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Useful properties of bay leaves

Bay leaves (luarus nobilis), a popular spice with an incomparable Mediterranean aroma, is the collected and well-dried leaves of the noble laurel.

Surely in your kitchen there are several fragrant bay leaves. Soups, stews and sauces - almost every dish will taste better if you add a little healthy bay leaves to it.


1 Nutritional value

2 Healing properties

Against infections and sweating

Prevention of diabetes and heart disease

Wound healing properties

3 Precautions

The nutritional value of bay leaves

1 tbsp. of bay leaves contains approximately 111 conventional units of vitamin A, 3 µg of folate, 0.8 mg of vitamin C, 0.03 mg of niacin, 15 mg of calcium, 10 mg of potassium, 2 mg of phosphorus and magnesium, and 0.77 mg of iron.

As for calories, there are especially few of them in the bay leaves, that is, only 6 calories in 1 tbsp., according to the US National Agricultural Library. By itself, bay leaves do not contain cholesterol and sodium.

There are really quite a lot of carbohydrates in the bay leaves, or 1.35 g in 1 tbsp. This, without a doubt, dietary product contains a little vegetable fiber (about 0.5 g) and protein (about 0.14 g).

Healing properties of bay leaves

In addition to the undoubted culinary value of bay leaves, the beneficial properties of this seasoning also deserve attention. Especially worth noting is the use of bay leaves for the treatment of headaches and migraines, as a pain reliever, to combat indigestion.

Despite the fact that most of the beneficial qualities of the bay leaves until today were exclusively in the competence of alternative medicine, official science has finally found the time and means to confirm or refute the exceptional healing power of the bay leaves.

Bay leaves against infections and sweating

Bay leaves, and in particular a decoction based on them, have been used in folk medicine for many centuries. Firstly, a decoction of bay leaves was a diuretic and emetic. And the astringent components of this seasoning, which is very popular in the world, endowed it with the strength to fight various kinds of infections. Bay leaves relieve excessive sweating, which is so characteristic for patients with the flu or colds.

Bay leaves
Bay leaves

Bay leaves for prevention of diabetes and heart disease

In 2009, the Journal of Clinical and Nutritional Biochemistry featured an article reviewing two studies on the effects of bay leaves on blood sugar levels and effects on patients with type II diabetes. Participants of the experiment received from 1 to 3 g of extract of laurel nobilis daily for 30 days. Surprising results were obtained: in all experimental patients, there was a decrease in blood glucose, as well as cholesterol and triglycerides.

Since having diabetes increases your risk of developing any kind of heart disease, successfully addressing the underlying cause has the big bonus of a healthy heart. From this point of view, the bay leaves is just an ideal companion, because it not only normalizes the production and acceptance of insulin by the body. It also improves markers of heart health.

Wound healing properties of bay leaves

In the science of treating the body with herbs, the bay leaves occupies an honorable place already due to the fact that it has excellent wound healing properties. Modern medicine has only confirmed what folk wisdom has known for a long time. In 2006, an experiment on rats was covered in the journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Laboratory animals given 200 mg of bay leaf extract per kg of body weight showed accelerated wound healing within 10 days.

And only in 2011, the origins of the wound-healing properties of the bay leaves were revealed in the journal Natural Products Research. As it turned out, its extract contains active substances that are effective against many pathogenic organisms (Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic streptococcus, aspergillus and candida albicans).

Precautionary measures

In nature, there are several varieties of bay leaves, but you can eat the leaves of only one plant - the noble laurel.

According to the American Herbal Society, true bay leaves are easily confused with California bay leaves, which are extremely dangerous to the central nervous system and can cause respiratory problems.


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