Vanilla Grass is another ancient herb made popular by the Native Americans. Vanilla grass is used to flavor vodka and tobacco products. The herb is considered sacred by the Native Americans and is used in spiritual ceremonies.
Vanilla Grass can be seen in the following parts of the world –North American regions like Canada, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, New Mexico and the Great Plains, European regions like the British Isles and Switzerland, and also in some parts of Eurasia.
Native Americans call Vanilla Grass as the grass that never dies due to the fact that its sweet fragrance is not lost even when it is cut. The herb has been used during meditation and for religious purposes including the act of calling spirits. The plant is used to make fragrant baskets and perfumes. Tribal members stuff the leaves of Vanilla Grass into mattresses and pillows to get more of its sweet fragrance.
What is Vanilla Grass?
The botanical name of Vanilla Grass is Hierochloe odorata. In Greek language, the scientific name of Vanilla grass simply means holy fragrant grass. It is also known as Anthoxanthum nitens in the scientific world. Other common names of Vanilla grass include – Sweet Grass, Mary’s grass, holy grass, bison or buffalo grass and manna grass.
Vanilla Grass is perennial in nature and can grow up to a height of 30 inches.
How does it work?
Vanilla Grass contains the blood thinning agent coumarin. Other chemicals present in the herb are not known.
The following are the herbal health related benefits of using Vanilla Grass:
Cold & Fever
Vanilla Grass is used as an herbal tea for treating fever and cold. The herb also helps in reducing sore throats and cough. Tribal Indians burn the grass and inhale the smoke to treat cold.
Vanilla Grass was also used by the tribal people of North America to stop uterine bleeding. It also helps in expelling the placenta after child birth. The Karok people from Northern California use a specially prepared infusion made using the herb to help women suffering miscarriage.
Infusion prepared using Vanilla Grass is also used by Native Indians as an eyewash to treat minor eye related infections. Vanilla grass tea also can clear nose congestions. It is believed that the coumarin present in the herb can be used to treat lymphodema. Due to its sweet smell, Vanilla grass is also used in hair wash and as a body-rub.
There is no standard and recommended dose for Vanilla grass. The herb is commonly used to prepare a type of herbal tea. However, many do not recommend the internal use of Vanilla grass.
The presence of coumarin in Vanilla grass offers some toxic properties to the herb that can damage the liver and cause hemorrhages in some.
Vanilla Grass is an herb with a sweet smell and many herbal properties. However, the use of the herb as an herbal remedy has reduced drastically in the recent times due to the awareness about the chemical Coumarin. Coumarin is considered a natural anti-coagulant.
Due to limited number of studies on this herb, there is no information about the drug interactions of Vanilla Grass.