Bay leaves are leaves that come from the bay laurel trees that grow over in the Mediterranean, France, Italy, North American, Central America. Bay trees are evergreens with long, aromatic leaves. Bay is a variety of laurel, and many times different varieties are referred to as bay. Bay leaves lose their health benefits after one year so discard of unused bay leaves which have lasted that whole time. Remember to store them in a cool, dry, dark place, preferably in an air-tight container.
11 Top Benefits & Uses Of Bay Leaf
The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaves, including phytonutrients, catechins, linalool, and parthenolide, helps to protect the body from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
Coughs & Colds
Placing a cloth soaked in water in which bay leaves have been boiled provides relief from cough, cold, bronchitis and chest infections.
Bay leaves help reduce blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The antioxidants in bay leaf enable the body to process insulin more efficiently, thus making it a good choice for diabetics and people with insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes.
Bay leaf has strong pungent smell which stimulates the production of saliva and other digestive enzymes. These enzymes aid in the breakdown of food particles, thus promoting healthy digestion. Bay leaf is known to be helpful against heartburn and bloating.
Bay Leaf essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, boosting blood circulation, easing sprains, strains, arthritis, rheumatism, general pains and aches.
Bay leaf contains a range of antioxidants and antiseptic compounds like α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, α-terpineol, and chavicol. These have been found to be beneficial for skin. Bay leaf is also rich in Vitamin-C, which helps in preventing free radical damages.
Bay leaf has been used by herbal practitioners for its antifungal and anti-bacterial properties, treating snakebite, insect stings and relieving cuts and bruises.
Bay leaves are a rich source of vitamins A and C as well as zinc, three nutrients of great importance for a strong, healthy immune system. Vitamin C (77.5%) is probably the most potent antibacterial and antiviral agent ever discovered, strengthening our immune system and increasing the aggressiveness of our white blood cells.
Bay leaves have several compounds which are useful in curing acne. Crush bay leaves and add it to water. Boil the mixture. Strain and splash the water on the face to get relief from acne.
Bay leaves have a calming effect on the mind and have mild sedative properties and help induce sleep. Therefore bay leaves can be used in the treatment of insomnia.