The most impressive health benefits of bay leaves include their probable anti-cancer properties, ability to detoxify the body and protect it from bacterial infections, slows the aging process, speeds wound healing and helps in managing diabetes. They also help improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues and optimize digestion.
Using bay leaves include grinding the leaves into a spice to flavor soups and stews but they are most commonly added in their whole form as a flavoring for certain Italian dishes and are then removed or used as a garnish. Whole leaves are not commonly consumed. There is no extensive range of culinary application for bay leaves, although extracts of these leaves have numerous medical uses. These leaves are also a popular element in aromatherapy and herbal treatments for various skin and respiratory conditions.
When the essential oil of bay leaves is extracted, it can be mixed into a salve and applied to the chest to help alleviate various respiratory conditions. This can also be achieved with a poultice made of the leaves. Spread it on the chest and allow it to remain overnight. Inhaling the vapor has a similar effect to aromatherapy and can loosen up phlegm and eliminate dangerous bacteria that may be trapped in your respiratory tracts, thanks to its natural antibacterial quality.
If you want to improve the health of your hair follicles and eliminate dandruff, steep bay leaves in water and then rub them on your scalp after shampooing. The chemicals and volatile ingredients in them can help eliminate dry skin and dandruff.
Linalool is often associated with thyme and basil, but it is also present in bay leaves and can help lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy. Excess stress hormones can be dangerous for long-term health, so bay leaves can help you calm down and remain relaxed even in your high-anxiety moments.
Note: “bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all of the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the laurel tree.
Magical uses: Bay leaves can be used to increase psychic awareness. Sleeping with a bay leaf under your pillow can cause prophetic dreams. Burning a leaf as incense to promote visions. Write a wish/question on your bay leaf & then burn it, conveying it to the spirit realm. If the leaf crackles & burns brightly then the outcome will be positive. If the leaf refuses to burn or smokes, then the outcome is negative. Carry bay leaves on your person to ward off evil.