If you have not taking bay leaf tea before, you may want to do so after reading through this article. But then, what is bay leaf?
Bay leaf or Turkish laurel (Laurus nobilis) is an industrial plant that has found a wide range of usage, from flavoring foods to pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, due to its wide range of applications.
The plant grows well in tropical and subtropical regions of America, Europe, Arabia and some parts of Africa. It can grow wide or be actively cultivated. When it grows wild, it can reach between 12 and 15 meters.
The leaf is strong and leathery. When crushed, bay leaves release the sweet aroma which it has been known for.
Bay leaf was so important in the Greek culture that it was made into a wreath for crowning winners of ancient Greek games. And it is also considered to be one of the oldest cultivated trees.
What are the nutritional values of Bay leaf tea?
Bay leaf is to possess high vitamin A, vitamin C, small amount of protein, carbohydrates, trace amount of fats and essential oil.
Mineral composition of bay leaf
Bay leaves possess certain minerals like:
What are the chemical compositions of bay leaf?
Phytochemical composition of bay leaves
The leaves of laurus nobilis is highly enriched with a wide range of polyphenolic compounds, tannins saponins. Some of the bioactive compounds are listed below:
- Garlic acid
- Vanillic acid
- Rosmarinic acid
- Caffeic acid
- Ferulic acid
- Coumaric acid
- Coumaric acid hexoside
These are however not an extensive list of all the bioactive compounds present in bay leaves. Some of the others not listed may be mentioned in this article as we go further. So come with me.
Health Benefits Of Bay Leaf Tea.
Bay leaf tea may improve sore eyes and night blindness
In traditional medicines, the juice of bay leaves is being used to treat sour eyes and night blindness. This is because the leaves are rich in vitamin A. Sour eyes and night blindness are usually caused by deficiency of vitamin A. So, when you drink a cup of bay leaf tea you enrich your body with the essential A vitamin, and therefore, reduces the chances of developing sour eyes or night blindness.
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May enhance wound healing
Another pharmacological application of bay leaves is in the healing of wounds. The antibacterial properties of the leaves ensure that there is no invasion of infection on the wound surface. As you well know, infection usually prolongs wound healing.
In a study that compared the wound healing properties of bay leaves to that of Allamanda, animals treated with bay leaf were found to have a reasonably high rate of wound contraction, hydroxyproline content, and weight of granulation tissue.
Bay leaf–treated animals also showed a higher number of inflammatory cells and less collagen compared with the animals that were treated with Allamanda cathartica.
May be useful in treating convulsion
The leaves of Laurus nobilis possess certain anticonvulsant essential oil such as eugenol, pinene and methyleugenol. These essential oils may also be beneficial for the treatment of epilepsy, and drinking a cup of hot bay lay tea may be just as good to your body.
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May protect your liver and kidney
The tea of bay leaf has the potential to protect your liver and kidney from oxidative and toxic damages. This is demonstrated in a research study conducted on the effect of bay leaf aqueous extract on the toxic effect of Aluminum on hepatic and kidney cells.
In the study, bay leaf extracts significantly reduces the plasma levels of AST, ALT, and ALP, showing its ability to protect your kidney and liver from food poisoning and toxicity.
May treat gastrointestinal diseases
The decoction and tea of bay leaf have been employed in traditional medicine to treat several gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating and flatulent. This may be, among the several bioactive compounds, due to the high fiber content of the laurus nobilis leaves.
Bay Leaf Tea May Be Effective Against Ulcer
Like cabbage juice, bay leaf tea has been proved to be effective in managing and treating gastric ulcer. This property of bay leaf may be due to the presence of flavonoids and their derivatives. So whenever you feel gastric complication or disturbances, a warm cup of bay leaf tea may just be the best home remedy to solve the problem.
But if you want to treat gastric ulcer, i would suggest you take a cup of the tea first thing in the morning, before breakfast, for a week or two depending on the severity of the ulcer. Also, alternating it with cabbage juice would speed up your healing processes.
May Boost Your Immune Immunity
The leaves of laurus nobilis is richly endowed with several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which boost your immune systems and suppress autoimmune diseases. It is well known that oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines are the major factors contributing to several disease conditions.
Free radicals released from oxidative stress can attack the pancreas and induce diabetes by destruction of the beta cells and suppression of insulin secretion. They can attack the liver cells, in which case one develops hepatic diseases. When they attack a man’s testicular cells, it can result in low sperm count and impotency.
Inflammatory cytokines cause such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis and skin edema.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant bioactive compounds in bay leaves make the tea a good home remedy for everyone, and you should plan to make it a regular drink.
May Fight Against Fungal Infection
The essential oil of bay leaf possesses significant inhibitory effect on fungal infection such as candidiasis. The antifungal property of bay leaf may be due to the presence of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in its chemical composition.
Studies have suggested that the essential oil may affect the cell wall biosynthesis and membrane permeability. These may have deleterious effect against candid albicans.
In another study however, the antifungal properties of bay leaf extract was highest in ethanolic extract while aqueous extract showed least growth inhibitory activity. This means that in order to use bay leaf to treat fungal infection, one must make a decoction in ethanolic solution.
Improves Depression And Anxiety
Aside the ability to improve cognition and restore night blindness, bay leaves also exhibit antidepressant agents that improve mental health and give your body a calming and relaxation feeling.
May Be Beneficial For Maintaining You Body Weight
Bay leaf tea has the ability to lower your blood glucose levels and maintain a balanced weight. This has scientific backing, as a study conducted on the effect of bay leaves on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetic rats show a significant lowering blood glucose levels.
May Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
Several studies have also shown that bay leaf tea may be extremely beneficial for diabetic and obese patients. This is because bay leaf tea can significantly lower blood total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL levels, but greatly increase HDL cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol which keeps our hearts healthy and protected from atherosclerosis.
May Prevent Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you find it difficult to sleep; and if eventually you fell asleep, would not stay asleep for long before waking up. when your awake, it is difficult to fall asleep again. Luckily, bay leaf tea possess substances that calm your nerves and make you sleep deeper and longer with the feeling of wholeness when you wake up.
Next time when you find it difficult to fall asleep, drink a cup of bay leaf tea. You surely would enjoy good night rest.
Best Bay Leaf Tea Recipe
- 5 bay dry leaves
- 2 cups of clean water
- Soursop leaves
- Boil the 2 cups of water in a clean pot
- Add the bay leaves and, if desired, any of or all the optional ingredients
- Cover pot with the lid and allow to boil for 5 minutes
- At this point, reduce the heat and allow to steep for another 10 minutes for proper extraction of active compounds
- Strain the ingredients from the tea and add honey to taste Serve hot or warm in a tea cup.
Nayak S., Nalabothu P., Sandiford S., Bhogadi V., Adogwa A. Evaluation of wound healing activity of Allamanda cathartica. L. and Laurus nobilis. L. extracts on rats. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2006;6:1. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
Sayyah M., Valizadeh J., Kamalinejad M. Anticonvulsant activity of the leaf essential oil of Laurus nobilis against pentylenetetrazole-and maximal electroshock-induced seizures. Phytomedicine. 2002;9:212–216. [PubMed]
Marza Hamza, N., Malik Yasir, S., & Abdulsajjad M Hussain, K. (2021). Biological Effects of Aqueous Extract of Laurus noboilis L. Leaves on Some Histological and Immunological Parameters in Male Rat Liver Affected by Aluminum Chloride. Archives of Razi Institute, 76(6), 1745–1753.
Speroni, Ester & Cervellati, Rinaldo & Dall’Acqua, Stefano & Guerra, Maria & Greco, Emanuela & Govoni, Paolo & Innocenti, Gabbriella. (2011). Gastroprotective Effect and Antioxidant Properties of Different Laurus nobilis L. Leaf Extracts. Journal of medicinal food. 14. 499-504. 10.1089/jmf.2010.0084.
Rizwana, Humaira & Kubaisi, Noorah & Al-Meghailaith, Nadeen & Moubayed, Nadine & Albasher, Gadah. (2019). Evaluation of Chemical Composition, Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Cytotoxic Activity of Laurus nobilis L Grown in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology. 13. 2073-2085. 10.22207/JPAM.13.4.19.
Khan, A., Zaman, G., & Anderson, R. A. (2009). Bay leaves improve glucose and lipid profile of people with type 2 diabetes. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 44(1), 52–56. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.08-188
The bay leaf looks like roseamary leaf and your description got me confused, thinking that you were referring to rosemary leaf.
How do I differentiate between the two when I see them in the market?
Thank you, Beybe. Bay leaf is actually different from rosemary plant. However, rosemary is beneficial, health wise.
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