Scientific name: Laurus nobilis. Bay leaf is a musky leaf from the bay laurel tree. It originates from the Mediterranean and has been cherished among nations for a long period of time.Since ancient times, the bay tree has been regarded as a sacred tree and its branches were given to poets and winners as a sign of a highest glory and honor.
Bay leaves are used in cooking and also for making perfumes. They are also used for herbal medicine since they are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties.
- Fight diabetes
Bay leaves play an important role in the treatment of diabetes type 2 because they cause reduction in cholesterol, blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Regular consumption of these leaves will cause drop in sugar levels and will regulate the function of your heart.
This happens thanks to the antioxidants found in the bay leaves which enable the body to process insulin more efficiently. So, patients who are at risk of developing diabetes or those who already suffer from this condition should increase the intake of bay leaves since they can lower the chances of diabetic episodes.
- Protect the heart
Bay leaves are packed with rutin and caffeic acid-both organic compounds that play an important role in protection of the heart. Rutin reinforces capillary walls while cafeic acid helps to remove the bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
- Fight against cancer
The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds found in bay leaves, such as: catechins, linalool, parthenolide, phytonutrients, is excellent in fighting free radicals responsible for converting healthy cells into cancerous cells.
- Remove pain
If you often suffer from headaches you should definitely drink bay leaf tea. The oil which is extracted from bay leaves has anti inflammatory and analgesic properties. These properties are good in fighting migraines, headache, joint pains, arthritis and other kinds of pain.
- Good for pregnant women
Rich in folic acid, bay leaves are very beneficial for pregnant women. They are especially beneficial during the periconception period (3 months before and after conception and the beginning of pregnancy). By providing enough folic acid they protect the fetus form birth defects. They are also beneficial in inducing pregnancy.
- Strengthen the immune system
Bay leaves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and also zinc which are three nutrients for a healthy, strong immune system. Vitamin A protects the mucous membranes found at the level of nose, eyes, throat, mouth, digestive tract and lungs which are exposed to bacteria and viruses to a great extent. Healthy mucous membranes won’t allow bacteria and viruses to penetrate the body.
- Help digestion
Bay leaves are very useful for the digestive system. They are very effective in settling the stomach but also in reducing problems caused by celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome. Also they reduce flatulence and other gas related problems. Bay leaves contain enzymes which can break down proteins and help in digestion of meat dishes.
- Remove dandruff
Prepare a mixture of cold water and bay leaves and wash your hair with the mixture after shampooing. You can also add ten to fifteen drops of bay leaves essential oil to your shampoo and you will get rid of dandruff for good.
- Treatment of kidney stones
Bay leaves are helpful in treating kidney infections and even kidney stones. Prepare yourself a cup of tea by boiling 5 grams bay leaves in 200 ml water. Boil until only 50 grams of water is left in the pot. Stain the tea and drink it twice a day in order to prevent kidney stones formation.
- Fight insomnia
If you suffer from insomnia bay leaves can be very helpful to you. They have mild properties and calming effect on your mind. Put a few drops of the bay leaf extract into a glass of water and drink it before going to bed. If you consume this mixture before bedtime you will relax, calm your nerves and induce deep sleep.
There are also other ways to reap the incredible benefits from bay leaves.
Try burning them into your house. Take a few leaves and put them in an ashtray or another metal dish so you’d be sure that you won’t damage anything. Light them up and leave the room for 10 minutes. Leave the fumes to fill in the space then enter and breathe in the benefits.
Here are the benefits that you’ll get if you burn them into your house
Bay leaves contain the compound called linalool. According to a study by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetics, linalool decreases anxiety and increases the will for social interaction. Linalool gives its effects after 10 minutes of breathing in the smell.
3. Protect the respiratory system
Both compounds mycrene and eugenol which are found in bay leaves have anti-inflammatory properties and are great for dislodging mucus and phlegm in the lungs and for stimulating respiratory passages. The best way to help your respiratory system is by inhaling the steam from a burnt leaf into the house.
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American Association of Nurse Anesthetists