Bay leaves are said to have age-old medicinal properties. These contain minerals and vitamin C, vitamin A along with folic acid that is what makes it a nutrient-dense herb. Bay leaves also contribute to improving heart health, alleviating respiratory issues, reducing inflammation, and optimizing digestion.
Laurus nobilis is the scientific name for bay leaf. Bay leaves also have abilities to protect your body against stress and help in managing diabetes. It is also used in food like rice and curries for added flavors and for its aromatic properties to the food. They have been in existence for thousands of years and have been used by ancients for culinary and medicinal use. Consuming bay leaves can be great for your health. This article will discuss more the benefits of bay leaves, so to know more keep reading.
9 Health Benefits of Bay Leaves
#1. Improve Heart Health
Bay leaf helps to boost your heart health as it consists of organic compounds like rutin and caffeic acid. Organic compound rutin is said to provide strength to capillary walls in the heart, while the bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system is eradicated by another organic compound caffeic acid. These both (R) make bay leaves beneficial for heart health.
#2. Improves digestion
In ancient times bay leaf was said to relieve stomach-related issues and indigestion. According to research (R), it not only is used in food for its aromatic and to add flavors but also said to give relief from abdominal pain, gastrointestinal infections, upset stomach, flatulence, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Bay leaf also prevents gastric damage and aids kidney health. It promotes urination which helps to release all the toxins from your body. If you have irritable bowel movement consumption of bay leaf will help to soothe and digest food easily.
#3. Good for diabetes patients
Bay leaf improves a person’s insulin receptor function and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. So if you are someone who is developing diabetes or has already developed diabetes, consuming bay leaves can be beneficial for you. It will not just lower your sugar levels but has also proven effective in dealing with type 2 diabetes. Research (R) has shown bay leaf to be effective in decreasing the risk of diabetes and also help to lower bad cholesterol levels.
#4. Relieves Respiratory Condition
Bay leaves essential oil is used for aromatherapy, inhaling the vapor or steam from it can also relieve the bacteria from your respiratory organ which is in the tract there. As bay leaf contains natural strong anti-bacterial properties shown by research it has been helpful. There are essential oils of bay leaves that are available. They can be applied to the chest of the person suffering from respiratory issues, it may help relieve various respiratory conditions and also make him feel calm.
#5. Anti-inflammatory agent
A study confirms (R) bay leaf has anti-inflammatory properties which have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body. So when you topically apply the bay leaf to the infected area it quickly reduces inflammation and irritation as it contains a phytonutrient called parthenolide. If not possible to apply bay leaf topically you can even consume the spice directly.
#6. Reduces anxiety and stress
Are you someone who feels stressed most of the time? Or have a lot of anxiety issues? Bay leaf can be helpful for you as it has a substance called linalool that aids in lowering stress and anxiety issues. That is why it is even used in aromatherapy, it will also make you calm and lower depression. So whenever you are having anxiety issues or feel stressed and depressed, consume bay leaf and it may help you feel relaxed as having stress is not a very good sign for your health.
#7. Improve Hair Health
Yes, you heard it right, bay leaf helps to reduce hair problems such as dandruff and hair fall. It helps by improving the health of your hair follicles and in reducing dandruff. Bay leaf contains chemical properties and ingredients in it which helps to reduce the dryness of the scalp that is responsible for dandruff.
You can use the bay leaf by steeping it into the water and then applying it by rubbing to the scalp after using a shampoo or you may dilute bay leaf essential oil in shampoo and use it. Although, more research is needed as a shred of evidence for this benefit of bay leaf.
#8. Fights Against Fungal Infections
Bay leaf can protect skin from any infection and irritation as it contains anti-fungal properties. It also contains vitamin C that helps to give nutrients and protect the skin which can combat fungal infection.
9. Anti-cancer properties
Bay leaf contains a combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaves including phytonutrients, linalool, and parthenolide. These ingredients help your body by protecting it from the effects of cancer-causing issues which has been shown by research that bay leaf has been useful for having anti-cancer properties.
How to Consume Bay Leaves
You can consume bay leaves dried and fresh too, it will enhance the taste of food and also feel good to your body
Ways to consume bay leaves
- Bay leaves are usually found dried when you shop for them as they can be easily dried since it helps to enhance the flavor after drying for a week
- You can use the bay leaf in food like soup, curries, or rice by simply tossing 2 bay leaves and letting it simmer along with the veggies for its aromatic properties and flavors.
- You can even make a paste of bay leaf and apply it on the chest or infected area for respiratory relief and anti-fungal infection
- For hair, you can use it by steeping it into the water and rubbing it on the scalp after shampooing or by using bay leaf essential oil diluted in the shampoo.
- You can have essential oil used in the diffuser for aromatherapy, the vapor from it can have many positive effects on your body and mind
- Bay leaf powder is also available in the market which can be used to consume while cooking
- If you grow your own fresh bay leaves you can store the fresh ones in a refrigerator for up to a year and dried bay leaves can be kept for 11-12 months.
Bay leaf is a Mediterranean herb that is used for cooking to enhance the flavors and for aromatic properties but not just it, bay leaves also have many positive benefits on your body. It does not matter how you consume bay leaves, there are tons of ways in which you can easily use the bay leaf for consumption.
If you have any heart issues, respiratory problems, hair fall issues, or also stress and anxiety, the bay leaf will help to lower all such issues and benefit you. Hope this post has helped you to understand all the uses of bay leaf and its benefits on your health. Thank you for reading.