I never heard of tonka beans until last week when a farmer shared some with me.
Now I’m amazed by them.
The aroma, the flavor… heavenly.
There’s one problem: in the US, tonka beans are illegal!
Ah… the land of the free!
In yesterday’s video I share more on the deliciously illegal tonka bean… and Rachel crashes my presentation:
The reason tonka beans are illegal is because of outdated research on one compound in the beans: courmarin.
“The fear of coumarin in the U.S. stems from the oft-repeated saw that it is a blood thinner. It’s not. Coumadin® is the blood thinner trademarked by Bristol-Meyers Squibb. To make matters more confusing, Coumadin is made, in part, by changing the chemical structure of coumarin. Doctors who spoke with me (and who were terrified of being quoted) said there they’re aware of no anti-coagulant effect from naturally occurring coumarin in general, or tonka beans in particular. In nature, only certain rare decomposition fungi can convert coumarin to the anti-coagulant molecule. Cows grazing on (pounds of) such rotting sweet clover led to the discovery of the Coumadin drug.