Bay leaf is the secret to a delicious and rich stew or soup, giving subtle intensity and depth to any dish. Besides adding a unique taste to your food, this aromatic, olive-green plant is very beneficial for your overall health.
Bay leaves fight bacterial infections and provide detoxifying and anti-aging properties. They can improve everything, from respiratory problems to heart issues.
Here’s how to use them to obtain their incredible health benefits.
8 Health Benefits and Uses of Bay Leaves
1. Respiratory System
Bay leaf can help dislodge mucus and phlegm in the lungs, acting as a stimulant for the nasal passages. To heal your respiratory issue like a cough, nasal congestion, watery eyes, stiff nose, headache, common cold, etc., add two drops of bay oil, or some crushed dried leaves to steam inhalation. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, massage some bay leaf oil onto your chest.
2. Fatigue and Anxiety
When bay leaves are burnt, their chemical content creates a relaxing, psychedelic effect. Just light few dried bay leaves, and you’ll notice your mind becomes calmed yet alert as you breathe in the vapors. What’s more, this won’t make you sleepy, but wide awake and free from your fatigue.
The USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center and the NWFP Agricultural University in Peshawar, Pakistan have published a study claiming bay leaves are extremely helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. Apparently, consuming only three grams of these leaves a day can reduce their blood sugar levels.
Mix 4 drops of bay oil with 2 drops of jojoba oil and you’ll get a natural remedy for your dandruff. Apply and massage the warm mixture on your scalp, use a towel to wrap your head, and sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Feel free to add several drops of bay oil to your regular shampoo to treat your dandruff.
5. Heart Health
Caffeic acid is an organic compound found in bay leaves which can strengthen the walls of the capillaries of heart. This acid can help remove bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system. To get these benefits just add bay leaves in your cooking. For instance, you can use them to wrap a salmon.
People from Asian and Mediterranean countries believe bay leaf possesses heating and healing power. They say this leaf helps increase the digestive fire which frees the metabolic functions from troubles. To get these bay leaf benefits, add them to your regular diet or rub some bay essential oil on your stomach after having a meal to improve the secretion of digestive enzymes, juices, and bile.
7. Urinary Infections
If you mix some milk with powdered bay leaves you’ll get an ancient remedy for urinary infections. This beverage can also reduce bad cholesterol and normalize blood circulation.
8. Joint Inflammation
Phytotherapy Research has published a 2003 study which claims bay leaves provide pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of morphine and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Rub some bay oil on your sore joints to relieve pain, or include bay leaves in your cooking.
As you can see, bay leaves provide incredible health benefits. You can add them to your veggie, meat dish, or soups. Bay leaves as well as the bay essential oil are cheap and easily available.