What are the Benefits of Bay Leaf?


Bay leaf, known as the Mediterranean Bay in our country, gives flavor to the dishes. Bay leaf, which is also used for its medicinal effects, gives fragrance to fish, meat dishes and soups.

The laurel tree, named after the nymph daughter of the river god, is a plant known for its green leaves in all seasons. The most important feature of bay leaf is its unique smell and aroma. Due to its pungent smell, bay leaves, which are used especially in meat dishes and fish marinades, are also added to fish soup and pilafs. When turkey and chicken are boiled, they are placed at the bottom of the pot and get the meaty smell of chicken and turkey.

Bay leaf is also used for herbal treatment among people. Freshly collected bay leaves are boiled and used for body and hair washing. It is also boiled with yarrow and consumed as tea. An ointment is made with powdered bay leaf.

What are the Benefits of Bay Leaf?

  • Bay leaf tea , prepared with dried or fresh bay leaves, prevents indigestion and relaxes the stomach.
  • The antioxidant components in its content strengthen the body’s immune system. It supports the body’s fight against cold infections such as colds and flu. It has antipyretic properties and is good for headaches.
  • Bay leaf water used for hair nourishes the scalp and prevents dandruff by removing dead skin. How to apply bay leaf to hair? 1-2 bay leaves are added to 2 liters of water and after boiling and cooling, it is added to the last rinse water of the hair and washed.
  • Bay leaves are also used in skin care . How to apply bay leaf, which is very useful for the skin, to the skin? When the water prepared by boiling the bay leaf is used as a tonic on the skin, it prevents the formation of acne and reduces sunspots.
  • Bay leaves are dried and powdered and used on open wounds. It prevents the risk of infection of open wounds.
  • The most curious thing about bay leaf is the question of whether bay leaf weakens tea . Bay leaf tea has the feature of increasing metabolism as it is an antioxidant. For this reason, bay leaf helps weight loss diets.
  • The bay leaf soap prepared using bay leaves allows you to have a smooth skin.
  • You can get rid of mouth sores and aphthae by chewing the bay leaf in your mouth . You can prepare a mouthwash by boiling 2-3 bay leaves with 1 tea glass of vinegar for your toothache.

Burning a Bay Leaf: The Bay Leaf Ritual

  • Bay leaves have mood-enhancing properties. For this reason , it can be said that performing the bay leaf ritual from time to time increases motivation.
  • In ancient times, it was believed that burning a bay leaf, which was considered a symbol of hope, heroism and success, broke the spell.
  • Today, bay leaf is used as incense and relaxes with its refreshing effect . The reason for this relaxing and soothing effect of bay leaf is the volatile fatty acid called methyl ogenyl in its structure. When the dried bay leaf is burned, this volatile fatty acid covers the entire room, emits a wonderful smell and gives the body a calmness.

What Does Bay Leaf Do?

What is bay leaf good for, used in food and drunk as tea ?

  • Bay leaf helps to remove phlegm.
  • Due to its diuretic nature, it removes excess water accumulated in the body.
  • It is good for asthma-like respiratory ailments.
  • It has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
  • It moisturizes dry skin and prevents wrinkles.
  • It is good for bone and joint diseases and rheumatism.
  • It is used in the treatment of ear pain.
  • It is good for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • It is good for vision disorders and has a calming feature.
  • With its stomach-strengthening feature, it supports the treatment of ulcers and gastritis.
  • It helps maintain cardiovascular health.
  • It is good for back pain.
  • It is good for menstrual irregularity and toothache.

Where is Bay Leaf Used?

Since the benefits of bay leaf are known, it may be useful to give this medicinal plant more space in the kitchen. Apart from flavoring the food, bay leaf can also be brewed as tea.

  • Bay leaf is a sharp-smelling herb that is used for its aroma in dishes such as fish, salad and meat. Herbal cured bay leaves can also be used as tea.
  • In salads, you can add dried and spiced bay leaves to their dressings. How is bay leaf used in meat dishes? Bay leaves have a very sharp aroma. For this reason, it is recommended not to exceed 1-2 pieces and to be used as a whole when using it for meat dishes.
  • It should also be removed from the meal before serving.
  • Bay leaf is a plant that is beneficial as well as harmful. Excessive consumption of bay tea can damage the central nervous system and distract attention. For this reason, it is recommended not to use bay leaf tea while driving and during the daytime.

In Which Foods Is Bay Leaf Used? Recipes That Make A Difference

1) Unique Meeting of Bay Leaf with Sea Bream

Sea bream, which is among the most delicious sea fish, works wonders with onions, potatoes and bay leaves. Creating a completely different flavor with its distinctive sharp aroma, baked sea bream with bay leaves turns your tables into a feast.

2) The Laurel Flavor of Juicy Meatballs

Laurel-leaf juicy meatballs, which are appreciated by those who do not like the smell of meat, cheer up your dinners with its magnificent aroma and different taste. You can prepare juicy meatballs with laurel leaves for your guests and present your skills in the kitchen.

3) Create Wonders in the Kitchen with Bay Leaf Sauce

With a touch of bay leaf, you can create wonders for pasta, fries and breakfasts. A few leaves of laurel, which you can add to the mixture of tomatoes, garlic and liquid, will add your signature to delicious flavors.

What is Bay Leaf? What Symbols?

  • The bay tree, which grows especially in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Black Sea and Marmara coastal regions in our country, can grow up to 6-8 meters. The laurel plant, which has a round-topped structure, is densely branched. Bay leaves are 8-10 centimeters long, oval, hard structure, wavy edges, bright and alternately arranged on the upper surface, dark green in color.
  • Bay leaves mean immortality because they stay green in summer and winter . Mythologically, it symbolizes Apollo. In Greek mythology, Apollo, who fell in love with Daphni, tried to catch Daphni when he could not find her love back, and just as he was about to catch her, Daphni’s father turned her into a laurel tree.
  • Apollo dedicates the laurel tree to victory, poetry and songs. The reason why the crowns decorated with laurel trees are given in the Olympics is that the competitions are held in honor of Apollo.

When Are Bay Leaves Collected?

  • The bay leaf tree , which attracts attention with its green leaves in all seasons , is a plant that never leaves its leaves in summer and winter. All types of laurel propagated by stem cuttings are poisonous except the Mediterranean variety.
  • Since it does not shed its leaves in any season, its leaves can be collected at any time.
  • However, the period when the unique aroma of the bay leaf is highest is the period between May and October. The essential fatty acids in the bay leaves collected during this period are much more effective and the benefits of the bay leaf are at the highest level during this period.
  • It is necessary to properly dry the collected leaves and store them correctly . Bay leaf oil is obtained by boiling the collected bay leaves .

How to Dry Bay Leaf?

  • Bay leaf export is important for our country, which has 80% of all bay leaf production in the world . Bay leaves must be dried properly in order to preserve their aroma and health benefits.
  • The collected bay leaves should never be dried in a way that will be exposed to direct sunlight. Sunlight causes damage to the beneficial essential fatty acids of laurel. Drying should be carried out in a moisture-free, ventilated place or in ovens. In addition, bay leaves should not be dried too much on top of each other.
  • Bay leaf, which is used to make tea or spices by drying in the oven, is dried in three different ways: belt dryer, room dryer and tray dryer.
  • The bay leaf, which can be dried with or without branches, decreases to one quarter of its fresh weight after drying.

How to Store Bay Leaf?

  • The bay leaf, which should be kept away from sunlight and moisture during storage as well as in the drying process, loses all its properties if not preserved well.
  • The best way to store bay leaves is to place them in a dark glass jar in an airtight way. When you store it in a cool and sun-free place, it preserves its freshness like the first day. Bay leaves have a shelf life of one year under proper storage conditions.

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