If you enjoy cooking, you already know that bay, or laurel, leaves are ideal for various dishes, as their pleasant smell adds fire and life to them.
Yet, apart from smelling and tasting good, these leaves are also beneficial for the entire body. They have powerful detoxifying properties, fight infections, improve heart health, and ease breathing.
People have cherished the medicinal properties of bay leaves for centuries.
These leaves have been considered highly valuable since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, when they were burned inside their homes and places of worship, often due to religious, and even fantastical reasons.
In ancient Greece, Apollo was often represented wearing a bay laurel crown, and wreaths of bay leaves were given to the victors at Pythian games, which were sacred to him.
According to mythology, the father of the nymph Daphne transformed her into a bay laurel tree to hide her from Apollo, so the Greeks associated the leaves of the bay tree with spiritual properties.
When burned, these aromatic leaves release a calming scent that relaxes the mind and muscles. These leaves are believed to cleanse the space from negativity.
Inhaling the smoke of these leaves won’t put you to sleep, but it will release stress, sharpen your focus, increase alertness, and soothe the entire body.
People claim that this practice brings them into a state of awareness and calmness, and associate the smoke with more mindful meditation.
Here are several other uses of bay leaves:
1. Bay leaves contain caffeic acid, which strengthens the capillary walls in the heart.
2. Bay leaves open the respiratory passages, and their inhaling will treat sinus and breathing issues. You can also rub bay leaves onto the problematic areas to treat asthma and allergies.
3. These leaves have strong anti-inflammatory agents and pain-relieving properties, so it is advised to rub bay leaf essential oil on sore joints to reduce pain and tightness.
4. Mix powdered laurel leaves with milk, and drink the remedy to treat urinary infections.
5. According to one study, published by the Agricultural University in Peshawar Pakistan, and the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, 3 grams of bay leaves daily lower the overall glucose levels.
6. Mix laurel leaves with jojoba oil, and apply the mixture to the scalp to treat dandruff. Leave it to act for an hour.
7. The bay leaf has potent digestive properties and accelerates metabolism. Some even advise rubbing it on the stomach after meals.
Additionally, some people even believe that writing a wish on a bay leave and burning it, will help them make their wish come true.