Five health-giving properties of bay leaf
Bay leaf has been used in cooking from time immemorial, whether it’s for stews, curries or even in casseroles.
However, bay leaf has also been used for medicinal purposes and has even been shown in studies to help with certain illnesses.
Bay leaf, or Laurus nobilis, actually originates from the Mediterranean - in fact, the Greeks crowned their heroes with wreaths made out of sweet bay leaves.
Here are five things you may not know about bay leaf:
1. Bay leaf may help heal wounds
Some studies have shown that the leaf extract’s healing properties can reduce inflammation in wounds. While these experiments have been conducted on rats, scientists are optimistic that bay leaf could function similarly in humans. If so, the age-old tradition of using this leaf for healing would finally have scientific proof.
2. Bay leaf can help with diabetes
According to a 2009 study, taking capsules that contain 1-3 grams of bay leaf extract daily can help lower and manage glucose levels and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. This is most likely because bay leaves contain polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. This promising information indicates that bay leaf could help regulate and even prevent diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.
3. Bay leaf has anti-microbial and antioxidant benefits
Bay leaf, including bay leaf essential oil, offers antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits. A study conducted at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University focused on the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of specific essential oils from white wormwood, rose-scented geranium and bay laurel on fresh produce against Salmonella and E. coli. All three essential oils showed antioxidant properties, with the highest activity occurring in bay laurel essential oil.
4. Bay leaf can aid digestion
Bay leaves may be able to help with digestion and soothe irritable bowel syndrome. In some studies, bay leaves have been shown to decrease symptoms of celiac disease as well. Overall, the bay leaf may provide much relief by enhancing the digestion process and, therefore, increasing nutrient absorption.
5. Bay leaf may help fight cancer
Some studies have been done which showed that bay leaf extracts may help fight against cancer.
According to a 2014 study, bay leaf extract from the leaves and fruits of the plant was shown to induce cell death in breast cancer cells.
Do you find bay leaves helpful? Let us know in the comments.