- Mexico had a complete monopoly on vanilla for centuries, as the Melipona bee, native to Mexico, was the only species that could successfully pollinate the vanilla plant. Explorers tried to introduce the plant and the bees in their homelands, but both floundered. In 1841, a 12-year-old slave discovered a way to hand pollinate, and that was the start of vanilla farming worldwide. Today, Mexico is the fourth largest producer of vanilla after Indonesia, Madagascar and China.
Vanilla contains small amounts of B-complex vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6. (from Nature's Bakery)