Bay Leaf

Latin name: Laurus nobilis
Other names: bay laurel, Dafne, sweet bay, sweet laurel

What is Bay Leaf?
Bay leaves come from Laurus nobilis, an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. The leaves are used frequently in cooking, especially in soups and stews, where they impart a rich depth of flavor. Bay leaves are also used as a seasoning for fish, poultry, and beef. Traditionally, bay leaves were fashioned into the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, used to crown esteemed poets, scholars, and athletes.

What are the health benefits of Bay Leaves?
Exhibiting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, bay leaves have been classically used as an antiseptic and a digestive. Bay leaves have been used as a remedy for headaches, and are a proven effective treatment for migraines. Bay leaf also helps to lower blood sugar levels by helping the body to process insulin more efficiently. In addition, bay leaf reduces the effects of stomach ulcers and has also been used to treat rheumatism, amenorrhea, and colic.

Are there any precautions for using Bay Leaf?
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take bay leaves. They should also be avoided by those taking medication for diabetes.

Where can I find Bay Leaf?
Bay leaf can be found as an herbal supplement online, in herbal specialty stores, health food stores, and in the spice section of many food markets.

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This entry was posted in Featured Content, Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.