Scientifically known as Laurus nobilis, the true bay-leaf has a long list of remarkable health benefits. Not all bay leaves are the same! It is very important to use true bay leaves (Laurus nobilis). Native to the Mediterranean region, “Laurel” trees are where these leaves can be found containing such benefits as improving heart health, digestion, and nutrient intake, easing upset stomachs, reducing inflammation and stress hormones, providing natural protection from bacterial infections, eliminating bad cholesterol and even alleviating respiratory issues!
These simple yet powerful leaves date back thousands of years in culinary and medicinal practices and, of course, are still used today in almost all of my favorite soups!
How to use: Traditionally these leaves are inserted into a soup to produce flavor while all of the spices, vegetables, and juices marinate. I have friends who leave the bay leaves in the dish to get the flavor all the way until the last bite. Others like to keep them in a tea steeper to easily remove them before serving the dish.
The essential oil of bay leaves is a well-known component of aromatherapy for various conditions (particularly for the skin and respiratory health). The healing vapors and natural antibacterial qualities from the salves and dressings/compresses that are made with bay leaves help alleviate all kinds of issues with the respiratory system.
Fun hair tip: after steeping bay leaves in water, rub them on your scalp (right after you shampoo) to invigorate your hair follicles and get rid of dandruff.
Wishing you well,