How are Tonk beans useful?

Tonka beans. This strange phrase can be found in the descriptions of cosmetics and perfumes. But not everyone knows that such beans are used for other purposes. Find out which ones.

What it is?

Tonka beans are not inherently beans, they are seeds of the fruit of the tree Dipteryx fragrant, which grows in tropical South American forests. The plant reaches 35-40 meters in height, has fleshy leaves and greenish-yellow fruits, in which there are beans. The length of one seed is about 3 centimeters, the width is about 1 cm, the shape is oblong oval, the color is dark purple or almost black. Other names - Kumaruna, Tagua, Sumbaru, Sarrapia.

For the first time the plant was found in Brazil and Guyana, it was there that they began to use it as incense. Some South American nations still endow beans with miraculous power and hypnotic properties. Previously, Tonka was used to manufacture anti-spoil and luck-bringing charms, but today fruit seeds are used to flavor tobacco products, cosmetics, and perfumery, and they are also used in cooking.

Beans have a bright vanilla flavor, thanks to which they are often called "Mexican vanilla" and are used as a substitute for this spice. The smell can also catch the notes of bitter almond, clove, herbs, prunes and cinnamon. And the fragrance is incredibly resistant and lasts for a long time.

Interesting fact: because of the content in the beans of the carcinogen of coumarin, they were banned in Germany for ten years at the end of the last century. Then the ban was lifted, but they established a limit on the maximum permissible concentration of coumarin, which should not exceed two milligrams per kilogram of product.

Preparation of raw materials

There are several types of beans, and only some of them are sold. Fully ripened and rather large seeds are selected, in which the concentration of substances has reached its peak. From the fruits of the Dipterix fragrant, bones are extracted, which are then soaked for half a day or a whole day in a strong alcoholic beverage - usually alcohol or rum.

When the Tonka is sufficiently swollen, they are dried and fermented, and as a result of this treatment, coumarin is formed on the surface, forming crystals.It is then that the beans are considered ready for use and acquire a particular specific bright flavor.

What is useful?

The composition of the beans is rich, and it includes essential oils, proteins, fats, gum, starch, coumarin, sitosterol, organic acids, stigmasterol and some other compounds. Energy value - about 280 kilocalories.

Although Tonka beans are not used for food, they still have useful properties:

  • The product has a pronounced, persistent and bright aroma that can improve mood, create a special intimate or romantic atmosphere in the room. Moreover, it is enough to decompose only three to five pieces around the room in order to feel a rich smell for several days. But you should not overdo it, because of the strong aroma can cause headaches.
  • With the help of seeds of Dipteryx, it is possible to effectively repel insect parasites, for example, fruit midges, moths, mosquitoes and many other pests. The smell is so pronounced and strong that the "uninvited guests" will definitely leave your home.
  • Tonka have a relaxing effect, soothe, help to forget about worries and avoid the negative effects of stress, as well as normalize sleep and relieve insomnia.
  • Part of coumarin in pharmacology is used as an active component of anticoagulant drugs that reduce blood clotting and prevent blood clots.
  • The product has a positive effect on the cells of the dermis, helps to strengthen their membranes and regeneration.
  • Beans accelerate blood circulation and perfectly warm.
  • The product normalizes the circulation of lymph and prevents its stagnation.
  • Tonka beans have analgesic properties, have antispasmodic and anticonvulsant effects.
  • It is an effective aphrodisiac that increases desire, increases libido in both sexes and has a beneficial effect on male potency.
  • Seeds can be used with caution as a heart stimulator that improves myocardial contractility and increases heart rate.

Who should not use tonka beans?

There are contraindications, which include serious cardiovascular diseases, reduced blood clotting, idiosyncrasy, allergic reactions.

What are the dangerous beans? Some scientists believe that they have oncogenic properties, as they contain coumarin, which is considered a carcinogen and toxic substance.But if you do not abuse the seeds, they will not cause harm. Cases of overdose and poisoning were recorded. But in any case, it is definitely not worth eating Tonka.

Spheres of use

Seeds of Dipteryx were widely used and used in different ways in the world:

  1. In cosmetology. Seeds are used to make various creams and masks, massage oils, foams and bath salts, and other products. Moreover, they usually act as a flavoring agent and give the products a pronounced almond-vanilla scent.
  2. Very often, extracts and extracts of beans are used by perfumers to create new unique compositions. Tonka can be found in descriptions of various spirits, perfume and toilet waters.
  3. Beans can be used as an insecticide to repel insects and control them. You can simply lay out a few grains on the window sill by the window to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house. If the fruit midges start, leave a couple of beans in their place. To control the moth, grind or chop a couple of seeds, put the powder in a cloth bag and leave it in the cupboard.This will not only help get rid of pests, but also give a stunning scent to clothes.
  4. Use Tonka instead of air freshener. Simply lay around the room at least three grains. Beans can also be used as part of multi-component compositions with the addition of essential oils.
  5. With caution, you can use the product in cooking. So, in very small quantities it is added to pastries, and it is especially well combined with cream and milk, as well as coconut and poppy seeds. But enough to put quite a bit to give flavor and avoid harm. There is another well-known method: immerse several Tonka beans in cream or milk, boil them for about ten minutes, and then extract and use flavored dairy product as a base for baking or desserts.

Tonka beans are unique fragrant seeds of a tropical plant. Use them very carefully to enjoy the scent and avoid undesirable consequences.

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