Bay Leaf: Benefits and Harms of Seasoning

The Bay leaf is one of the most common condiments. Laurel makes the dishes more rich, tastier and more fragrant. The plant is known since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, the bay leaf was considered a symbol of good. And in ancient Greece, wreaths of laurel hung on the neck of the winners of the Olympic Games.

Today, the plant is used in cooking, chemical industry and medicine. Laurel leaves have many useful properties that contribute to the fight against various diseases.

The application of laurels
  • The use of laurels
  • Mineral composition
  • Useful properties
  • Nutritional value and caloric value
  • Contraindications
  • Traditional medicine
  • Usage for weight loss

Application of laurels

The bay leaf can be used fresh and dry. Usually it is added to soups, stewed vegetables and meat dishes. The plant has a bitter taste and a resinous, sweet flavor.

In the first dishes it is put for five minutes before readiness, and in the second - for ten minutes. One liter of water requires one leaf of the plant. Store the bay leaves in a vacuum package or glass jar, no more than a year from the time of assembly.

Mineral composition

The Bay leaf is rich in vitamins and trace elements. It consists of:

  • Vitamins - they are represented by group A, B( 2, 6, 9), C and a small amount of PP.
  • Calcium is one of the microelements( 100 grams contains 80% of the daily value for humans), magnesium( 30%), potassium( 20% of daily allowance), fluorine( 15%), zinc, iron, manganese.
  • Essential oil.
  • Salicylates are elements that contribute to the dilution of blood.
  • Tannins.

Useful properties

The bay leaf is not used in its entirety. It makes infusions, decoctions and oils. They are able to help with a number of diseases.

Laurel Benefit:

  • Effect on the digestive system - bay leaf stimulates appetite, helps to normalize digestion. Special enzymes contained in it, contribute to the breakdown of heavy food, the rapid withdrawal of digested foods from the body.
  • Benefits for joints - laurel helps to remove excess salt from the body. He is able to free joints from unnecessary deposits, relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Strengthening the immune system - the laurel leaf contains a large number of vitamins and beneficial microelements that increase immunity, so broths are used for colds.
  • Effect on the genitourinary and reproductive system .In the spice comes zinc, which is useful for men's health. Folic acid( vitamin B9) favorably affects the female reproductive system, and folates are responsible for the development of the nervous system in the embryo. Due to these properties, the bay leaf is recommended for women planning pregnancy. But after a successful conception, you should stop using the seasoning, since laurel can provoke a miscarriage.
  • Benefits for the skin - baths with decoction seasonings help in the treatment of dermatitis, psoriasis, allergic rashes and other skin diseases.
  • The Bay Leaf is widely used in cosmetology .It helps to get rid of dandruff, fights acne and acne, relieves pigment spots. Vitamin A, included in the bay leaf, regenerates the skin of the face, rejuvenates the skin.
  • Bay oil helps people with dry skin , gently softens it, nourishes the necessary elements. This product helps to smooth wrinkles, fights with dry hair.
  • The Bay Leaf has the properties of anti-aging, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating, detoxifying. It can be used as an emetic for poisoning.

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Nutritional and Caloric Value

In 100 grams of bay leaf contains 313 kilocalories. Of these, 48, 7 - carbohydrates, 8,4 - fats, 7,6 - protein component.


The benefits of bay leaves are invaluable. But along with it the laurel has contra-indications. Before applying this seasoning, it is worth reading the following recommendations:

  • bay leaf - powerful allergen , it can not be used by people with increased sensitivity to this plant;
  • it is forbidden to apply the seasoning during pregnancy and lactation of .Chemical compounds can cause a contraction of the uterus, which increases the threat of miscarriage. Salicylates that make up the laurel, dilute blood and can lead to bleeding in pregnant women;
  • spice has astringent properties, with prolonged use bay leaf leads to constipation;
  • bay leaf is forbidden with stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer, inflammatory processes in the intestine;
  • laurel can not be used in diseases of the kidneys, liver, urolithiasis.

The widespread use of bay leaves in cooking has led people to erroneous belief that this plant is completely safe. The laurel should be used solely for flavoring purposes and in small quantities.

If the bay leaf gets into the stomach, it can provoke poisoning. External application of bay leaves is used without restrictions.

Traditional medicine

Laurus is widely used by folk healers in the treatment of many diseases. Useful properties of plants help to forget forever about debilitating diseases. Before consuming bay leaf it is worth consulting with doctors, if they give "green light", then you can safely proceed to treatment.

  • Help with genyantritis .Take ten leaves of the laurel, finely smash them. Add one liter of cold water, boil for fifteen minutes over low heat. Over hot steam you need to breathe for about 5 minutes. To conduct a successful procedure, pour the broth into the basin and cover the head with a towel to create a "bath" effect. After this inhalation from the nose can go out pus. The procedure should be repeated if necessary.
  • Use of the laurel with bad breath from the mouth .Laurel sheets help with inflamed gums, stomatitis, leading to a bad smell. Take a small leaf and chew it for five minutes, then spit it out. The procedure should be performed several times a day until there is an improvement. Within an hour after chewing the laurel, one should refrain from eating and drinking.
  • Bay leaf for the treatment of joints .Laurel is able to dissolve salts and promote their removal from the body. Take 5 grams of the plant( about 30 leaves), fill them with 400 milliliters of boiling water, put in a thermos for 12 hours. Strain the resulting infusion and drink during the day in small sips. Treatment is carried out for three days. The course can be repeated no earlier than six months later. During therapy, you need to give up protein food, during this period, the food should be vegetarian. It is necessary to completely eliminate alcoholic beverages from the diet.
  • The Bay leaf helps fight with an unpleasant odor caused by excessive sweating of feet. For this it is necessary to make a special infusion: 30 - 35 leaves of the laurel fill with 250 milliliters of boiling water. Allow to stand for 3 hours. Add it to the foot bath. The procedure should be carried out every day for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • The Bay leaf contributes to the fight against colds of .Take a tablespoon of chopped laurel, pour half a liter of boiling water and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. The broth should be filtered and taken in half a glass twenty minutes before meals, in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. Such treatment will increase immunity and help to easily cope with the common cold.
  • Treatment of diabetes .Pour 10 leaves of bay leaf with a glass of boiling water. Place the resulting mixture in a thermos bottle, leave for 3 hours. Infusion should be taken three times a day for half an hour before meals. After 2 weeks, sugar in the blood should be normalized.
  • Use of laurel in the treatment of barley .Take three large leaves of the plant, grind them. Pour a glass of boiling water, leave for about 20 minutes. Drink the resulting tea during the day, every hour. The next morning the barley will come down.

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Usage for weight loss

Diuretic effect of leaves helps to get rid of excess weight. Essential oils contained in the plant help to remove excess fluid from the body and eliminate swelling. A large concentration of diuretics is capable of removing about 4 liters of unnecessary liquid, relieving the body of accumulated toxins.

You can consume the decoction for weight loss not longer than 3 days , so as not to cause dehydration. Prepare the infusion in the following way:

  • take a stick of cinnamon, throw it in a liter of boiling water. Then add 6 laurel leaves. Cook the spices on a small fire for 15-20 minutes. Take the resulting infusion should be before each meal. Dosage - 1 tablespoon.

During the reception of the decoction it is recommended to consume not more than 1500 kcal per day , which promotes the acceleration of metabolism and helps to reduce weight. Before using this method of weight loss is to consult with a doctor, because uncontrolled use of bay leaves can lead to negative consequences and health problems.

The Bay leaf can be of invaluable help to the body. At the same time, this plant has a number of contraindications. Uncontrolled use of laurels can lead to health problems. Before starting treatment it is worth to evaluate the possible benefits and harm of seasoning.