In India, spices are very popular with immense healing benefits in it. In every kitchen, you will find varieties of spices used to cook food. Addition of these makes your food much tastier, spicy and filled with aroma.
But, as we know; excess of everything is bad; the same case relies upon spices too. Those who are habituated to spicy and hot foods gets easily engaged by ailments related to the digestive system and many more. In the limited quantity, spices are like medicines and its overdose can even make you ill.
Spices are either obtained from bark, roots, stem, leaves, fruits or any other parts of the plant. Here we will be talking about the properties, naming uses and medicinal properties of one of the widely used spices called ‘Bay leaf’.
Bay leaf is obtained from a wild plant which is found in warm and temperate Himalayan regions up to heights of 3000 to 6000 ft. It’s an evergreen tree or long shrub with glossy leaves native to the Mediterranean region.
The leaves have distinctive aromatic fragrance which is used in cooking food; to provide it a different flavour. It is used in the green or dried form. The tree can vary in height as 33-59 ft tall. It bears flowers which are pale yellow in colour and in pairs.
Nomenclature of Bay leaf:-
Bay leaf belongs to kingdom Plantae and ‘Lauraceae’ family. Its binomial name is “Laurus nobilis”. It is also called Tejpat or Tejpatta in Hindi. In Sanskrit, it is called Tamalpatra.
The chemical composition of Bay leaf:-
The leaves contain a volatile oil which mainly contains eugenol in it. It also contains tarpine, cinnamic aldehide, phellandrene, geraniol, cineole etc in it. It is light, bitter, sharp, sweet and warm in nature.
General uses of Bay leaf:-
- There are multiple options to use bay leaves. If you are going to cook some spicy and hot food then few leaves will be the best in it. It will enhance the taste and fragrance 2 times more than usual taste.
- In case of steamed foods, bay leaves can be used for an aromatic fragrance and taste.
- You can use it in slow cooking meals.
- In case of biryanis, pulav or fried rice; a tint of bay leaf is the best. Try it once and blow the lingering fragrance of foodstuffs.
Medicinal benefits of Bay leaf:-
Nature has offered us this plant; then there must be some medicinal properties in it. Here, we will discuss some of the healing properties of bay leaves. So, let’s proceed-
1. For seasonal flu’s:-
In case of a cough and cold, make an herbal tea using bay leaves, ginger and a spoonful of honey and give this to the patient. Grind 5 gm of its bark with 5 gm small pepper and give this to the patient with 2 teaspoons of honey. It is very helpful to cure dripping nose, sneezing, burning sensation etc.
2. For Flatulence:-
In case of Flatulence, give the decoction of bay leaves to the patient. It cures excessive sweating and gives relief in swelling of the stomach due to intestinal infections and diarrhea.
3. For Headache:-
Grind 10 gm of bay leaves with water and apply the paste on the forehead. It is beneficial to cure a headache due to heat or chill. As a headache gets cured, remove the paste and rinse with water.
In case of any kind of respiratory ailment like asthma or bronchitis take 2-2 gm of powdered bay leaf and pepal leaf with ginger jam. Give this to the patient twice a day. It is a natural cure without any side-effect.
5. For head lice:-
In case of dandruff or head, lice take 5-6 bay leaves and boil it in a glass of water till the water gets reduced to half. Massage your hair and scalp with this water and wash the hair after an hour. Bay leaves are also a kind of insect repellent.
In this way, we saw multiple benefits of bay leaf. These seem to be normal and simple but are enriched with benefits and healing properties. Nature has provided us everything by which we can naturally lead a safer and healthy life. So, take care and live well!
She is a learner and health conscious person. She is always interested in seeking knowledge regarding Ayurveda, herbal medicine and Yoga to cure any health ailments naturally.
She holds a Bachelor Degree in Alternative Medicine and interested in Naturopathy.