Bay leaves are harvested from the bay laurel tree. Originating in the Mediterranean, bay leaf is now cultivated in several countries and used as a culinary flavor enhancer in several cuisines. Bay leaves are also used in the manufacturing of perfumes, and they are an ingredient in several herbal remedies and natural medicines. Bay leaves are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also possess anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties to boot!
The health benefits associated with bay leaves are numerous. Whether used in cooking, herbal remedies, or natural medicines, bay leaves will be beneficial to your diet and help improve your overall health. They can be grown in an herb garden and harvested from the comfort of home when needed, or they can be purchased from almost any grocery store that has an herbs and seasonings aisle.
Health Benefits Associated with Bay Leaves:
Diabetes Treatment—for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, bay leaves play a significant role in treating this illness by reducing bad cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels. Consumption of bay leaves on a regular basis will help regulate blood sugar levels and improve heart function. The antioxidants found in bay leaves help the human body process insulin more efficiently. Individuals at risk, or already suffering from type 2 diabetes, should increase their intake of bay leaves as a dietary supplement.
Pain Relief—bay leaves can be steeped in a tea and the tea consumed to relieve headaches, migraines, arthritis and inflamed joints. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties found in bay leaves are what make it capable of relieving various types of pain.
Pregnancy Protector—bay leaves are packed with powerful folic acid which makes it an awesome ingredient for the diets of pregnant women. Folic acid helps protect the growing fetus from birth defects, and is considered an important supplement for pregnant women, especially during the first 3 months of the pregnancy.
Immune System Enhancer—bay leaves are packed full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and zinc, which just so happen to be three key nutrients for enhancing the function of the immune system. Vitamin A provides a layer of protection for the mucous membranes, and healthy mucous membranes prevent viruses and bacteria from attacking and penetrating the body.
Sleep Aid—for those who suffer from insomnia, bay leaves are an ideal sleep aid. Place a few drops of bay leaf extract in a full glass of water and consume before going to bed. This concoction will help relax your body, ease your mind, calm the nervous system and induce a good night’s rest.
Benefits of Burning Bay Leaves:
Fatigue Reduction—bay leaves contain several chemical compounds, which when burnt release an aroma that helps calm and relax the individual, yet simultaneously provides stimulation.
Anxiety Reduction—bay leaves contain linalool, a compound which has been found to reduce anxiety levels while also increasing the desire to be more socially interactive.
Respiratory Protection—bay leaves contain eugenol and myrcene, two compounds known to be effective remedies for removing phlegm and mucous from the respiratory system.
Are you growing an herb garden? Which herbs are you growing and why? Do you have any home remedies or recipes you would like to share? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!