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Pleasantly aromatic bay leaf or bay laurel has its humble origins in Asia Minor region from where it has spread throughout the world. It also has a centuries-old reputation as a medicinal spice. Bay leaf was highly a valued spice in ancient Greece and Rome, where it was believed to symbolize wisdom, peace, and protection. This spice contains many notable minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Nowadays, with the backing of modern research, bay leaves are used in the kitchen to aid the treatment various health issues, such as the following.
Bay leaves are rich in B-complex groups of vitamins, which are good for digestion. It can treat digestive disorders such as constipation, acid reflux, irregular bowel movements heartburn, colic pain and flatulence and are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers. It also contains enzymes that enable the breakdown of proteins, thus making it an essential spice for non-vegetarian diets.
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Being rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, bay leaf offer various benefits to the skin and hair. Bay leaf oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can cure skin infections. Bay leaf oil effectively combats dandruff and hair loss.
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Components of bay leaf are antimicrobial in nature and protect against some of the most common pathogens, including staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pyogenes, aspergillus fumigatus and candida albicans. Apart from aid the healing process they are known to reduce inflammation in the wound area.
They are effective in fighting cold, flu, bronchitis, and chest infections in the body. Fresh leaves are very rich source of vitamin-C, which is one of the powerful natural antioxidant that helps remove harmful free radicals from the body.
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The oil extracted from bay leaf has anti-inflammatory properties, which eases the pain resulting from sprains, strains, arthritis, rheumatism apart from being helpful for pains and aches.
A pain reliever helps to relax and soothe the muscles, click here to know more
According to research bay leaf reduces the amount of urease in your body. Urease is an enzyme when in inappropriate quantity can lead to several gastric disorders.
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They help to regulate menstrual cycle. Being rich in folic acid, these aromatic leaves can help in inducing pregnancy and are extremely beneficial during the preconception period (3 months before and after pregnancy). They provide sufficient folic acid content, which are important for DNA synthesis and to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
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Bay leaves are effective in treating type 2 diabetes as they reduce glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. This is achieved by the fact that the antioxidants in bay leaf enable the body to process insulin more efficiently, thus helping the diabetic patients and people with insulin resistance.
The lauric acids in bay leaves make it a great insect repellent. Traditionally a dish of bay leaves was kept near the house openings to ward off insects and its paste relives from stings and bites when applied topically.
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Bay leaves have caffeic acid, quercetin, eugenol and catechins that possess chemoprotective properties provide resistance against different types of cancer. They also contain a phytonutrient called parthenolide, which is known specifically to restrain the proliferation of cervical cancer cells. Bay leaves have also been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Bay leaves add a pleasing and sweet aroma when added to the food recipes. They can be used both as fresh and dried. Wilted and dried leaves have a stronger aroma and can be stored for months. It is useful spice for all health, well-being and beauty needs.
Discover many other goodness of bay leaves here
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