Bay leaf, or laurel, has been used since ancient times as an analgesic, for stomach complaints, and to treat certain skin infections. Its strong aroma can help as an insect repellent and to improve mental concentration.
In ancient Greek times, bay leaves from Laurus nobilis were used to make the laural wreath, a symbol of high status.
While Laurus nobilis lacks human studies, there were over 50 scientific in vitro and in vivo studies found on multiple subjects. Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal studies demonstrated action in vitro. The plant also showed insect repelling action in multiple studies. Further, the plant may offer analgesic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-parasitic, anti-diabetic, neuroprotective, gastroprotective, cardioprotective, anticonvulsive, and wound healing potential. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Laurus nobilis
Bay is a hardy evergreen shrub with hard green leaves. It belongs to the family Lauraceae, along with cinnamon and camphor.
Dried leaves are used extensively as a spice through out the world.
Oil is steam distilled from the fresh leaves and branchlets to create a thin, pale yellow to greenish colored oil that smells spicey, camphoric, fresh, and slightly sweet.