Bay leaf is easily available in every Indian kitchen. It is a spice that is used to enhance flavor and aroma in dishes. These leaves look somewhat like the leaves of Eucalyptus. You will be surprised to know that using it can prevent many physical ailments. There are many benefits of using this medicinal leaf in Ayurveda. Therefore, in this article of stylecrase, we are telling how bay leaf can be beneficial for your health. Also know the different ways of using it and some disadvantages.
Below is detailed information
Let us start the article and first of all know who is called bay leaf.
The scientific name of bay leaves is laurus nobilis. It is an aromatic leaf, which belongs to the Laurus family. It is being used in food and medicine for 1 thousand years. There are 2400 to 2500 species of bay leaves, most of which are found in East Asia, South and North America and Asia. This leaf contains tannins, flavones, flavonoids, alkaloids, eugenol, linalool and anthocyanin. The chemical components of all can vary by species. Two species of this leaf are commonly used in spices, essential oils and traditional medicine – Laurus azorica and L. nobilis. Bay leaf is used only after it dries. It also has many medicinal properties, which we will discuss in further detail in the article ( 1 ).
After knowing what is bay leaf, we will now talk about the benefits of eating bay leaf.
Benefits of bay leaf – benefits of bay leaf
1. Benefits of bay leaf for diabetes
Consumption of bay leaves can be beneficial for people struggling with diabetes. According to a study published on the website of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology), consumption of bay leaf capsules can improve insulin levels. This can reduce the amount of glucose in a person’s blood. During the research, patients suffering from type 2 diabetes were given capsules of bay leaf for 30 days. After 30 days, their reduction in serum glucose from 21% to 26% was observed. Also, an improvement in cholesterol profile was found. Based on this study, it can be said that consumption of bay leaves can reduce total cholesterol by 20 to 24% ( 2 ). Therefore, the benefits of eating bay leaves can be helpful in preventing diabetes.
2. Benefits of bay leaf for breathing system
The benefits of eating bay leaf include relieving respiratory problems such as cough, flu, bronchitis, asthma and influenza ( 1 ). Bay leaf extracts have anti inflammatory properties, so they can be considered helpful in reducing inflammation. It contains ethanol extract and some other compounds, which have anti inflammatory and analgesic effect. Due to these, bay leaf can protect against inflammation and respiratory diseases ( 3 ).
3. Useful for teeth
Bay leaves can also be beneficial for teeth. Scientific studies say that its twigs contain some volatile (easily vaporized at normal temperatures) oils, which can improve blood flow. It also contains tannins such as vitamin C, which can tighten gums tissue and keep them healthy ( 4 ). Also, brushing with ash made from bay leaves can make the gums strong ( 5 ). Bay leaves can also prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth. According to a study published on the NCBI website, bay leaf essential oil can fight against bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus found in the mouth ( 6 ).
4. Help in preventing cancer
Science has been continuously doing research on dangerous and fatal diseases like cancer, but the exact cure of this disease has yet to be found. Yes, it can be prevented by taking care of food and exercise regularly. Bay leaf is also one of the foods that help prevent cancer. It hinders the growth of cancer cells. This has been confirmed in a study available by NCBI. This study also states that bay leaf properties can prevent stomach cancer ( 7 ).
According to another study, bay leaf extracts have anti-cancer effects, which can inhibit breast cancer development. The antiproliferative (inhibiting cell proliferation) and cytotoxic (cytoplasmic) properties present in bay leaves may prevent breast cancer from growing ( 8 ). Therefore, it can be said that the benefits of eating bay leaves include cancer prevention.
5. Benefits of bay leaf in reducing inflammation
The benefits of bay leaves are also great for pain and inflammation. An Australian study has found that these leaves may inhibit the activity of an enzyme called COX-2. This enzyme can increase inflammation in the body ( 9 ) ( 10 ). In addition, the cineole present in this leaf may also act to fight inflammation ( 11 ).
6. Protect from fungal infection
Cassia is also rich in antifungal properties. It can work effectively against a yeast infection, specifically named Candida albicans. Therefore, essential oil of bay leaves can be used for skin fungal infections. This is confirmed by a scientific research available on the NCBI site ( 12 ).
7. Helps heal wounds
Bay leaves can help to heal the wound better. There is a scientific research on the NCBI website in this regard. According to this study, bay leaf extract can help in the development of connective tissue that helps in healing the wound. At the same time, fast leaf extract can also enhance complex chemical reactions such as hydroxyproline ( 1 ), which helps in healing the wound quickly ( 1 ).
8. Benefits of bay leaf in reducing weight
Benefits of eating bay leaf can also be taken to reduce weight. Bay leaf is one of the herbs that can control appetite. Therefore, after consuming it a person can avoid taking extra calories and keep the weight under control. At the moment, there is no scientific evidence to confirm this.
9. Avoiding Kidney Problems
Bay leaf extract is traditionally used to treat kidney and urinary stones. It can be effective in relaxing kidney muscles directly. It contains lauric acid, which can relieve kidney problems. Evidence of this fact comes from a medical research published by NCBI. Sankal herbal drops have been used during this research, which included a wide variety of herbs including bay leaves. Kidney health improved with the help of this drop ( 1 ).
10. Cholesterol and for the heart
Bay leaves can also be used to lower cholesterol levels. A research confirms that ethanol extracts obtained from bay leaves can be helpful in lowering cholesterol serum levels. This extract contains some phenolic compounds, which may be helpful in reducing bad cholesterol ie LDL due to its antioxidant activity. At the same time, the level of good cholesterol i.e. HDL increases. The health of the heart is also kept due to the control of cholesterol. On this basis, it can be said that consumption of bay leaves helps in maintaining the cholesterol and cardiovascular functioning ( 13 ) ( 14 ).
11. Benefits of Cassia for Skin
Bay leaves are very beneficial for the skin. Therefore, its essential oil is used in the cosmetic industry to make creams, perfumes and soaps. It can deeply cleanse the skin, as it has astringent properties. Also bay leaves can be used in skin rashes and protection from insects and mosquitoes ( 15 ).
Another research has also found bay leaves to be effective in reducing acne-causing inflammation. Therefore, use of bay leaves can be said to be beneficial for the skin ( 16 ).
12. Effective for hair
Bay leaves can be used for health and skin as well as hair. It can keep hair roots away from fungal and bacterial infections, as it is rich in anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Due to these properties, essential oil extracted from bay leaves is used in dandruff and psoriasis-protecting lotion ( 12 ), ( 17 ).
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Let us know in the next part of the article what nutritional elements are found in bay leaves.
Bay leaf nutritional value
It is also necessary to know the elements present in it before using bay leaf. Some of the important nutrients found in bay leaves are ( 18 ):
|NUTRIENTS||QUANTITY (PER 100 GRAMS)|
|vitamin C||46.5 mg|
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In the next part of the article, we know how to use bay leaves.
How to use bay leaf
Bay leaf can be used in many ways for a healthy body, know some of its better uses below:
- Bay leaf is a spice, so it can be used to enhance the flavor of dishes.
- It is used in spicy dishes like biryani, chicken or mutton curry and casserole.
- Bay leaves can also be added to sweet dishes like kheer.
- Many people also use bay leaf in black tea.
- For hair, you boil some bay leaves in a cup of water and after 15 minutes remove the leaves from the water. After cooling, apply water to the hair and scalp after shampooing. You can do this remedy by skipping one day for better results.
- Bay leaf oil can be used to relieve pain and inflammation. For this, apply a few drops of its oil to the affected area and massage it gently with hands.
- Boiling the bay leaves can be drunk for problems like colds and colds and digestion.
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Measures to preserve bay leaves for a long time have been described further.
How to preserve bay leaf for a long time?
Fresh bay leaves can be kept in a sealed zip plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. At the same time, store the dried bay leaves in a dry and air tight container. Bay leaves should never be kept in the open, because their fragrance in the open decreases quickly.
Side Effects of Bay Leaf
You have known the benefits of bay leaves, but consuming it in large quantities can also cause side effects, such as ( 1 ):
- There is not enough reliable information about the intake of bay leaves during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so be sure to ask your doctor before consuming it during pregnancy.
- This spice may affect the presence of sugar in the blood. Therefore, diabetic patients should consume it only on the advice of the doctor.
- These leaves may slow down the central nervous system (CNS) by reacting with anesthesia drugs. Therefore, stopping their intake at least 2 weeks before surgery may prove to be the right decision.
- Damage to bay leaves also includes allergies. Essential oil made from bay leaves can cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin ( 19 ).
In this article you have learned what the benefits of bay leaf and the disadvantages of bay leaf can be. From this article it can be concluded that eating bay leaf as a spice is beneficial. Many diseases can be avoided by its use. At the same time, if someone is seriously ill, then the doctor must be treated. Also, it needs to be kept in mind that if any side effects are seen during its regular use, then one should see a doctor immediately. For other interesting and informative information, definitely read other articles of StyleCrase.