Bay leaves are amazing. I found out that bay leaves have health benefits by accident. I’d tried Slimming World for quite some time and had to change my whole diet. Doing Slimming World I had to scrap my old way of eating completely and make all evening meals from scratch, hence why I had the bay leaves hanging around. At the time I was living off fast food and Twinkies but that’s another story altogether. After a lot of failed attempts at Slimming World. Don’t get me wrong, I think Slimming World can be great for people but you have to be willing to cut all your fat off your meat. Sorry, but I’m not that kind of girl. My bacon and pork need its fat. Yummy 🙂
Okay, back to the subject at hand. Once I had tried and failed Slimming Word for over 2 years I had a crazy amount of Bay leaves. I’m a secret hoarder! I went to the library and took to Google straight away and looked for other uses for bay leaves as I’m such a penny pincher. It bugs me to throw anything away if I can find other uses for it for.
That’s when I discovered the wonderful health benefits that can be gained from using bay leaves, I was very surprised there were so many. You can add them to your food, put them in tea, use leaf oil or even burn them. They can help from increasing the speed our wounds heal, improving heart health and even help in aiding to prevent cancer. I know, Wow!
The bay leaf, known as Laurus nobilis, Bay laurel, Sweet bay, True laurel or Grecian laurel is native to the Meditteranean but are now used all over the world.
Bay leaves were made into wreaths for illustrious poets and the ancients used them to crown heroes. Bay laurel (Bay Leaves) was the symbol of wisdom, both acquired and intuitive.
Nowadays, we typically burn sticks or cones of incense, bay leaves were once (and in some places to till day) are burned in homes and places of worship. Some reasons are religious, some even fantastical, but others are based on the scientific fact that bay leaves contain a collection of chemicals beneficial to the body. Bay Leaves are considered a valuable, medicinal herb.
1. Relieves Anxiety & Stress
The chemical (linalool) which helps to lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy. Large amounts of stress-hormones can be dangerous for long-term health. Bay Leaves can help you relax and remain in a calmed state. People who burn bay leaves regularly say that the smoke puts you in a “relaxing-state.”
2. Reduce Inflammation – Reduces Pain
Classes as the all-natural anti-inflammatory cure because of the chemicals eugenol and phytonutrient that help to swiftly reduce inflammation. It can be put on when applied directly to the affected areas, such as sore joints or areas affected by arthritis. This effect can also be achieved if you add it to your food or in bay leaf tea.
3. Immune System Boost
Bay Leaves have anti-oxidant properties and themselves are naturally packed full of other vitamins and minerals necessary for a high-functioning body. Therefore, burning and ingesting bay leaves has the capacity to boost your immune system.
4. Increase Alertness
Bay leaf smoke may have a relaxing effect on most people. But it also increases alertness. Burning bay leaves are often used to fight chronic-fatigue! The chemicals in bay leaves such as cineol, elemicin and pinene, fight feelings of extreme tiredness and give a pleasant energy boost if you inhale the smoke.
5. Treat Respiratory Conditions
Bay leaves act naturally to help break up and remove the nasty mucus and phlegm. Soak fresh bay leaves in water add bay leaf oil to a humidifier to create a vapour which you then breathe in. You could also boil the treated water on the hob or rub the oil on your chest area and leave overnight to help alleviate respiratory problems, allergies, and even asthma.
7. Help Fight Cancer
Bay leaves possess antioxidants and other organic compounds which protect from the development of cancer. Bay Leaves are high in linalool, catechins, phytonutrients, and parthenolide and it’s this unique chemical combination that helps protect you from the development of cancer.
Allergies & Side-Effects of Bay Leaves
Bay Leaf is likely safe for most people in food amounts. Taking the whole, leaf by mouth is not safe. The leaf can’t be digested because it remains unpleasantly stiff even after thorough cooking. It remains whole while passing through the digestive system, which can cause damage to the inside of the intestines and throat.
Bay Leaves might interfere with blood sugar control, hence monitoring blood sugar closely is needed if you have diabetes and are using Bay Leaves as a medicine.
Pregnant or breastfeeding, there is not enough reliable information about the safety of bay leaf consumption. It is useful to just avoid bay leaves altogether to stay on the safe side.
Bay Leaves may slow down the central nervous system (CNS). There is a strong worry that it might slow down the CNS too much when combined with other medications and anaesthesia. Therefore, stop using bay leaf aa medicine at least two full weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Here are 7 stunning benefits that we could all do with and assuming you’re a little like me, you may already have some in your kitchen cupboard begging to see the light of day.