You all know what bay leaf is, you have probably used it many times while preparing soup or stew, and you have probably only used it as flavor enhancer. Still these green leafs carry a heavy beneficial load, and no, unfortunately you haven’t used it properly. Amongst many types of bay leaf, one stands up and the one is called Laurus nobilis (Latin name), and this is the one packed with the nutrients you are interested in, and while all of the other bay leafs are similar in taste and aroma, they can be quite different in nutrient content.
This plant dates its origins from the Mediterranean region thousands of years ago, and it has been used ever since for its culinary and medicinal properties. Regularly used in its original form as leaves is custom for culinary usage, grinded or whole leaf added to your favorite soup or stew, or used as tea when boiled, again as whole leaf. But the true medicinal benefit of this green leaf lies in its extracts, more precisely when used as bay leaf extract oil.
With a content of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and C, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese and Iron, there is no doubt that bay leaf s beneficial for you, and below find the most common use of this plant beneficial property:
- Cardiovascular health – the phytonutrients in bay leaf provide an excellent protection against heart attack and keep your cardiovascular health in good condition. The content of rutin, salicylates, caffeic acid and phytonutrients are the ones to blame for it. The medicine is simple, just boil 4 g of bay leaf mixed with rose tea in 300 ml of water, and boil it until only 75 mg remain. Then just drink the concoction.
- Helps treating diabetes – because bay leaf causes reduction in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, it is believed that it can help treating diabetes type 2. The main reason is the presence of the above mentioned antioxidants which enable the body’s insulin processing efficiency. If this is what you are after, just grind the bay leafs in powder and consume them for 30 days. This will lower your sugar levels and balance your heart work.
- Digestion remedy – drinking bay leaf tea can help in various cases of digestion problems like heartburn or flatulence, and can ease up issues like constipation and irregular bowel movement. The enzymes present enable a fast breakdown of proteins, and that is why bay leaf is an excellent spice for an omnivore cuisine. The recipe – 5 g of bay leaf with a small piece of ginger boiled in 200 ml water until only 50 ml remain. Then add some honey and when needed consume it twice daily (after main meals).
- Pain reliever – bay leaf oil extract has been used by many people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, or simple strains or ordinary headache. This is because of bay leaf anti-inflammatory properties, and because it speeds up your blood circulation. In case of rheumatic arthritis make a poultice of ground bay leaves and castor leaves and ties them around inflamed joints, it should reduce the swelling and the pain. For a severe headache make yourself a bay leaf tea!
- Immune system booster – because of its anti-inflammatory properties and loads of antioxidants, bay leaf is excellent in flu and cold treatment. Not only it helps relieve and reduce the symptoms, it can be used preventively, so it is a good addition to your “flu and cold” seasonal diet. Make the already mentioned concoction, 200 ml of water boiled with several bay leaves until only 50 ml remain. Strain it and drink it daily.
- Menstrual problem remedy – bay leaf has been known to induce normal menstruation and also has the property of curing vaginal discharge. The recipe is simple – oral ingestion!
- Helps regulate sleep – the green leaves can help you sleep better. For this purpose use bay leaf extract, and spill few drops in a glass of water.
- Anti-cancer properties – the presence of caffeic acid, eugenol, quercetin and catechins show a potential for anti-cancer usage and chemo-protective properties. Also a study done in vitro has shown that parthenolide has the ability to restrain the proliferation of cervical cancer cells, and this compound can be found in bay leaf extract in quite large quantities.
- Bright teeth – bay leaf powder can be used to whiten your teeth. Just brush them with powdered bay leaf every three days.
- Kidney stone removal – bay leaf tea has been successfully used in treating kidney infection and kidney stone removal. Use the above mentioned concoction!
- Skin care – the richness of vitamin and minerals, as well as antioxidants, can prevent the early occurrence of facial wrinkles. Simple, just boil five leaves in two cups of water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam (this will open your facial pores). Bay leaf has also been used as skin treatment against various injuries, such as insect bites, cuts and bruises. This shows the antifungal and anti-bacterial properties of bay leaves.
- Hair care – try bay leaf rinse on your hair for dandruff removal and hair loss. For this purpose try and find bay leaf oil, it works best when used as hair tonic.
You have seen the benefits of using bay leaf, and the various recipes and ways to use it. You can find it everywhere in every store, even grow it on your backyard, it grows by its own. Enjoy!