Bay Laurel – Laurus nobilis

Bay Laurel
Bay Laurel

This native of the Mediterranean shores is an evergreen tree or large bush that is very aromatic. The volatile oil is used in perfumery with a spicy, powerful aroma which is usually thought of as masculine. It is used in body care products such as shampoos, soaps, and body lotions. Never use directly on the skin without first cutting it with a good quality carrier oil like olive oil.

Probably the best known use of the Bay leaf is in cooking. It is often used in soups, stews, meant, seafood and vegetables dishes. The leaf itself is not eaten, and often removed from the dish before serving.

Bay leaves have been used to relieve conditions of the respiratory tract, pain, digestion and works as a wound healer. The berries have been used to cause abortions!

The English and the Italians believed that Bay leaves could ward off evil and bring good luck. An old superstition states that should a bay tree die a city will fall!

To prevent pests from infesting stored dried goods, add a sprig of bay to its storage container! It can be added to oatmeal, flour, grains, beans, and dried fruits. Due to being so highly aromatic it acts as an insecticide. In the days of herbs being strewn on the floor (for both insecticide and aroma improvement) Bay was added!  Bay leaves were set before the doors of Greek homes. For protection from thunderstorms the Emperor Tiberius wore a wreath of Bay leaves on his head.

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