Bay leaf known as “tej patta” in hindi refers to the aromatic leaves of several plants used in cooking. The uses of bay leaves including grinding the leaves into a spice to flavor soups and stews, but the leaves are most commonly added in whole form as a flavoring for certain Italian dishes and are then removed or used as a garnish. Whole leaves are not commonly consumed. Here are bay leaf benefits
There is not an extensive range of culinary applications for bay leaves, although extracts of bay leaves have numerous medical applications for topical application. It is also a popular element of aromatherapy and herbal treatments for various skin and respiratory conditions because of bay leaf benefits .
Types of Bay leaf
(Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae). Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance. The leaves should be removed from the cooked food before eating. The leaves are often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean cuisine. The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor until several weeks after picking and drying.
California bay leaf
The leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica, Lauraceae), also known as California laurel, Oregon myrtle, and pepperwood, is similar to the Mediterranean bay laurel, but has a stronger flavor.
Indian bay leaf
malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) is somewhat similar in appearance to the leaves of bay laurel, but is culinarily quite different, having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon (cassia) bark, but milder.
Indonesian bay leaf
Indonesian laurel (salam leaf, Syzygium polyanthum, Myrtaceae) is not commonly found outside of Indonesia; this herb is applied to meat and, less often vegetables.
West Indian bay leaf
The leaf of the West Indian bay tree (Pimenta racemosa, Myrtaceae), used culinarily and to produce the cologne called bay rum.
Mexican bay leaf
(Litsea glaucescens, Lauraceae).
Bay leaf benefits for health
1. Heart Health
Caffeic acid and rutin are both important organic compounds found in bay leaf that greatly boost heart health. Rutin strengthens capillary walls in the heart and the body’s extremities, while caffeic acid can help eliminate “bad” cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
2. Diabetes Management
Bay leaves have been directly connected with improved insulin receptor function and regulated blood sugar levels. For patients at risk of developing diabetes or for those who have already developed the condition, regular consumption of bay leaves can significantly lower the chances of diabetic episodes.
3. Source of Vitamin
Contains B-complex vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin, help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
4. Bay leaf benefits for cold and Infection
Bay leaves are effective in fighting the symptoms of cold, flu and infections. In case of respiratory problems, boil water and add 2 to 3 bay leaves. Allow it to steam for 10 minutes. Soak a cloth in this water and place it on your chest to alleviate flu, cold and cough. Bay leaf tea is effective in reducing fever. In case of repeated sneezing, boil some bay leaves in 200 ml water till ¼ remains. Strain and drink this concoction.
5. Bay leaf benefits for dental care
To get sparkling white teeth, brush them with powdered bay leaves once in 3 days.
6. Anti-cancer Properties
Bay leaf contains caffeic acid, quercetin, eugenol and catechins all of which possess chemo-protective properties which provide resistance against different types of cancer. They also contain a phytonutrient called parthenolide which has shown to specifically restrain the proliferation of cervical cancer cells.
7. Good for the Respiratory System
Bay leaves compounds which help in fighting respiratory tract infections. In case of colds, coughs, sneezing simply add few bay leaves to water and boil it. Strain and drink this tea. Bayleaf tea is also useful in the treatment of fever.
8. Bay leaf benefits to Prevent Kidney Stones
Bay leaf benefits to prevent formation of kidney stones. They also help ward off kidney infections. Take 200 ml of water. To it add 5 grams of bay leaves. Boil the mixture till it is reduced to 50 ml. Strain and have this mixture on a regular basis to prevent kidney stones.
9. Pain Reliever
Bayleaf essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, boosting blood circulation, easing sprains, strains, arthritis, rheumatism, general pains and aches.
Bay leaf benefits for skin
Helps to Reduce Acne
Bay leaves have several compounds help in curing acne. Crush bay leaves and add it to water. Boil the mixture. Strain and splash the water on the face to get relief from acne.
Bay leaf hair benefits
1. Helps to Eliminate Head Lice
Bay leaves can be used effectively to eliminate head lice. Take 400 ml of water. To it add 50 grams of crushed bay leaves. Boil the mixture till it is reduced to 100 ml. Apply this water to hair to get rid of head lice.
2. Get rid of Dandruff
Bay leaves have volatile compounds that help treating dry scalp and help in the removal of dandruff. Bay leaves help in strengthening the hair follicles and help in making the hair lustrous and black. Boil bay leaves in water and apply this solution to the hair to get rid of dandruff.