I have never been able to say whether I need to call Laurel a plant, a leaf, a tree or a spice. In fact, I can call Laurel with all of these names.
At home, we have always been using Laurel. We used it a lot in roasted chicken, lamb, and anything being roasted (apologies for the vegetarians – my brother is vegetarian and he does not mind so I risked this statement here 😉 ). The flavors laurel gives are so nice. We surely cannot do without it.
But my family has been using laurel for many other things such as relaxing, fighting anxiety and much more. This is why I wanted to write this article, to let you know that laurel is not only for the below chicken, but much more than this.
Do not look at the below picture if you are sensitive to roasted chicken with laurel. Thank you.
Note that I provide you at the end of this post a recipe as to how you can relax with Laurel and a video too. You’ll also find how you can buy this product as an essential oil extract.
Why is laurel so famous?
Simply because it is so good. It has so much flavor and it can do some nice extra little things to your health.
Let me give you some examples – Laurel is really good at helping you relax. If you drink it as a tea, it can release tension, anxiety, stress and endless fatigue.
Note that it is a Russian scientist named Gennady Malakhov who discovered that laurel has great properties to fight against fatigue and stress.
Since then a lot of studies have been investigating the plant, and all came to the same conclusions.
If you consume this herb often, you should feel less tired and more energetic.
Also, note that laurel is also called by many bay leaves. In fact, many know it only under this name.
What was laurel plant used for in ancient time?
Laurel has been used for centuries. So it is not like yesterday that people have discovered it has some really healthy benefits to your body.
For many people in ancient history, the plant was regarded as a sacred tree. The branches were given to a winner of local games. So, whoever had one of these was highly regarded.
The branches were also given to poets as a sign of highest honor. Again, this was a sign of glory and great achievement in those ancient days.
The branches were made as a wreath and obviously called Laurel wreath. We all know how this looks like, but just in case, I give you a quick picture below of the wreath in question.
What is laurel leaf being used for today?
In today’s digital era, there is no more wreath. The bay leaf is used in a number of ways such as horticulture. It is also used as a tree to form hedges around houses.
But the herb finds its best usage in our kitchens. It is really good to use as a cooking spice. Quite often the bay leaf is added to soups, stews, etc.
It’s specific and very special flavor gives the food some real uniqueness. Unfortunately, the leaf is so hard (because it is dried out) that it is not eatable (too hard).
But the most interesting bit about the plant is in its medicinal application. Please see below for more.
What are the health benefits of laurel leaves?
There too many to list them all. But below, I give you 7 health benefits with the most important for today’s article being relaxation.
Other applications are very important too, but I find that relaxing is what is missing in our homes with so many issues to solve on a daily basis.
1- Laurel to improve your digestive health
Bay leaves have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on your gastrointestinal system. The herb stimulates urination as a diuretic. By doing so it dramatically reduces the toxicity of your body.
On thing that I hate about the plant, but I a love about it is that it stimulate vomiting. This is the part I hate (the vomiting). However, the plant act as an emetic.
What does this mean? Well, when you eat something toxic, the plant will make you vomit. So you get rid of the bad toxins in your body.
You have a lot of organic compounds in bay leaves. These are highly very effective in clearing your upset stomach. The compounds fight against irritable bowel syndromes.
It is even a really good active agent to fight the symptoms of Celiac’s disease. Some of the more complex
So if you eat some complex food (and I am sure you do this on a daily basis), then adding a little bit of this herb can help your body digesting it and keeping only the right nutrients. The rest will find its way to the drain ;).
2- Fight bad respiratory conditions
You can also use a poultice that is made of the leaves. You just need to spread the poultice onto your chest. Leave overnight for best effect.
One thing that I almost forgot, you can inhale the vapors of bay leaves. This should have a similar effect to aromatherapy. In most cases, it will loosen up phlegm and eliminate dangerous bacteria. Like the bronchitis bacteria.
3- Improve your hair health
If you are a victim of hair loss, then you’ll like this. Laurel can definitely improve your hair.
It helps promote healthier follicles (the cells that make hair) and eliminate dandruff. You just need to put a lot of bay leaves in water. Leave it overnight or all day and then rub the lot on your scalp. Leave to dry.
The hidden properties of laurel will help in eliminating dry skin and dandruff.
4- Bay leaves reduce inflammatory activities
We all get inflammations and they are hard to get rid off. Bay leaves oil is really good at targeting these and healing them. The oil fights inflammation and focuses all of its healthy properties on the affected areas.
Bay leaves contain phytonutrients, which in turn contain parthenolide. It is the parthenolide characteristics of bay leaves that make them so good at fighting inflammation.
Get some bay leaves oil, apply it to the inflammation and you should get good results in no time.
You can also use this oil on sore joints or arthritis.
On the other hand, you can choose to consume laurel as a spice or in tea. The effect should be the same, though you need to consume it for quite some time before you notice a real effect on your body.
5 – Improve your heart health
Heart health is probably one of the most important aspects of this plant. Considering that in many countries, the number one mortality is heart disease, I think you need to pay attention to the below.
Laurel contains a lot of important organic compounds that are really good for your heart. These are caffeic acid and rutin.
Caffeic acids are very critical to your well-being as they promote the elimination of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
On the other hand, rutin will strengthen the capillary walls in your heart. So you get a better, stronger heart if you consume the herb often.
6 – Protect you against cancer
This is another very good feature of this plant. It has the ability to fight cancer. It uses the combination of its antioxidants and organic compounds. They include linalool, phytonutrients, catechins, and parthenolide.
The antioxidants and compounds in laurel fight the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are probably our worse nightmare when it comes to cancer. They support the mutation of perfectly fine cells into cancerous cells.
However, if you consume bay leaves, then you will provide your body with very strong ammunitions to fight these and prevent the mutation.
7- Positively act against anxiety and stress
Bay leaves have a high potential to reduce stress levels. They contain linalool which is a compound that decreases the production of stress hormones.
Experts agree on this matter. If you can avoid the production of stress hormones, then you lower the risks of heart attack and other stress health-related risks.
Scientists have shown that by consuming extracts of laurel, your stress and anxiety levels drop dramatically. Why not try it if you operate in a stressful environment?
8- Help manage better diabetes and blood sugar
This is very important to know if you have issues with your blood sugar levels.
If you consume laurel, you’ll be pleased to know that these have a direct connection in improving and regulating insulin levels within your body.
Bay leaves also regulated blood sugar levels. Again, increase the consumption of this herb, and you’ll reduce diabetes incidents.
Relax using this simple laurel method
There are many ways you can relax with laurel. Here I provide you one that is easy to do at home.
- First, take a couple of dried bay leaves
- Second, put them in a container – a container that cannot catch fire.
- Third, lit the bay leaves.
- Fourth, let them burn. Make sure you leave the room. Pay attention not to put the fire to the room by moving all furniture away from the small fire. Also, make sure that the fire is small too to avoid any complication.
- Fifth, and 10 mins after the fire has ended, the leaves are completely burnt. Now the room is full of incense smoke.
- This creates a relaxing atmosphere as the combustion of the leaves released ingredients in the room that reduces fatigue and helps you relax.
Here is the video showing another way to relax burning laurel.
I think we all know where to find laurel. So, I shall just go straight to the point. Here is a link you can use to buy this herb. If not get it from your local shop. Plenty of them sells it around you. Here I just give you the option to buy it from your kitchen.
Laurel is a fantastic herb that you should use on a weekly basis.
You can use it as a food additive, as an incense, in essential oil, for your hair, to prevent cancer, against anxiety, tiredness, stress, to improve your digestion, reduce respiratory issues, act on inflammations, etc.
What else do you need from me to convince you that you need to start using this fantastic herb?
Back to you
I hope you’ll enjoy Lauren’s leaves and that you’ll use it more often now than in the past. Bay leaves have been scientifically investigated and they have proved to be of high important for your health.
So, do not ask yourselves too many questions, and start using the herb as of today.
Oh, by the way, please do not forget to take action and like the post. Share it with your friends and families and please leave a comment below.
See you soon in another Omigy post.