The history of vanilla’s transformation into one of the most fragrant spices of modern cuisine dates back to the time Hernando Cortes defeated the Aztecs in the early 1500s. It is believed that he returned to Europe with a stash full of vanilla, intending to sell it as an exotic luxury. By the early 1800s, the French began to grow the plant in Madagascar. The country is still the largest supplier of vanilla beans in the world. For many years, vanilla could only be pollinated by a particular type of bee, but in the late 19th century, botanists developed a way to manually pollinate this sweet spice. Vanilla contains more than 200 antioxidants, which makes it a real powerhouse in the fight against free radicals in the body. By reducing the activity of free radicals, chronic inflammation and the risk of serious diseases are reduced. To this end, vanilla can be applied in two ways: internally and externally. Add vanilla extract to fruit smoothies, homemade almond milk, or raw ice cream. For an external effect, add a few drops of vanilla essential oil to a cream or lotion. Vanilla helps reduce the problem of pimples, blackheads and also soothe burns. Vanilla is part of the group of vanilloid compounds. Interestingly, capsaicin, the chemical that creates the burning sensation in the mouth from hot peppers, is also a vanilloid. Studies have shown that capsaicin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substance.