The scientific name of bay leaf is ‘Laurus Nobilis’ and is a tree home to the Mediterranean region. Bay leaves uses are mostly defined for culinary purposes, but the benefits of bay leaves are widespread.
The most highlighted health benefits of bay leaves include its ability to detox the body, heal wounds faster, delay aging, prevent bacterial infections, maintain cardiac health, reduce inflammation in the body, and fix respiratory problems(1), amongst others. Famously known as ‘tej patta’ in India, it makes for a prevalent ingredient in Indian dishes like biryani, pulao, soups, curries, and many more.
1 tbsp or 2 gms of crumbled bay leaves offer the following-
|Vitamin A||108 IU|
|Vitamin C||0.8 mg|
Why Should You Consider Using the Benefits of Bay Leaf?
1. Aids Digestion
Bay leaves have excellent effects on our gastrointestinal tract and reduce the toxicity in the body. This helps the organs to function correctly. There are organic compounds found in bay leaves that help in settling down an upset stomach and reduce the symptoms of IBS (2)( Irritable Bowel Syndrome). There are enzymes present in these leaves that help treat indigestion.
2. Bay Leaf for Diabetes
Adding bay leaves to your dishes not only enhances the taste, but its hidden benefits help in controlling the blood sugar levels in the body.
Studies reveal that it helps people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Bay leaves also help to reduce harmful cholesterol levels and increased good cholesterol known as HDL in patients who have Type 2 diabetes. So, if you have diabetes, do not hesitate to utilize these benefits of bay leaves.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Bay Leave
An Australian study revealed a few other leaves along with bay leaf inhibited the activity of the COX-21 enzyme that triggered inflammation. Sesquiterpene lactones are found in bay leaves that help to fight inflammation by stopping the production of nitric oxide.
A higher amount of nitric oxide leads to inflammation, and nitric oxide inhibitors function as a treatment for inflammatory diseases. Bay leaves benefit hair by treating dandruff, itchy scalp, reduce inflammation, and help to get rid of lice.
4. Helps to Fight Cancer
Bay leaves benefit in naturally preventing cancer. A study was conducted that revealed that bay leaves showed mind-blowing results as an anti-cancer agent. The main component found in bay leaves is cineole that has been known to inhibit the growth of leukemia cancer cells.
For women who have breast cancer, bay leaves have shown effective results. A study conducted revealed that extracts of bay leaf blocked the growth of breast cancer cells and also killed the existing cancer cells. Adding this to your diet also reduces your chances of colon cancer.
5. Anti-Fungal Properties
Studies show that bay leaves have anti-fungal properties specifically against Candida infection. Bay leaves prevent the adhesion of Candida along the cell walls and prevent it from entering the membrane.
6. Speeds the Healing Process
A study conducted on rats explained that bay leaf contributed to better healing of wounds than other groups of animals. It showed some beneficial effects on injuries that would have otherwise taken longer to heal and recover.
The BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine mention that there are microbial properties in the bay leaves that help in healing wounds completely. The minor injuries can be irritating, and it is always best to try natural methods such as using bay leaves.
[Read: Manuka Honey for Wounds]
7. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
The benefits of bay leaves in the diet has seemed to have a dramatic effect in balancing the stress hormones. Linalool is found in large amounts in Bay leaves. This helps to lower the stress hormones in the body. It has a calming effect on the body and reduces symptoms of depression.
How to Use It?
To utilize the benefits of bay leaves, you don’t need to follow a complicated recipe.
- Just use it for tempering by heating some oil and adding a few bay leaves. Add this to salads or soups.
- You can also ground it into a powder and use it as a spice or salads or soups.
Precautionary Methods to Follow
- You can avoid bay leaves during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is always better to check with a doctor and consume it in moderate amounts.
- Bay leaves may affect you by slowing down the nervous system. It can be troublesome during anesthesia, which is why it is best to avoid it a few days before surgery.
Adding Bay leaves makes your food delicious and also healthy. Make sure you add it to your diet whenever possible. Always make sure you use bay leaves from the laurel tree. The other varieties being sold can be toxic. They are usually not known to cause any allergies, but if you are allergic to members of the Lauraceae family, you can be allergic to bay leaves too. Now that you are fully informed about the benefits of bay leaves(3), you must add them to your diet every day.
1. What Happens If I Burn Bay Leaf?
The fumes of a burnt bay leaf, help in lowering your anxiety levels. Bay leaves contain linalool that relieves anxiety.
2. How Can I Consume Bay Leaves?
Other than using the leaf, you can utilize the benefits of bay leaves in the form of tea, capsules, and powder.