Bay leaves are leaves that come from the bay laurel trees that grow in the Mediterranean, France, Italy, North American, Central America. Bay is a variety of laurel, and many times different varieties are referred to as bay. You might know bay leaves as a flavor in Asian dishes. It’s a refreshing and aromatic herb. But several people are unaware that bay leaf is incredible for your health as well. Used widely in traditional medicine, the herb is also regarded as a symbol of honor. Ancient Greeks would crown their war heroes and Olympians with a wreath of bay leaves.
Bay leaf has been found to reduce blood sugar levels and prevent type 2 diabetes in people with high-risk factors for the disease. It’s also great for improving hair growth, reducing dandruff, and treating an itchy scalp. Bay leaf can also help get your digestion back on track. A few studies suggest bay leaf could be helpful to destroy cancer cells.
The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in bay leaves, including phytonutrients, catechins and linalool, helps to protect the body from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
Bay leaves help reduce blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A study revealed that people who had ground bay leaves twice a day reduced their blood sugar level. The antioxidants in bay leaf enable the body to process insulin more efficiently, thus making it a good choice for diabetics and people with insulin resistance.
Another amazing feature about bay leaves is its ability to clear up your respiratory system. If you have a cold or a nasty cough, bay leaf can help unclog stuffy air passages and get rid of bacteria. Boil 4–5 bay leaves in water. Once it’s cooled slightly, soak a washcloth in the bay leaf water and apply it on your chest.
Bay leaf has strong pungent smell which stimulates the production of saliva and other digestive enzymes. These enzymes aid in the breakdown of food particles, thus promoting healthy digestion. Bay leaf is known to be helpful against heartburn and bloating.
Bay leaf also contains anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it beneficial to reduce pain in people suffering from any sort of sprain, joint issues, and even arthritis. You could create a paste of ground bay leaf and castor leaves. Apply the paste on the affected areas and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Bay leaf is an ancient remedy to fix any sort of hair issues. Boil a few bay leaves in water. Let it cool down a bit. Rinse your hair and scalp with this water. Make sure to do it after shampooing your hair. For an itchy scalp, grind bay leaves and mix it with coconut oil. Apply this to your scalp and let it rest for 30 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Bay leaves are popularly used in soups, rice, stews, and other dishes packed with flavor. Bay leaves lose their health benefits after one year so discard of unused bay leaves which have lasted that whole time. Remember to store them in a cool, dry, dark place, preferably in an air-tight container.
While bay leaf is generally considered safe, it isn’t recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers. Also, it is recommended people should stop eating bay leaf two weeks before any surgery.
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Bay Leaf Benefits for Health, Skin & Hair – Also Helps Keep Ailments Away