Bay leaves, or laurel leaves, have been commonly used in cooking and as a natural way to repel pests like mice and cockroaches, but they actually possess a much bigger potential.
Namely, they offer a myriad of health benefits, from soothing pain and relieving anxiety, to regulating blood sugar levels and treating respiratory conditions.
Style Craze reports:
“These leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter flavor. Their taste and fragrance are somewhat similar to the cinnamon bark but slightly milder. They are used in a fresh, dried or powdered form. The oil extracted from bay leaves, called bay leaf oil has medicinal properties and is used to treat several ailments. Due to their bitter taste, bay leaves cannot be eaten directly but are often used to impart flavor to a variety of dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
These leaves are exceptionally rich in vitamins as well as copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and manganese. They also contain essential phytochemicals and volatile oils.”
Here is how to use these healing leaves and improve health:
Bay leaves contain three components that soothe anxiety, pinene, cineol, and linalool.
Pinene extracts have been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety symptoms, while cineol inhibits the release of hormones that cause pain in the body. Moreover, it has been found to significantly lower anxiety levels. Linalool was found to reduce stress in rats, by affecting their blood cells and genes.
In order to reap the calming effects of bay leaves, you should light up 2-3 dried leaves and place them on a metal tray or an ashtray. The powerful aroma of the leaves will soothe your body and mind. When burnt completely, dispose of the ashes.
Relieve Your Respiratory System
These leaves decrease the production of interleukin, a small protein released by the immune system which can cause inflammation. If you inhale the steam after boiling them, you can soothe respiratory infections and treat a congested nose.
To prepare bay leaves tea, a powerful tea that can help you fight congestion, add 2 cups of water in a saucepan, place 3-4 leaves inside, and boil for 3 minutes. Then, remove the tea from heat, leave it to steep for 4 minutes, and strain it.
Bay leaves support digestion and treat digestive disorders like heartburn and flatulence. Bay leaf tea alleviates common digestive disorders like constipation, acid reflux, and irregular bowel movements, and stimulates appetite if you are recovering from an illness.
To treat indigestion and bloating, boil 5 grams of bay leaves, and a piece of ginger and in 200 ml of water, add honey and drink the remedy twice daily.
Heal Wounds and Ease Pain
Bay leaves accelerate the healing of wounds, and soothe pain if applied in the form of a paste made from the grounded dry leaves.
Lower Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Bay leaves lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and increase the good cholesterol.
Bay essential oil is excellent in aromatherapy. Add a few drops to the diffuser, and it will help you relax and fall asleep easily.
Bay leaves have powerful antifungal properties, which help in the prevention of Candida.
Bay essential oil is a potent natural way to repel insects and prevent them from laying and hatching eggs. You can pour a few drops on cotton balls and place them in the kitchen, or even distribute bay leaves around the house.
Add these leaves while cooking, and they will add a discreet taste to your dishes. Remove them before consumption.