Vanillinum. Vanillin, C8H8O3, official.

Vanilla planifolia,


Methylprotocatechuic aldehyde occurring naturally in vanilla (cured fruit), or prepared synthetically.

Habitat. E. Mexico, hot, damp woods, forests; cultivated in tropics.

Syn. Vanilla Aromatica, Vaniglia; Fr. Vanille, Vanilline; Ger. Fructus (Siliqua) Vamllae, Vanillin.

Va-nil'la. L. fr. Sp. vainilla, formerly raynilla, dim. of vaina (vayna), scabbard, sheath, pod, lit. "little pod" - i. e., pod resembling the sheath of a knife.

Pla-ni-fo'li-a. L. planus, flat, + folium, leaf, flat-leaved - i. e., leaves plain or flat, without prominent veins.

Plant. - Succulent, dark green, epiphytic, terrestrial or parasitic, perennial climber; stem long, 1-2 Cm. (2/5-4/5') thick, smooth, much branched, nodes with aerial roots and rootlets, 12.5-15 Cm. (5-6') long, for clinging to trees, frame-work, etc., leaves 10-15 Cm. (4-6') long, oval, tough, fleshy, veinless, dark green, paler beneath; flowers 5 Cm. (2') broad, pale yellowish-green, loose axillary racemes of 8-10. Fruit (pod), linear, flattened, tapering, 15-35 Cm. (6-14') long, 5-9 Mm. (1/5-1/3') broad, in clusters of 3-15, flat circular scar at summit, curved (hooked) at base (Tahiti variety - middle broad, tapering similarly toward either end), blackish-brown, longitudinally wrinkled, moist-glossy, occasionally with efflorescence of vanillin acicular crystals, and 3-divided near tip; frequently cork patches; flexible, tough, 1-locular, blackish-brown pulp and many triangular, reticulate seeds,

.25-30 Mm. (1/100-1/75') broad; odor and taste characteristic, very agreeable. Test: 1. Efflorescent crystal on slide, + 1 drop of phloroglucinol T. S. and hydrochloric acid - carmine-red (dist. from benzoic acid); solvent: 75 p. c. alcohol. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).

Commercial: Plant mostly cultivated, since 1850, from cuttings, sometimes seeds, in Papantla, Mis-antla, Vera Cruz, Oaxaca provinces, where moisture is abundant and temperature never below 18° C. (65° F.); it climbs by rhizoids (non-absorbing roots), pollinates by insects, hand; bears fruit 3rd year, continues 30-40; fruit (cured, full-grown, unripe) develops in 2-3 months, but a longer time is required for maturing, and when collected (late autumn before quite ripe, as green begins disappearing into yellow, to avoid splitting) is placed in heaps, sheltered from sun and rain, to undergo partial fermentation and shriveling, then followed by the process of "sweating" - exposure to sun or stove heat (60° C.; 140° F.) until a fine chestnut-brown color is acquired, and the odorous principle, vanillin, has been developed from the normal coniferin (secreted by the internal hair-like fibrillae), which is converted by hydrolization into glucose

Fig. 73.   Vanilla planifolia.

Fig. 73. - Vanilla planifolia.

Fig. 74.   Vanilla fruit, cross section magnified: 2, fruit flesh; st, opening suture; 0, seed placentae; d, papillae.

Fig. 74. - Vanilla fruit, cross-section magnified: 2, fruit flesh; st, opening suture; 0, seed placentae; d, papillae.

and coniferic alcohol, then this latter by an oxydase into vanillin - the object being to drive moisture out upon the surface and finally drying the latter; the process may be aided by the sweating-box, steaming, wrapping in blankets, etc.; they now are dried by a 2-months' exposure to the sun, then coated with oil (that which exudes, also cocoa and cashew nut), tied in small bundles of 50-75, wrapped in foil, and marketed; by insufficient drying, to retain weight, the interior of beans and wherever tied sometimes become moldy. There are several varieties: 1, Mexican (Vera Cruz), best, but beans vary much in value; 2, Bourbon, from Isle of Reunion, resembles Mexican, but beans blacker, tapering portion shorter, less firm and fleshy, surface smooth, waxy, soon becoming coated with acicular crystals (frost); odor more like Tonka bean; 3, Mauritius {Seychelles), often sold as inferior Bourbon; beans only 15 Cm. (6') long, 6 Mm. (1/4') broad, pale color, smooth, not waxy, faint odor; 4, South American (Guadeloupe), resembles Mexican, but broader, flatter, often 12 Mm. (1/2') broad, reddish-brown, odor of fermented molasses, pulpy, resinous, few crystals on surface, beans often open and seeds on the surface; 5, Tahiti, transplanted Mexican; beans 15 Cm. (6') long, 12 Mm. (1/2') broad, reddish-brown, heliotrope odor; 6, Java, mostly consumed in Holland, beans 10-15 Cm. (4-6') long, fine flavor of Mexican but odor much more powerful; 7, Vanillons (Brazilian - V. Pomyo'na), larger, thicker than S. American, inferior vanilla odor (heliotrope), used by perfumers, tobacconists; contains vanillin .5 p. c. Beans also are imported from Honduras, Madagascar, Martinique, etc., while some occur on the market deprived by a solvent of vanillin, and others to which benzoic acid, etc., have been added; all may be purchased as "splits" and "cuts."

Constituents. - Fruit: Vanillin (Mexican 1.7 p. c, Bourbon 2 p. c, Java 2.75 p. c, in the 2 last associated with odorous oil), fixed oil 11 p. c, resin, sugar, mucilage, ash 4-6 p. c.

Vanillinum. Vanillin. This is obtained (1) by crushing the pods (fruit) with sand, extracting with ether in a Soxhlet tube, shaking out ethereal extract with sodium sulphite solution, liberating vanillin from this by treating with sulphuric acid, expelling sulphurous acid generated, extracting with ether; (2) by slowly adding a concentrated solution of coniferin, C16H22O8, from cambium sap of pines, to a warm solution of potassium dichromate in water and sulphuric acid, finally heating to boiling for 3 hours - coniferin, by hydrolysis from action of acid, is converted into dextrose and coniferyl alcohol, and this latter oxidizes into vanillin and aldehyde: C16H22O8 + H2O = C6H12O6 + C10H12O3; C10H12O3 + O = C8H8O3 + C2H4O - passing steam through mixture, or adding successive portions of ether, filtering, reclaiming ether, when vanillin crystallizes; (3) by boiling eugenol, C10H12O2, with acetic anhydride, forming acetylisoeugenol, C10H11-(C2H3O)O3, which is oxidized with potassium dichromate into acetyl-vanillin - the latter upon treating with potassium hydroxide solution and concentrating being converted into vanillin, which may be removed by acidulating filtrate with sulphuric acid and shaking out with ether; this method, owing to economic reasons, is used chiefly. It is in fine, white, slightly yellowish, crystalline needles, odor and taste of vanilla, 400 times stronger than the pod, soluble in alcohol, glycerin, chloroform, ether, water (100), hot water (16), aqueous solutions of alkali hydroxides, from which it is precipitated by acids; melts at 81° C. (178° F.); incinerate 2 Gm. - ash .05 p. c; aqueous solution acid, optically inactive. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution with ferric chloride T. S. - blue color, changed to brown on boiling, and on cooling - white precipitate (dihydrodivanillin). 2. Shake ethereal solution with saturated aqueous solution of sodium bisulphite, add sulphuric acid - vanillin precipitated. 3. Cold aqueous solution with lead acetate, T. S. - white precipitate (lead compound of vanillin), soluble in hot water. Impurities: Acetanilid, benzoic acid, boric acid, terpin hydrate coumarin, 50-90 p. c. Should be kept dark, in well-closed containers. Dose, gr. 1/6-1/2 (.01-03 Gm.).

Preparations. - (Unoff.) Fruit: Fluidextract. Syrup. Tincture, 10 p. c. (dil. alc., + sugar 20 p. a). Vanillin: Comp. Elixir. Comp.' Spirit, 20 p. c. (alc.).

Properties. - Carminative, stimulant, aphrodisiac, antihysteric, irritant. Those working in it have itching hands, face, neck (the skin being covered with prurigi-nous eruptions), dizziness, weariness, muscular pains; eruptions due to an acarus which does not enter the skin.

Uses.- - The Spanish conquerors found vanilla in use in Mexico for flavoring chocolate, etc., and while now recommended for hysteria, it is employed chiefly as a flavoring agent, being the most general of all substances; large quantities sometime produce poisonous symptoms. Allied Plants:

1. Vanilla Pompo'na, Guadeloupe variety, V. Gardne'ri, Brazilian and Bahia, V. odora'ta, V. phaean'tha, Jamaica, Trinidad.

2. Or'chis mas'cula (+ other species), Salep. The fecula of the root, official 1820-1830; C. and S. Europe; rich woods. Small herb 15-45 Cm. (6-180 high, leaves parallel-veined, sheathing; flowers pinkish, showy, nectariferous spur underneath; root (tubers) consists of 2 fleshy tubers 2.5 Cm. (1') long, deprived of epidermis by scalding in water; yellowish-brown, hard, translucent, horny, insipid; contains starch 27 p. c, mucilage 48 p. c.; starch obtained by grinding root under water, straining, subsiding. Used as demulcent, nutritive diet for infants, children, chronic diarrhoea, cholera infantum, tuberculous diarrhoea, in mucilage (1 part + water 50). Adulterations. - Tubers: Colchicum corm, this latter being recognized by its side groove and sweet, bitter, acrid taste; Powder: Starch, flour, which can readily be distinguished by microscope. Dose, ad libitum.

Fig. 75.   Orchis mascula.

Fig. 75. - Orchis mascula.

3. Cypripe'dium hirsu'tum (pubes'cens), C. parviflo'rum, Ladies' Slipper. The dried rhizome and roots, official l860 - 1910; N. America, woods, swampy places. Perennial hairy herbs, .3-.6 M. (1-2°) high; leaves ovate, 10-12.5 Cm. (4-5') long; flowers yellow, 4-divided, moccasin-shape. Rhizome curved, 3-10 Cm. (1 1/5-4') long, 2-6 Mm. (1/12-1/4) thick, orange-brown, brownish, many cup-shape scars above, and wavy roots below, 3-15 Cm. (1 1/5-6') long, fracture short (roots fibrous); odor distinct, valerian-like; taste sweetish, bitter, pungent; solvents: boiling water, diluted water; contains volatile oil, resin (2), fixed oil, volatile acid, tannin. Antiperiodic, nervous stimulant, diaphoretic; cholera, hysteria, epilepsy, nervousness, hypochondriasis, neuralgia, insomnia - substitute for valerian. Dose, gr. 15-30 (1-2 Gm.); fluidextract (diluted alcohol),  15-30 (1-2 Ml. (Cc.)); "Eclectics" resinoid cypripedin, gr. 1-2 (.06-13 Gm.).

Vanilla Vanilla 225


Vanilla Vanilla 226


Fig. 76. - a, Cypripedium hirsutum (pubescens): rhizome and roots, natural size. b, Cypripedium parviflorum: rhizome and roots, natural size.