Vanilla: Calming, Comforting, Balancing
Vanilla is a tropical climbing orchid native to Mexico.  It has long podlike fruit and fragrant flowers.   Hernan Cortes is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.  Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron and the fruit is left on the plant to ripen.  Vanilla grows best in a hot, humid climate that is within 10 to 20 degrees of the equator.