Organic Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Beans, Vanilla planifolia, are the dried unripe fruit pods of a climbing orchid vine. Although its sensual aroma helps soothe your soul, relax nerves, ease tension, lift your mood and acts as an aphrodisiac, vanilla is more than just a pretty scent. It is a great additive to skin care products. The major constituent of vanilla beans, vanillin, is a powerful antioxidant that helps the skin repair cell damage. Its anti-inflammatory properties help ease muscle strain and tension. Vanilla bean infused oils can be used for relaxing massages, calming baths or as a deliciously moisturizing body oil.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron. Growing vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. It takes up to three years after the vines are planted before the first flowers appear. Each flower opens only one day a year for a few hours before wilting and must be hand pollinated by workers in order to produce the vanilla bean fruit. Each flower produces a single bean. The yellow unripe beans are picked, boiled and then dried slowly in the Sun over a period of months. As the beans dry and shrivel the flavors concentrate.
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