Here are the 15 health benefits of bay leaves, leaves that could be used in many ways and are very easy to implement, especially in tea or soups.
The benefits of bay leaves are countless and have almost no side effects for most people when used sparingly.
I. What are Bay Leaves?
Bay leaves are used in the kitchen as a flavoring. They are leaves from a shrub called the bay tree, from the Lauraceae family.
This tree grows in Asia Minor and southern Europe and is known by several other names. It is also known as Laurel-Noble, Laurel-White, or Laurel-Sauce.
Used in cooking, most often dried, Laurel leaves are dark green with ripples around the edges, and have a very aromatic smell.
If the leaves of the White Laurel are edible, it is not the case for those of the Rose Laurel or Cherry Laurel, which are poisonous. Avoid confusing them.
II. 15 health benefits of bay leaves
1. May Improve the digestive system
One of the main properties of bay leaves is their positive impact on the digestive system. Bay leaves are indeed ingredients that provide a lot in case of indigestion but also bloating.
Bay leaves can be consumed in case of gastric pain and intestinal spasms.
They also help in case of flatulence and bacteria that can develop in the digestive system.
2. May help treat respiratory ailments
Bay leaves are also used for respiratory ailments. They can relieve flu-like conditions, and even help with asthma attacks.
The properties of the bay leaves make them very interesting to improve pulmonary and respiratory capacities.
In case of bronchitis or sinusitis, the use of these leaves is a healthy and natural way to improve your health.
They can be consumed in infusion, or you can turn to the essential oil of bay leaves.
3. Strengthen the immune system
The benefits of bay leaves affect the entire human body, as the body’s immune system is strengthened by the use of this plant.
The many riches and properties of bay leave act on the immune system, which they improve.
It should be noted that these leaves have vitamins, as well as fiber and beta-carotene. They help the body to better protect itself from various diseases, especially in case of cold.
If the use of bay leaves alone cannot effectively improve overall health, added to a healthy diet, these leaves will help you keep fit.
4. Rich in antioxidants
Bay leaves have antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals. These are the cause of cell degeneration.
Antioxidants present in bay leaves help to prevent ailments and pathologies. The action of antioxidants in the human body is at several levels.
They can act on the oxidation of fats found in blood vessels. The beta-carotene found in bay leaves induces the impact of gases such as nitrogen dioxide, from air pollution.
5. Fights inflammation
In case of inflammation, bay leaves can also be used to relieve pain. they’re very popular for centuries for oral health and act against inflammation of the gums.
You can also use the bay leaves to relieve articular and muscular pains.
To fight against your pains, you can as well use the essential oil of bay leaves as compresses for the decoction of bay leaves.
Both methods will bring you relief.
6. Antibacterial effects
The virtues of bay leaves have been known for a long time. For a long time, they have been used as a natural remedy for infections.
The essential oil of bay leaves helps to reduce the spread of bacteria in various cases.
It can be used for fungal diseases such as mycosis or candidiasis, as well as in the case of viral or bacterial diseases, such as streptococcus or staphylococcus.
7. May reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes
It may be worthwhile to add the consumption of bay leaves to your diet, especially if you have diabetes.
Bay leaves serve to clean the blood, for example by regulating fat levels or blood sugar levels.
These are extremely important properties for people with type 2 diabetes. So whether you have diabetes or want to prevent it from developing, taking bay leaves can be an asset.
8. Helps maintain healthy hair
For the health of your hair, you can also use bay leaves. Bay leaves are very convenient to prevent itching and dandruff that can develop on the scalp.
Because they are rich in vitamins, bay leaves are natural products that help strengthen the hair and reduce the risk of hair loss.
Even if there is an infection or the presence of lice, using bay leaves on your hair can bring you relief and help you get rid of these unwanted guests.
9. May help protect against heart disease
There has already been research on the effect of bay leaves on heart disease. Bay leaves can help clean up the blood, regulating cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels.
This improvement of the lipidic markers in the blood is essential to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In the case of tachycardias and arrhythmias, it is the oleander that is most used. This variety of laurel is a tonic cardiac, which increases blood pressure. But ask before using them.
10. Prevents certain cancers
Although research in this area is not yet complete and conclusions are not effective, it appears that bay leaves have a very positive impact on certain cancers.
The cancers on which bay leaves have an effect are colon and breast cancers. It seems that the consumption of bay leaves can prevent the appearance of these two types of cancers, and even reduce their symptoms.
11. Helps to heal body injuries
Personal injuries are a risk of infection. Bay leaves have antibacterial properties, which allow them to act in this case by preventing bacterial spread.
This particularity of the bay leaves allows the wounds to heal faster and more easily.
Studies have highlighted the properties of bay leaves in the healing of wounds. The healing properties of bay leaves are due to the flavonoids they possess, as well as the essential oil and saponins they contain.
Research has shown that bay leaves can reduce inflammation caused by an open wound.
12. Prevents the formation of kidney stones
Kidney stones are painful conditions, which can be eliminated naturally with a good diet.
It appears that in the case of kidney stones, and even to prevent them, hydrating the body is an asset. In addition, the consumption of antioxidants is a plus that should not be neglected to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
For this reason, taking bay leaves is a good way to protect yourself from kidney stones. This is because bay leaves are foods rich in antioxidants.
13. Reduces the effects of stress and anxiety
Laurel is a plant whose leaves have the property to act on the mental state. This plant has soothing properties for the brain, it is even able to improve the quality of sleep.
Anxiety states are reduced thanks to the consumption of bay leaves, and you feel calmer. The bay leaves are very effective to stimulate cerebral functions.
They are also recommended to limit the states of stress and the evening, to fall asleep better.
14. Effective in reducing fungal infections
The properties of the bay leaves allow him to bring much in case of fungal infections. A fungal infection has for origin the proliferation of a fungus, as is the case with candida Albicans when one is touched by a candidosis.
To act against this type of pathology, you can use bay leaves in the form of essential oil for example. This will help you to fight against this pathology.
15. Potential positive effects on memory
Studies have been conducted on the brain health effects of bay leaves, especially when burned. It appears that the particular scent of bay leaves is a plus for the brain and nervous system.
The smell of burnt bay leaves would be able to prevent possible problems with memory and concentration.
In 2021, research on rats concluded that bay leaves could increase memory capacity.
III. Bay Leaf Nutrition Facts
The nutritional information for 100 g of bay leaves is:
- Calories: 314
- Fat: 8 g
- Potassium: 529 mg
- Sodium: 23 mg
- Carbohydrates: 75 g
- Magnesium: 120 mg
- Vitamin B6: 1.74 mg
- Iron: 43 mg
- Protein: 8 g
- Water: 5.44 g
- Calcium: 834 mg
- Vitamin C: 46.5 mg
- Vitamin B3: 2.01 mg
- Copper: 0.42 mg
IV. How to Use Bay Leaf
1. Recipe for Bay Leaf Tea
Bay leaf tea is excellent for colds or flu. To make it, the recipe is simple.
If you want to have a cup of bay leaf tea, you will need a teaspoon of dried bay leaves, about 5 g. In addition to that, you will need 200 ml of water.
Start by heating the water to a boil, and once that’s done, add the bay leaves.
To bring out the best in the bay leaves, it is important to let them infuse for about ten minutes.
You can then filter the preparation before drinking it.
A cup of tea several times a day is a good way to fight against digestive disorders. It is also a tea to consume in case of a cold.
2. How to make bay Leaf Oil
To make your bay leaf oil, you will need:
- 1+ ½ spoonful of bay leaves (15 g)
- 1 cup of sweet almond oil (200 g)
- A container capable of holding 200 ml
In a clean container, put the bay leaves, previously cleaned. Once this is done, add the sweet almond oil.
Close the container and leave it to rest for 40 days. At the end of this time, you will have the essential oil of laurel ready to use.
3. Bay leaf in cooking
In the kitchen, the bay leaf is often used in the form of bouquet garni, in combination with other plants such as thyme or rosemary. In this form, it is used to flavor dishes.
The bay leaf is used to season and flavor sauces, stews, or fish and meat. It is even used for wine.
It is left to infuse in the cooking water, or the meat or fish is placed on a bed of bay leaves. In the latter case, do not forget to remove the leaves before eating the dish.
4. Ginger and bay leaf tea
- 10 g turmeric powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 g of ginger
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 l of water
Cut your washed ginger into small pieces, and squeeze a lemon. Remember to clean your bay leaves, while bringing the water to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, add the bay leaves, ginger, and lemon juice.
Boil for 10 minutes, then add the turmeric and boil for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then strain the tea.
Your herbal tea is ready to be enjoyed, you can even add honey if you like.
5. Cinnamon and bay leaf tea
For this tea you will need:
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 liter of water
Boil one liter of water in a pot. Once the water is boiled, add the cinnamon and the bay leaves. Wait for 20 minutes for the infusion to set, then turn off the heat and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After straining the liquid, store it in a glass bottle.
Throughout the week, you can drink this decoction. To improve digestion, take it on an empty stomach before your meals.
6. bay leaf and clove tea?
To make this recipe, you will need:
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 300 ml of water
For about 5 minutes, bring your bay leaves to a boil in the water. Once done, remove the tea from the heat and add the cloves.
Cover the pot and let it steep until the tea is at the perfect temperature for you.
You can then strain the drink and take it twice a day.
V. How to store bay leaves
If you have fresh bay leaves, store them in a damp cloth or paper towel before putting them in the refrigerator. They can be kept for a few days.
As for dried bay leaves, you can put them in a hermetically sealed jar.
Keep the jar away from light, cool, and dry. Thus kept, bay leaves can be preserved for a whole year.
VI. Potential Side Effects of bay leaves
Bay leaves are great for your health, but they can have side effects. First of all, the consumption of bay leaf tea is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, as well as very young children.
Also, if you consume too much, bay leaves can cause drowsiness.
This is even more dangerous for people who drive. It is also important to be careful with bay leaves if you have a sensitive stomach.
Bay leaf oil can cause allergies. Test a small area of your skin for skin reactions before using it on a larger area.
VII. Other Questions about the health benefits of bay leaves
1. What are the benefits of bay leaves for the skin?
It is possible to use bay leaves for the well-being of the skin. They have cleansing and antiseptic properties.
They can act on skin diseases or regulate excess sebum and thus, reduce the appearance of pimples.
You can make an infusion with bay leaves, by mixing 100 g of bay leaves with 1 liter of water. Boil the whole thing for 20 minutes and use this decoction to clean your face both in the morning and before bed.
Another option is bay leaf oil, which has purifying and soothing properties. It can be used diluted with vegetable oil to fight skin conditions.
2. Can we drink bay leaf tea to sleep?
The virtues of bay leaves make it an excellent tea to help fall asleep naturally. Bay leaves have soothing properties and help calm the nervous system. Taking it before bed will help calm you down and promote restful sleep.
Simply boil a few bay leaves in 250 ml of water for 10 minutes. Drink as is or with a little honey.
3. Can we use bay leaves for weight loss?
Combined with a proper diet, bay leaves are allies for weight loss.
Taken as an infusion, bay leaves can restrict the appetite, which will prevent you from snacking between meals or overeating.
For the health of the stomach and intestines, bay leaves are also assets. So, don’t hesitate to add the consumption of bay leaf tea to your weight loss routine.
4. Can you drink bay leaf tea every day?
Consuming bay leaf tea has many benefits for the health of the body and even the mind. There are no known negative side effects of drinking bay leaf tea daily but be sure to pay attention to the dosage.
Bay leaves can cause drowsiness if consumed too much. So stay alert for possible side effects.
5. Can I drink bay leaf tea at night?
It is advisable to drink bay leaf tea in the evening. You just have to brew some bay leaves for about ten minutes.
It is a soothing drink, which will help you fall asleep more easily. Taking bay-leaf tea in the evening is a natural way to sleep better.
6. Is bay leaf poisonous?
Bay leaves come in many varieties, and it is important to know about them before consuming them. There are indeed toxic varieties of laurel. The oleander for example is a dangerous plant, which has a substance called oleandrin, able to kill an adult.
The cherry laurel is also a toxic plant, although less dangerous than the oleander.
Apart from the oleander, the other plants identified as laurel are more or less dangerous to human health.
7. Is bay leaf tea good for your kidneys?
Among the teas and herbal teas that help to cleanse the kidneys, we find the infusion of parsley, cherry tails, fennel, thyme, or meadowsweet.
Bay leaf tea does not directly affect kidney health. But kidney health is directly related to high blood pressure.
Because high blood pressure can play a negative role in the conduction of blood through the arteries, it is bad for kidney health.
Laurel tea can be consumed to reduce high blood pressure, which means that it plays a secondary role in kidney health.
8. Is bay leaf good for blood pressure?
Yes, bay leaves are known to have a good impact on blood pressure. Bay leaves can be consumed in the form of herbal tea or tea to improve blood pressure.
Bay leaves are rich in vitamins and full of various properties that make them a good way to take care of your blood pressure.
Because bay leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, they help act on high blood pressure.
9. Does bay leaves reduce cholesterol?
Bay leaves are also used to act on cholesterol. It is through this function that bay leaves act on weight, as well as on hypertension.
A study was conducted and highlighted the benefits of the use of bay leaves in people wishing to reduce their cholesterol.
According to the results of this study, 1 to 3 g of bay leaves taken for a month would be able to significantly reduce blood sugar, but also cholesterol in the blood.
10. Do bay leaves help with gas?
For the health of the intestines and stomach, bay leaves are very useful. You can use them in particular in case of flatulence, to reduce them and find good intestinal health.
The bay leaves can be consumed or dried in this type of situation. You can take them in the form of herb tea or decoctions.
Drink 2 to 3 cups a day if you have stomach problems until you feel relieved.
11. How long do you boil bay leaves?
It is generally necessary to boil bay leaves for about ten minutes, to consume them as herbal tea or tea.
You can drink this preparation several times a day. But some people boil them for about twenty minutes, especially to use them as a face lotion.
12. Is bay leaf good for arthritis?
Bay leaf is used for many problems, including joint or muscle pain. It is indeed possible to relieve your arthritic pains by using bay leaf, especially bay leaf oil.
This essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties. You can pour a few drops into your bath water before you dive in, to enjoy it.
Another way to use bay leaf oil is as a massage oil. Since it is an essential oil, you can dilute it with vegetable oil before massaging your painful joints with this amalgam.
Here is a simple recipe to relieve your arthritis. Start by mixing with two drops of essential oil of laurel, oily macerate of arnica or calendula, to which you will have added 2 drops of essential oil of lemon eucalyptus. With this mixture, rub your painful joints for 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
13. Is bay leaf good for acid reflux?
Gastric reflux has many causes, one of the most common is diet. Indeed, a diet low in vitamins and high in alcohol or spices can cause heartburn. This type of diet can cause digestive difficulties.
One of the many benefits of bay leaves is their impact on digestion and intestinal health.
By consuming bay leaves, especially in the form of a decoction, you will fight abdominal pain and improve your digestion.
Take a cup of bay leaf decoction before your main meals. If you have digestive problems, do this several times a day.
14. Is bay leaf good for the skin?
Bay leaf is also useful for skin health. The properties of the bay leaf make it a very interesting plant for skin health.
You can use the decoction of bay leaf to clean your skin. This decoction has the effect of a lotion and cleans the skin while protecting it.
It should not be forgotten that the bay leaf has antibiotic properties, which allow it to act on problem skin.
Thus, the laurel leaf can cleanse the skin affected by acne, or by psoriasis. It is a plant that can help regulate sebum, which makes it also useful for the health of the hair and skin, namely the scalp.
15. Does bay leaf burn belly fat?
The bay leaves are used in the context of diet, for weight loss and fat. It is indeed possible to use them, in combination with cinnamon, sage, and the juice of a lemon.
By taking this decoction for 4 days in a row, at a rate of 3 to 4 cups per day, you will burn fat more easily.
The weight-loss benefits of bay leaf are due to its ability to act on digestive disorders, as well as on bacteria and viruses that can disrupt digestion.
16. Does bay leaves have caffeine?
Although bay leaves are a plant that can act on vigor, they do not contain caffeine. Bay leaves contain many nutrients and vitamins.
Bay leaves are rich in B vitamins, especially vitamin C. In addition, there are many minerals in this plant, such as carbohydrates, sodium, potassium, and even proteins.
The absence of caffeine allows bay leaves to be a soothing and non-exciting drink, which you can consume before sleep.
17. Is bay leaves good for cough?
Bay leaves are real health benefits for people suffering from coughs or breathing problems. They can improve the respiratory faculties and help in the event of a cold.
The decoction based on bay leaves is a way to act on the general health of the human body, in case of cough or flu. Take 2 or 3 cups of hot bay leaf tea with honey to soothe your throat.
Even in the form of essential oil, bay leaves provide relief to cough sufferers. You can use them by air diffusion, to clear your airways.
18. Is bay leaf good for headaches?
The benefits of bay leaf extend to nerve problems and headaches. Bay leaves contain what are called parthenoids, which are substances that can prevent migraines and headaches.
Bay leaves are useful for headaches caused by too much serotonin. Consume it in the form of tea or decoction, both dried and fresh leaves.
19. Is bay leaf tea good for your liver?
To detoxify your liver and restore its health, you can use bay leaves. Bay leaf tea is effective for different types of stomach problems, including liver health. This is why bay leaves are very popular for “hangovers”.
20. Is bay leaf oil good for hair?
For hair health, you can turn to bay leaves. Bay leaves can be helpful for oily hair, regulating sebum. This plant is also a plus for people suffering from dandruff.
The essential oil of the noble bay has many virtues, which allow the hair to grow better while making it stronger and shinier. Soft hair gains volume and consistency thanks to the action of bay leaf oil.
One of the many ways to use this oil is by adding a few drops of bay leaf essential oil to a dab of your shampoo.
You can also massage your scalp with bay leaf hydrosol, even between shampoos.
These two methods help problematic, dry, or itchy scalps.