Bay leaf is a commonly used herb in Asian cuisine. It hails from the Lauraceae family and is highly aromatic which is why it is popularly used to transform recipes. It is used as an ingredient in traditional medicines too.
Here are someof its health benefits that many people are unaware of:
Studies reveal that people who consumed bay leaves regularly, had lower blood sugar levels, than those who didn’t consume it at all. The compounds in bay leaf can help process insulin and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in the people of high-risk group.
Bay leaf contains rutin and caffeic acid, which help in lowering the cholesterol levels. This in turn leads to a reduction in the plaque formation in the heart vessels, preventing heart attacks.
Whether you suffer from constipation or bloating, bay leaf can help direct your digestion back to normal. It stimulates digestive juices and helps break down food easily. Its effect is clear in case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and even celiac disease.
Bay leaf has anti inflammatory properties which makes it helpful in reducing pain due to sprains, joint problems, and arthritis. A paste of ground bay leaves and castor oil can be used to relieve such pains by massaging it over the affected area. It can also help in treating a headache.
Studies show that bay leaf is helpful in destroying cancer cells and preventing the formation of new ones. It has phyto-nutrients and catechins which are responsible for its anti carcinogenic effects. Its effectiveness has been found in cases of breast cancer.
Bay leaf paste was used in ancient medicine to heal wounds and reduce scars, due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It prevents any further infection in the wound and quickens the recovery process.
Bay leaf also has shows clear effects on your respiratory system. It clears the airways and thus prevent common cold or a nasty cough. It helps unclog nasal airway in case of stuffy nose. To get the best results, boil 4-5 bay leaves in water and after letting it cool for a while, apply the lukewarm water on the chest using a washcloth.
Bay leaf has been researched on to find out that it actually helps reduce urease levels in our body. Urease levels when high, can cause a lot of problems like kidney stones, gastric trouble, etc.
If stress and anxiety don’t let you sleep properly, make a cup of bay leaf tea. It calms the nerves and has a relaxing effect on the brain. It helps induce sleep too, which is why it can be a great bedtime tea.
Bay leaf is loaded with hair-friendly compounds which can help those suffering from hair loss and dandruff. It is an ancient remedy for hair problems. You can use the water of boiled bay leaves to rinse your hair, or simply mix crushed bay leaves in coconut oil to make your own hair oil.