You will easily find bay leaf in every Indian kitchen. It is a spice that is use to enhance flavor and aroma in dishes. These leaves look somewhat like eucalyptus leaves. You will be surprise to know that using it can protect against many physical diseases. Many benefits of using this medicinal leaf have been told in Ayurveda. Therefore, Also know the different ways of using it and some disadvantages.
The scientific name of bay leaf is Laurus nobilis. It is a fragrant leaf, belonging to the Laurus family. It has been use in food and medicine for over a thousand years. There are 2400 to 2500 species of bay leaves, most of which are found in East Asia, South and North America and Asia. This leaf contains tannins, flavones, flavonoids, alkaloids, eugenol, linalool and anthocyanins. The chemical constituents of all may vary by species. Commonly use in spices, essential oils and traditional medicine, two species of this leaf are use – Laurus azorica and L. nobilis. The bay leaf is use only after it has dried. It also has many medicinal properties, which we will discuss in detail in the next article.
After knowing what is bay leaf, now we will talk about the benefits of eating bay leaf.
Health Benefits of Bay Leaf
1. Benefits of Bay Leaf for Diabetes
The consumption of bay leaves can be beneficial for people suffering from the problem of diabetes. According to a study published on the website of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology), consuming capsules containing bay leaves can improve insulin levels. This can decrease the amount of glucose in a person’s blood. During the research, patients suffering from type 2 diabetes were given capsules of bay leaves to eat for 30 days. After 30 days, their serum glucose decreased from 21% to 26%. Also, an improvement in cholesterol profile was found. Based on this study, it can be said that consumption of bay leaves can reduce total cholesterol by 20 to 24%. Therefore, the benefits of eating bay leaves can be helpful in preventing diabetes.
2. Benefits of Bay Leaf for Respiratory System
The benefits of eating bay leaves also include relief from respiratory problems like cough, flu, bronchitis, asthma and influenza. Bay leaf extract has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can be consider helpful in reducing inflammation. It contains ethanolic extract and some other compounds, which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Due to these, bay leaf can protect against inflammation in the respiratory system and diseases caused by it.
3. Useful for Teeth
Bay leaves can also be beneficial for teeth. Scientific studies say that its twigs contain some volatile (easily vaporized at normal temperature) oils, which can improve blood flow. Also, tannins like vitamin-C are found in it, which can tighten gum tissue and keep them healthy. Also, brushing with ash made from bay leaves can strengthen the gums. Bay leaves can also prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth. According to a study published on the NCBI website, bay leaf essential oil can fight against bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus found in the mouth.
4. Helps Prevent Cancer
Science has been doing continuous research on a dangerous and deadly disease like cancer, but the exact treatment of this disease is yet to be found. Yes, it can be prevent by taking care of diet and exercising regularly. Bay leaves are also one of the foods helpful in preventing cancer. It hinders the growth of cancer cells. This has been confirm in a study available by NCBI. This study also states that the properties of bay leaves can protect against colon cancer.
According to another study, bay leaf extract has been found to have anti-cancer effects, which may inhibit the growth of breast cancer. The antiproliferative (inhibiting cell proliferation) and cytotoxic (cytotoxic) properties present in bay leaves can prevent breast cancer from growing. Therefore, it can be said that the benefits of eating bay leaves include cancer prevention.
5. Benefits of Bay Leaves in Reducing Inflammation
The benefits of bay leaves are also many for pain and swelling. An Australian study has found that these leaves can work by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called COX-2. This enzyme may cause increased inflammation in the body. In addition, the cineole present in this leaf may also work to fight inflammation.
6. Prevent Fungal Infection
Bay leaves are also rich in antifungal properties. It can work particularly effectively against yeast infection named Candida albicans. Therefore, essential oil of bay leaves can be use for fungal infections of the skin. This is confirm by a scientific research available on the site of NCBI.
7. Aids in wound healing
Bay leaves can help in better wound healing. A scientific research in this regard is available on the website of NCBI. According to this study, bay leaf extract can help in the growth of granulation tissue, the connective tissue that aids in wound healing. In addition, bay leaf extract may also enhance complex chemical actions such as hydroxyproline, which aids in quick wound healing.
8. Benefits of Bay Leaf in Losing Weight
The benefits of eating bay leaves can also be take to reduce weight. Bay leaves are one of the herbs that can control appetite. Therefore, after consuming it one can avoid taking extra calories and keep the weight under control. At present, there is no scientific evidence available to confirm this.
9. Preventing Kidney Problems
Bay leaf extract has been use traditionally in the treatment of kidney and urinary tract stones. It can be effective in relaxing the kidney muscles directly. Lauric acid is found in it, which can provide relief from kidney problems. The proof of this fact comes from a medical research published by NCBI. Sankol herbal drops have been use during this research, which included a variety of herbs including bay leaves. With the help of this drop, there was an improvement in kidney health.
10. For Cholesterol and Heart
Bay leaves can also be use to reduce cholesterol levels. A research confirms that ethanol extract obtained from bay leaves can be helpful in lowering cholesterol serum levels. This extract contains certain phenolic compounds, which may be helpful in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) due to its antioxidant activity. At the same time, the level of good cholesterol ie HDL increases. Heart health is also good by controlling cholesterol. On this basis, it can be said that the consumption of bay leaves keeps cholesterol and heart functioning fine.
11. Benefits of Bay Leaf for Skin
Bay leaves are very beneficial for the skin. Therefore, its essential oil is use in the cosmetic industry to make creams, perfumes and soaps. It can deeply cleanse the skin, as it has astringent properties. Along with this, bay leaves can also be use to get protection from skin rashes and insects and mosquitoes.
In another research, bay leaves have also been found to be effective in reducing inflammation caused by acne. Therefore, it can be said that the use of bay leaves is beneficial for the skin.
12. Good for Hair
Bay leaves can be use for health and skin as well as hair. It can keep the hair roots away from fungal and bacterial infections, as it is enrich with anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. Due to these properties, essential oil extracted from bay leaves is use in lotions to protect against dandruff and psoriasis.
Nutritional Elements of Bay Leaf
Before using bay leaves, it is also important to know the elements present in it. Some of the important nutrients found in bay leaves are as follows:
|NUTRIENTS||QUANTITY (PER 100 G)|
|vitamin C||46.5 mg|
How to Use Bay Leaf
Bay leaves can be use in many ways for a healthy body, know below some of its better uses:
- Bay leaves are a spice, so it can be use to enhance the flavor of dishes.
- It is used more in spicy dishes like biryani, chicken or mutton curry and pulao.
- Bay leaves can also be added to sweet dishes like kheer.
- Many people also use bay leaves in black tea.
- For hair, you can boil some bay leaves in a cup of water and after 15 minutes take out the leaves from the water. After cooling, apply the water on the hair and scalp after shampooing. You can do this remedy by leaving a day for better results.
- Bay leaf oil can be used to relieve pain and inflammation. For this, you put a few drops of its oil on the affected area and massage it with light hands.
- For problems like colds and digestion, bay leaves can be boiled in water and drunk.
How to preserve bay leaf for a long time?
Fresh bay leaves can be stored in a sealed zip plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for a week or two. At the same time, store the dried bay leaves in a dry and air tight container. Bay leaves should never be kept in the open, as their fragrance quickly diminishes in the open.
Side Effects of Bay Leaf
You know the benefits of bay leaves, but consuming it in excess can also cause side effects, such as:
- There is not enough reliable information about the consumption of bay leaves or its supplements during pregnancy or breast-feeding, so be sure to ask your doctor before consuming it during pregnancy.
- Diabetic patients should consume bay leaves only under the supervision of a doctor.
- These leaves can interact with anesthesia medications to slow down the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, stopping the consumption of bay leaves or any of its supplements at least 2 weeks before the surgery can prove to be the right decision.
- The harm of bay leaves also includes allergies. Essential oil made from bay leaves can cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin.
In this article, you learned that what can be the benefits of bay leaves and the disadvantages of bay leaves. It can be concluded from this article that eating bay leaves as a spice is beneficial. Many diseases can be avoided by its consumption. At the same time, if someone is seriously ill, then a doctor must be treated. At the same time, it also needs to be kept in mind that if any side effect is seen during its regular use, then one should immediately consult a doctor.
Is it harmful to ingest bay leaves?
Bay leaves should be consumed in the form of powder only, after swallowing it is not digested. Its edges are sharp, which can damage the internal organs of the body and it can also get stuck in the throat. If the bay leaf is used whole, then do not eat it, but throw it out after the food is cooked.
Is bay leaf harmful to animals?
Yes, consumption of bay leaves can be toxic to dogs, cats and horses and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
What happens when you burn bay leaves?
According to a research, inhaling bay leaves or bay leaf powder (aromatherapy) can reduce stress and provide mental peace.
What is bay leaf called in other languages?
Bay leaf is known as Bay leaf in English, Laurus azorica in scientific language and L. called nobilis. At the same time, in Hindi and Nepali it is called Tejpatta, in Assamese it is called Tejpat, while in Marathi and Sanskrit it is called Tamalpatra, in Telugu as Bagara Aaku, in Tamil it is called Punai Ilai and in Kannada as Cinnemomum Tamala and Malabatharam.
Can bay leaf tea lower blood pressure?
Bay leaf powder can lower blood pressure and this has been explained in detail in the article above. On this basis, it can be said that drinking tea made by boiling its leaves can reduce the problem of high blood pressure.
Is bay leaf a diuretic?
Yes, the consumption of bay leaves is a diuretic. It can help remove harmful substances from the body through urine.
Is bay leaf helpful in keeping insects away?
Yes, bay leaf can be effective in driving away insects. Its pungent smell can keep insects and insects away.
Can bay leaf help with sleep?
The scent of bay leaves can reduce stress, which may increase the chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
How can people with diabetes use bay leaves?
Diabetic patients can have both benefit and harm by consuming bay leaves. Therefore, a diabetic patient should consume bay leaves only on the advice of a doctor.