Many women use the bay leaf for cooking and culinary purposes but are unaware of its many health benefits.
Bay Leaf also known as tej patta or Laurus nobilis is an herb native to theregion and an integral part of the Indian cuisine thanks to its distinctive flavour.
These leaves have been a part of the culinary and medicinal world for thousands of years, dating to at least ancient Roman times.
The uses of bay leaves include grinding the leaves into a spice to flavor soups and stews, adding it in their whole form as a garnish, or taken in form of a tea. However, its leaves are not usually consumed as it can’t be digested making them unsafe.
Apart from its culinary uses, it also has medicinal properties and health benefits. This is because of its rich nutrients.
It is rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, protein, copper, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, and manganese. It is also known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are some of its health benefits.
1. Aids Digestion
Bay leaf treats digestive disorders and gives relief from abdominal pain, gastrointestinal infections, flatulence, bloating, heartburn and constipation.
It contains enzymes that help to break down proteins and digest food faster, helping to calm indigestion. It is also used as a diuretic as it stimulates urination and aids in flushing out harmful toxins from the body.
For indigestion and bloating, drink bay leaf tea with ginger and honey twice a day for fast relief.
2. Promotes heart health
Organic compounds including caffeic acid and rutin that are found in bay leaves enhance heart health.
They both strengthen capillary walls in the heart and further eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
3. Relieves stress and anxiety
In order to manage stress better, add more bay leaves to your diet. The presence of linalool can lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy. These leaves help you calm down and combat symptoms of depression and anxiety.
4. Prevents Cancer
The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaves, including phytonutrients, catechins, linalool, and parthenolide, helps to protect the body from the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, which bay leaves are particularly adept at preventing.
A new study has found that extract from the bay leaf plant is a natural option that might be able to treat and prevent breast cancer. The extract may help kill cancer cells by assisting apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
5. Helps induce sleep
Consumption of bay leaves at bedtime eliminates insomnia and anxiety while inducing proper sleep. For this purpose, a few drops of the bay leaf extract can be mixed with water and consumed before bed, in order to help relax and sleep well.
6. Improves hair health
If you want to improve the health of your hair follicles and eliminate dandruff, a homemade method is to steep bay leaves in water and then rub them on your scalp after shampooing.
The chemicals and volatile ingredients in them may help eliminate dry skin and dandruff. Bay leaves are also useful in hair regrowth and hair loss prevention and breakage.
7. Manages diabetes
Bay leaf has been found to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes as it improves insulin sensitivity. For patients at risk of developing diabetes or for those who have already developed the condition, regular consumption of bay leaves may significantly lower the chances of diabetic episodes. Research suggests that by taking ground bay leaf two times per day, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels (LDL) could be reduced.
8. Treats menstrual problems
Bay Leaf for centuries has been used to treat menstrual problems like irregular periods and cramps. It also regularizes menstruation when taken orally.
9. Remedy for a nosebleed
For treatment of a nose bleed, take 3 pieces of fresh or dry Bay Leaf and crush them roughly. Boil them till the water reduces to half. Strain and drink.
10. Boost immune system
Bay Leaf is a good source of vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C which boosts the immune system.