and aphrodisiacal, the vanilla bean is also supposed to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal and bactericidal. Several recent publications discuss the effects of vanilla in cancer treatment. Evidence of vanillin binding to CAMKIV explains the anticancer mechanism in human hepatic carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells.
Naz H, Tarique M, Khan P, Luqman S, Ahamad S, Islam A, Ahmad F, Hassan MI. Mol Cell Biochem. 2018 Jan;438(1-2):35-45. doi: 10.1007/s11010-017-3111-0. Epub 2017 Jul PMID: 28744811 Suppression of cancer stem-like phenotypes in NCI-H460 lung cancer cells by vanillin through an Akt-dependent pathway. Srinual S, Chanvorachote P, Pongrakhananon V. Int J Oncol. 2017 Apr;50(4):1341-1351. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2017.3879. Epub 2017 Feb 17. PMID: 28259926
Medicinal Plants - Herbs are getting more and more important for the research & development sector and for the Pharma Industry in Europe and USA. Traditionally pharmaceutical plants were used ...