Health Benefits of Bay Leaf Medicinal uses of Bay Leaf Chicken- LateChef.com
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Bay Leaf

Medicinally, the leaves of the laurus nobilis tree, also known as sweet laurel, have been used since the ancient times to treat problems associated with the liver, stomach and kidney. They were also used for treating bee and wasp stings. Nowadays, herbalists use bay leaves for treating various health complaints. Bay leaf has excellent healing properties.
It was often used by herbal practitioners for treating snakebite, insect stings and relieving cuts and bruises. Bay leaf oil has antifungal and anti-bacterial properties which can cure skin infections. It is applied topically to heal cuts, bruises and insect bites.
Pleasantly aromatic bay leaf or bay-laurel is one of the well-recognized culinary leaf-spices in use since the earliest times.a in the legends, bay laurel is deemed as the tree of the sun god, under the celestial sign of leo.
Botanically, bay tree belongs to the family of lauraceae, in the genus; laurus. It is thought to have originated in asia minor region, from where it distributed to all over the mediterranean region and other parts of asia.
The bay plant is a tall, conical, evergreen tree growing upto 30 feet in height. Yellow or greenish white, star-shaped flowers appear in clusters during early spring, which subsequently produce dark-green to purplish, single seeded berry. Its thick and leathery leaves featureaelliptic, shiny, dark-green and measure about 3-4 inches in length.
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Health benefits
Bay leaf was highly praised by the greeks and the romans, who deeply believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
The spice contains many notable plants derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, a-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
Fresh leaves are very rich source of vitamin-c; provide 46.5 mg or 77.5% of rda per 100 g. Vitamin-c (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant that help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has immune booster, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
Furthermore, its fresh leaves and herb parts are very good in folic acid; contain about 180 mg or 45% of daily-recommended values per 100 g. Folates are important in dna synthesis and when given during the peri-conception period, they can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
Bay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin a; contain 6185 iu or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g. Vitamin a is a natural antioxidant and is essential for healthy visual sight. It is also required for maintaining mucus membranes and skin health. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin a has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
The spice is indeed a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These b-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes.

Coughs & colds
Placing a cloth soaked in water in which bay leaves have been boiled provides relief from cough, cold, bronchitis and chest infections.
Essential oil of bay leaf is massaged on sprained areas and for relieving headaches.
The oil also provides relief from swellings, rheumatic and arthritic pain.

Fever
Bay leaves infusion promotes sweating, breaking fever, and flu symptoms.
Bay leaves are used for treatment of digestive disorders.
They reduce flatulence.

Diabetes
A study was conducted by the department of human nutrition, pakistan, to test the effect of bay leaf on type 2 diabetes. Forty people with type 2 diabetes were chosen for the study. They were divided into four groups and each group was given different quantities of bay leaf. At the end of the 30-day study, it was observed that all the subjects showed a marked increase in serum glucose. The conclusion was that using bay leaf reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
A similar study was conducted at the department of medical technology, zarqa private university, jordan. Similar to the above study, all subjects showed a remarkable decrease in levels of plasma glucose. Bad cholesterol levels also dropped. The conclusion of this study was that bay leaf not only improves insulin function but also reduces cardiovascular disease risks.
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Active ingredients
Bay leaves are leathery, short-stemmed and dry.
They have a strong odor and a bitter taste.
Bay leaves contain essential oils and a compound called eucalyptol.
According to a research conducted by kansas state university, this compound is effective in eliminating bugs from the kitchen and repelling cockroaches.
There are nearly 81 compounds that represent almost 99% of bay leaf oil.
It is believed that polyphenol is an active bay leaf component.
The in vitro active bay leaf component is soluble in water.

Medicinal parts of the tree
The leaf, both dried and fresh, and the fruit of the bay leaf tree are used for medicinal purposes and cooking.
The leaves have a warm aroma and can be stored for later use.
Bay leaves yield an essential oil that is used in cooking and in treatment of various ailments.
The essential oil that is obtained from the fruit is used in making soap.

Cardiovascular benefits
The powerful phytonutrients in bay leaf provide protection against cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
They contain valuable compounds such as rutin, salicylates, caffeic acid and phytonutrients which boost heart health and improve heart function.
In case of heart disease and anxiety, boil 3 grams of bay leaves and 3-4 grams of wild rose flowers in 300 ml water till only 75 ml remains.
Strain and drink this concoction for relief.

Anti-cancer properties
Bay leaf contains caffeic acid, quercetin, euganol and catechins all of which possess chemo-protective properties which provide resistance against different types of cancer.
They also contain a phytonutrient called parthenolide which has shown to specifically restrain the proliferation of cervical cancer cells.
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Beneficial during periconception period
Being rich in folic acid, bay leaves are extremely beneficial during the periconception period (3 months before and after pregnancy).
By providing sufficient folic acid content to the child; they prevent birth defects in the child.
These leaves also have the property of inducing pregnancy.

Relieves stressed skin
Bay leaf helps to de-stress your skin, thus preventing the occurrence of wrinkles and skin outbreaks.
For this purpose, boil 5 dried bay leaves with 2 cups of water, keeping the container covered. Then remove the lid and let it boil for about 2 minutes. Now pour the brew into a large bowl and covering your head with a towel, inhale this steam.

Treatment of menstrual problems
Bay leaves, when taken orally, can induce regular and normal menstruation.
They also have the property of curing vaginal discharge.

Induces sleep
Consuming bay leaves at bedtime helps to induce proper sleep.
For this purpose, mix a few drops of the bay leaf extract with water and consume it.
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Treatment of nosebleed
In case of nosebleed, crush 2 to 3 fresh or dry bay leaves.
Boil them in 200 ml water till 100 ml remains.
Strain and drink this concoction for relief.

Clean teeth
To get sparkling white teeth, brush them with powdered bay leaves once in 3 days.
Bay leaves are a great insect repellent as they contain lauric acid.
A dish of bay leaves will ward off insects.
A paste made from crushed leaves and little oil relieves stings and bites when applied topically.

Treatment of kidney problems
Bay leaves help in treating kidney infections and even kidney stones.
For this purpose, boil 5 grams bay leaves in 200 ml water till 50 ml water remains.
Strain and drink this twice daily.
This will stop the formation of kidney stones.
Treatment of dandruff and hair loss: a rinse made from infused bay leaves is effective in treating dandruff.
Bay leaf tea is considered a great remedy for hair loss.
Bay leaf oil is a tonic for hair that effectively combats dandruff and hair loss.

Treatment of head lice
For getting rid of head lice, boil about 50 grams of crushed bay leaves in 400 ml water until 100 ml water remains.
Strain out the water and apply this on the hair roots.
Leave it for 3 to 4 hours and wash off.
This will remove the head lice effectively.
Adding bhringraj to the bay leaves before boiling will make your hair black, lustrous and healthy.

Bay leaves give off a pleasing and sweet aroma when added to dish. Wilted and dried leaves indeedaare strongly aromatic and can be stored for months. Its dried fruit (berries) canaalso be employed as a flavoring agent in the cuisines.
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Medicinal uses
Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic, and appetite stimulant properties.
Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and a-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and terpineol are also found.
Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe the stomach and relieve flatulence and colic pain.
The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
Bay laurel infusions are used to soothe the stomach ulcers and relieve flatulence.
The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis and flu symptoms.

Traditionally, bay leaves are picked and dried slowly under the shade away from direct sunlight in order to retain volatile essential oils.a in the spice stores, one might come across different kinds of bay leaf preparations. Completely dried, dried and crushed, freeze-dried, andaground forms are displayed for sale in such stores.

Culinary uses
Lossy, dark-green bay leaves can be used fresh. However, they are at their best after being allowed to wilt under the shade for few days when their bitterness has gone but the leaves still retain their aroma. If you find leaves in the cooked food, just keep them aside before eating. The laurel leaves are leathery in texture and tough to chew and swallow, besides being quite strongly flavored. Here are some serving tips: bay leaf is one of the ingredients in bouquet garni along with thyme, sage, savory, celery, basil, etc.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications