Aromatic bay leaf is one of the well known culinary leaf seasonings used since the earliest times.
What is a bay leaf?
bay leaf, Also known as the Bay of Laurel, It comes from the Laurus nobilis plant, It is a woody shrub native to the Mediterranean.
It is known for its pleasant aroma and flavour. which comes from its essential oils. They get tastier with age.
Bay leaves are thick, oval-shaped, glossy, dark green, and about 3-4 inches long.
Medicinal uses of bay leaves
medically speaking, The bay leaves have astringent, diuretic and appetite suppressant properties.
The essential oil of bay leaves contains mostly cineole (50%). Which helps soothe stomach ulcers and helps relieve flatulence and colic pain.
The essential oil components in many traditional medicines can also be used in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis, and flu symptoms.
Below is an analysis of the nutrients found in 100 grams of bay leaf
- Energy 313 kcal 15.5%
- Carbohydrates 74.97 g 57%
- Protein 7.61 g 13%
- Total Fat 8.36g 29%
- Dietary fiber 26.3 g 69%
- Folic acid 180 mcg 45%
- Niacin 2.005 mg 12.5%
- Pyridoxine 1.740 mg 133%
- Riboflavin 0.421 mg 32%
- Vitamin A 6185 units 206%
- Vitamin C 46.5 mg 77.5%
- Sodium 23 mg 1.5%
- Potassium 529 mg 11%
- Calcium 834 mg 83%
- Copper 0.416 mg 46%
- Iron 43 mg 537%
- Magnesium 120 mg 30%
- Manganese 8.167 mg 355%
- Phosphorus 113 mg 16%
- Selenium 2.8 µg 5%
- Zinc 3.70 mg 33%
A food product containing bay leaf[wprm-recipe-roundup-item id=”18876″]
Bay leaf substitutes
Knowing what works as a substitute for bay leaves is important to cooks. Especially if they are fond of cooking Asian or oriental dishes.
The alternatives include; thyme, Where you can use a quarter of a teaspoon of thyme can give the dish a little delicious flavor, But it won’t be quite the same as a bay leaf.
crushed basil leaves, It has a salty bite that can go well with curries and soups. But basil and bay leaf are far from a perfect match in terms of flavour.
Health benefits of bay leaves
Bay leaves contain many plant-derived chemical compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for health.
This spice contains several volatile active ingredients. These compounds are known to be antiseptic, antioxidant and digestive, It is believed to have anti-cancer properties.
The spice is indeed an excellent source of several vitamins, which aid in enzyme synthesis. regulating nervous system function, Regulating the body’s metabolism.
Bay leaves may also help improve heart health, reduce inflammation, relieve respiratory issues, and improve digestion.
Bay leaves are believed to have a very strong effect on the digestive system , stimulating urination as a diuretic, reducing toxicity to the body and also inducing vomiting when something toxic is consumed.
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Treatment of respiratory diseases
Bay leaves have powerful antibacterial properties according to research published in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin .
When the essential oil of bay leaves is extracted, It can be mixed into an ointment and applied to the chest to help relieve various respiratory ailments.
This can also be achieved with a muzzle made of leaves.
At first you spread it on the chest and leave it on overnight. Steam inhalation has a similar effect to aromatherapy.
It can loosen phlegm and remove dangerous bacteria that may be trapped in the respiratory tract. This is thanks to its natural antibacterial quality.
If you want to improve the health of your hair follicles and get rid of dandruff, The home method is to immerse bay leaves in water and then rub it on your scalp after shampooing.
The chemicals and volatile ingredients in it can help eliminate dry skin and flaking.
It has anti-inflammatory activity
One of the most important benefits of this aromatic spice is its ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This is confirmed by a study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research .
Bay leaves contain a unique phytonutrient called parthenolide. Which can quickly reduce inflammation and irritation.
This is when placed topically on areas affected by arthritis.
Protect heart health
Caffeic acid and rutin are important organic compounds , found in bay leaves, that promote heart health.
Bay leaves also strengthen the rutin of the capillary walls of the heart and extremities of the body.
Whereas caffeic acid can help eliminate bad cholesterol or LDL from the cardiovascular system.
The unique blend of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaf helps, Including phytonutrients such as catechins, linalool and parthenolide.
All of which are components that work to protect the body from the effects of free radicals that cause cancer. According to the Journal of Nutrition Research .
Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, and bay leaves may prevent this activity due to the presence of these antioxidants and organic compounds.
Reduce anxiety and stress
Bay leaves often interact with thyme and basil, But it is also found in bay leaves.
This compound can help lower the level of stress hormones in the body, Especially when used in aromatherapy.
Excess stress hormones can be dangerous to health in the long run. So bay leaves can help you calm down and stay relaxed even in moments of intense anxiety.
Research indicates that bay leaf is associated with improved insulin receptor function and regulated blood sugar levels.
For patients at risk of developing diabetes or those who have already developed the condition, Regular consumption of bay leaves may significantly reduce the chances of diabetes attacks.
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Store bay leaves
Many people store bay leaves in their spice cabinet , and some say that freezing bay leaves is the preferred method for storing this herb.
Many cooks recommend storing bay leaves in the freezer because the leaves retain more flavor when frozen than they do when stored in a cool, dry place.
Side effects of eating bay leaves
Bay leaves should not be consumed whole. The paper remains intact and cannot be digested. It may get stuck in the throat or cause damage to the intestines.
Ground bay leaves are POSSIBLY SAFE when consumed in amounts normally found in food. It is also likely safe when taken medicinally for short periods of time.