The ancient Greeks washed their hands with food before the meal. They also invented decorating the winners of the competition and the heroes of military operations with wreaths of laurel leaves. Now bay leaves are used in cooking, classical and traditional medicine, in the chemical industry and in cosmetology.
Under the spice "bay leaf" means the leaves of laurel noble - a tree growing in latitudes with a subtropical climate. Homeland laurel - the Mediterranean.
Collection and harvesting of bay leaves
Dried bay leaves can be found at any grocery store, grown at home or collected. The recommended collection period is from mid-November to mid-February. Healthy leaves of laurel have a dark green shade, without stains and damage, emit a strong smell.
After harvesting, bay leaves are dried in natural conditions for 5-10 days or artificially. Drying temperature should not exceed 40 ° C. Store dry leaves in a glass container with a lid, putting in a cool and dark place. It will save healthy properties and flavor. The shelf life of dried bay leaves is 1 year.
Bay leaf use
The chemical composition of bay leaves is rich in elements of natural origin. On the basis of the plant, broths, infusions, extracts are prepared and the essential oil is extracted.
Bay leaf contains phytosterol, linalool, essential oil, tannins, camphor and acids - formic, caproic, butyric, lauric, acetic. The composition includes many useful compounds:
- fats, proteins and carbohydrates,
- vitamins of groups A, B, C, PP,
- macro-and microelements: magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium, iron, manganese and potassium.
Due to this amount of biologically active substances, bay leaf is used in the pharmaceutical industry to combat ailments.
It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
Bay leaf - a natural antiseptic, which has anti-inflammatory properties and produces an analgesic effect. Its water infusion is taken in the treatment of oral diseases, pustular diseases of the skin and mucous membranes, for the disinfection of abrasions or wounds. Antiseptic effect is provided by formic and caproic acids, camphor and tannins, which are present in the bay leaf.
Bay leaf is useful for those who suffer from insomnia or increased irritability, nervous irritability. The smell of bay leaf or bathing with the use of broth gently affect the human nervous system. Sedation is due to linalool.
Strengthens immunity, fights flu and cold
A decoction of the leaves helps to cope with a viral infection in the body, strengthen the immune system during the period of seasonal diseases. The tool is effective only in complex therapy. For this useful property bay leaf is obliged to lauric acid.
It has a diuretic effect, helps in losing weight.
A decoction of bay leaves removes stagnant fluid from the body. Having got rid of it, the person will feel more comfortable, including physically: a couple of extra pounds will go away with the liquid. The effect is achieved due to the presence in the bay leaf of essential oils and butyric acid, activating metabolic processes in the body. Fast metabolism plays a major role in the fight against obesity.
Removes excess salt from the joints.
Since salt deposits provoke pains in the joints, salt should be removed. Treatment with laurel broth is carried out under a diet for 6 days, with a short break after 3 days. A similar treatment method is used for rheumatic diseases.
Improves the condition of the skin of the face and hair
Due to the rich complex of macro-and micronutrients that make up Lavrushka, it is used to combat skin problems - acne, oily shine, enlarged pores, and weakened hair - dull color, brittleness. A decoction of bay leaves is recommended to wipe areas with acne. To achieve shine and strengthen hair helps infusion of laurel leaves. Toning masks with bay leaf extract are in great demand among women.
Treats fungal skin diseases
Infusion of bay leaves rubbed affected fungus foot, with excessive sweating, severe itching and burning. Infusion soothes damaged skin of the feet, eliminates unpleasant odor, dries the skin and resists viral infections.
Prevents the development of diabetes
Laurel infusions can be recommended for this disease as an adjuvant. It will help reduce blood glucose and normalize carbohydrate balance. Note that such treatment is advisable to carry out only at the initial stage of diabetes and after consultation with a specialist.
Eliminates bad breath
Expect a result here, if the unpleasant smell is caused by a bacterial infection of the oral cavity - stomatitis, gingivitis and bleeding gums. Water infusion of laurel has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action, which contributes to the destruction of harmful bacteria.
Eases nasopharyngeal disease
The antimicrobial and antibiotic action of acids, the “expectorant” property of camphor, have a positive effect on the course of respiratory diseases - throat cancer, sinusitis and dry cough. Thanks to the active action of bay leaf chemicals, recovery is faster.
A good metabolism contributes to a comfortable digestion, which is important for a person suffering from stomach problems. The butyric acid contained in the bay leaf has a protective effect on the large intestine, protecting it from the effects of toxins. It also acts as a catalyst for metabolic processes. The pungent smell of dried bay leaves increases the appetite, even if a person is picky or eats poorly.
A decoction of laurel leaves will help to cope with weak dysentery, since it contains components that cause "fixation" of liquid stool.
Lowers blood pressure
The infusion of bay leaf reduces the numbers on the tonometer if the blood pressure has increased slightly. Be careful, because camphor, which is part of the laurel, increases blood pressure and heart rate.
Reduces allergic reaction
Bay leaf helps with acute or chronic allergies. Take a spice-based water infusion. The tool neutralizes the negative reaction to the allergen and relieves the symptoms of the disease.
Accelerates the onset of menstruation
If a woman is faced with a slight delay of menstruation - less than 10 days, and is sure that she is not pregnant, then you can take a bay leaf decoction. Concentrated drink on the basis of bay leaves will cause a uterus to contract and cause bleeding. You will accelerate the onset of "critical days."
Bay leaf damage
In addition to the positive impact on the human condition, bay leaf can have a negative effect. The risk group includes those who self-medicate and take laurel drugs without the appointment of a specialist. Pharmaceutical hazard bay leaf carries, if it is taken in large doses, without complying with special conditions. Non-systemic intake of spices can cause constipation or cause poisoning. To prevent this, follow the recommendations.
There are categories of people who are not allowed to be treated with bay leaf due to their chemical composition.
Pregnancy and lactation
The use of bay leaf decoction causes uterine contraction and increases its muscle tone. This can lead to miscarriage or abnormal development of the fetus in a pregnant woman. It is forbidden to use a decoction of bay leaf nursing mothers.
Obstruction of the intestine, gastric and duodenal ulcer
Serious diseases require a special diet and medication. Many medicines are poorly combined with bay leaf substances. Broths and infusions of plants can aggravate the course of pathologies.
Addiction to constipation
Acceptance of water infusion of bay leaf even in acceptable doses can cause constipation. To avoid this, it is recommended to use a lot of coarse fiber and water during treatment.
Since there are substances in the bay leaf that can increase or decrease blood pressure and have a cardiac stimulating effect, you should carefully take decoctions based on it.
Acute Liver and Kidney Diseases
During the period of exacerbation, it is forbidden to prescribe treatment with bay leaf, as this may worsen the condition and lead to irreversible consequences. The property of bay leaves to remove fluid from the body can trigger the movement of kidney stones.
The benefit of the bay leaf will bring only diabetics who have an early stage of the disease. In severe diabetes mellitus, decoction and bay leaf infusions are contraindicated.
Bay leaf can cure allergies, and may cause it. If you are prone to allergic reactions or suspect that you have intolerance to the components of bay leaf, then refuse to accept funds based on it.
If you do not have these diseases, and your doctor approves the use of laurel spice for medicinal purposes, then it will not pose a danger.
Properties of bay leaf
Bay leaf has a large number of properties that allow it to be used in different areas. Recipes decoctions and infusions of bay leaf will help to conduct an effective treatment.
Lowers blood sugar
Reduce the amount of sugar in the body will help decoction of bay leaf.
- Put 15 leaves of laurel in a small saucepan, add 1.5 cups of cool water.
- Bring to a boil, cook over high heat for 5 minutes.
- Pour broth into a thermos and let it brew for 3-4 hours and strain.
The drug must be taken during the day in portions of 50 ml so as to drink a thermos per day. Repeat the procedure for the next two days, and then take a two-week break. The course of treatment can be repeated.
It has antimicrobial and healing effects.
To disinfect the affected area of skin, wipe it with a decoction of bay leaf according to the recipe above. If it is a deep cut or wide open wound, then wipe around the affected area.
Helps to lose weight
Those who dream of a slim figure will be helped by decoction of bay leaf.
- Boil 1 liter of water in a saucepan, put a stick or a pinch of cinnamon powder and five bay leaves there.
- Boil 15 minutes and let cool under the lid.
Take one glass a day for the next three days.
Do not drink alcohol during the course! The result is guaranteed only in an integrated approach to combat obesity - proper nutrition and physical activity.
Increases the body's resistance to viruses and infections
To combat seasonal diseases, make a decoction of bay leaves according to the recipe above. You should change the number of leaves for the decoction and method of administration. Use no more than 10 pieces. For preventive purposes, take a decoction of 1 tbsp. 3 times a day before meals for 7 days.
Relieves rheumatic and gouty pains
If you have problems with joints and bones, an ointment based on bay leaf will help you, which can be prepared by yourself.
- Crush the bay leaf to fine grains or gruel. Take the butter and soften it. The ratio of the proportions of bay leaf and oil is 1: 2.
- Mix the ingredients, put in a water bath and heat for 30 minutes over low heat.
- Let cool.
Apply the finished ointment daily on the affected areas, preferably at bedtime. Store in the refrigerator for no longer than a month.
The effect of the procedure will be subject to a special diet and doctor's recommendations.
Positively affects the condition of hair and skin.
To clean and refresh the skin of the face, prepare a toning lotion.
- Fill 15-20 leaves with 100 ml of water and boil for 3 minutes.
- Leave the decoction for 1 hour and strain.
- Wipe face, neck and décolleté with lotion.
Store laurel lotion in the fridge for a month.
To strengthen the hair, you can make and apply a mask with bay leaf extract. It will take 2 tbsp. ground laurel leaves and 2 tbsp. light honey. Gruel pour boiling water, leave for 1 hour and add honey. Mass apply to hair, excluding the tips, and cover with a towel. Soak the mask for an hour and wash it off with shampoo.
Helps with neurosis and restless sleep
If you or your child do not sleep well or are often irritated, rub the bay leaf between your fingers and inhale the scent. Try to take a bath with a decoction of bay leaf. Cook 10 leaves of laurel in a liter of water for about 30 minutes, cool and add to the bath. The procedure is suitable for a small child, but consult a pediatrician.
Another option is to collect 10 leaves of laurel in a mesh bag and put it at the head of the bed before sleeping, to feel a pleasant relaxing smell and sleep well.
Whets the appetite
Who is difficult to force yourself to eat, it is recommended laurel infusion. Select 10 dry whole or crushed leaves, pour 300 ml of boiling water and leave in a thermos for 1 hour. Drink 150 ml of bay infusion before large meals.
Slows or prevents the development of dangerous diseases
Such diseases include cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis. For prevention, take an infusion of bay leaf. Boil 2 glasses of water, then add 15 leaves and boil for 5 minutes over high heat. Pour the infusion into a thermos and let it brew for 3-4 hours, then strain. During the day, drink the prepared infusion. The course of treatment is 3 days.
Promotes removal of toxins and slags, excess fluid
If you suffer from swelling and excess urine in the body, try this decoction. 3 sheets of laurel pour 300 ml of water, boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cool and strain. Take 1 tbsp. 15 minutes before meals 3 times a day. Reception duration - 3 days.
The sharp smell of fresh bay leaves will scare away annoying mosquitoes, black flies and cockroaches. Prepare a laurel infusion according to the recipe above, pour into a wide plate or bowl and place in a room where there are insects. Evaporating liquid will fill the room with aroma. This is an effective way to sanitize the place where the patient is. Essential oil of bay leaf is suitable for this purpose.
The magical power of bay leaf
In the Middle Ages, the laurel was a symbol of good and good luck, so it was used in rites and rituals. People believed that bay leaves bring good luck, well-being, health and contribute to the fulfillment of desires.
And nowadays, many turn to this southern tree for help, relying on its magical and useful properties.
Description of the noble laurel
We describe the main characteristics of the laurel - the source of popular laurel leaves:
- Area. Laurel originates from the Mediterranean, but over the centuries-old existence on the planet this plant has spread to other continents. Now it grows in the countries of Latin America, in Turkey, in the Caucasus, in the Crimea and other regions.
External characteristics. This shrub can grow up to 17-20 meters in height. His crown is very thick, with a large number of green leaves, the length of which varies from 6 to 20 centimeters. During the flowering period, inflorescences appear on the branches, on which small flowers of yellow color are located.
The chemical composition of bay leaf
The leaves of laurel deserve great popularity due to the rich complex of useful substances. The composition of the bay leaf includes some valuable acids for the body. Let's take a few of them as an example:
- Formic acid. It is an antibacterial agent, prevents the processes of decay, therefore it is used as a food preservative of natural origin.
Butyric acid. It has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory effects, promotes the growth of intestinal villi, improves the absorption of nutrients in the stomach. Neutralizes the negative effects of viruses and bacteria.
Caloric content of 100 g of bay leaves is quite high and amounts to 310-315 kcal.
The composition of organic compounds:
- Carbohydrates - 48-49 g,
- Fat - 8.3-8.6 g,
- Proteins - 7.3-7.7 g,
- Ash substances - 0.01 g,
- Water - 0, 1 g.
Vitamin composition is as follows:
- Vitamin C - 46-47 mg,
- Vitamin PP - 1.8-2 mg,
- Vitamin B6 - 1.7-1.75 mg,
- Vitamin B2 - 0.41-0.43 mg
- Vitamin B1 - 0.01 mg,
- Vitamin A - 300-31 mcg,
- Vitamin B9 - 175-180 mcg.
The list of the mineral substances included by the nature in structure of laurel leaves:
- Calcium - 830-835 mg,
- Potassium - 525-530 mg,
- Magnesium - 120-125 mg,
- Phosphorus - 110-115 mg,
- Iron - 42-44 mg,
- Sodium - 22-25 mg,
- Manganese - 8.1-8.2 mg,
- Zinc - 3.5-3.8 mg,
- Copper - 416 mcg
- Selenium - 2.5-3 μg.
Bay leaf includes essential oil, its content varies from 3 to 5.5% of the total mass. В свою очередь масло лаврового листа содержит такие ароматические компоненты, как лимонен, мирцен, линалоол, камфору, цинеол и другие.
Полезные свойства Lаurus nоbilis
Невозможно обойти стороной перечень лечебных свойств лаврового листа, т.к. их активно использовали еще наши древние предки. With the development of technology, science, the frequency of using bay leaves as a therapeutic agent has decreased, because the market is filled with pharmaceuticals with a similar effect. But still a large number of people resort to the help of this plant.
We describe the main properties of bay leaf, which are useful for the human body:
- Anti-cancer effect. Funds with bay leaf block the development of cancer cells.
Cleansing property. It activates the process of removing toxins and salts from the body. Stimulates the removal of excess fluid, therefore, has anti-edema properties, helps to reduce blood pressure in the arteries.
It is also known antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, wound-healing property of bay leaf. In addition, laurel infusions relieve insomnia, improve digestion, increase appetite, lower blood sugar levels, and suppress the viability of the tubercle bacillus.
Indications for use of laurel drugs: hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, arthrosis, stomatitis, gingivitis, fever, colic, nervous disorders, cancer, mild diabetes.
Contraindications to the use of laurel infusions
The use of laurel as a spice is practically harmless, since his doses are very small in the dishes. Therefore, the use in cooking is limited only by the presence of individual intolerance.
As part of traditional medicine, laurel leaves are considered to be quite a strong remedy for treating many ailments. But it should be remembered that their excessive use has a negative effect on the body.
In particular, medicinal decoctions, infusions are contraindicated for pregnant women, because The complex of substances of this plant stimulates the contraction of the muscles of the uterus, which can lead to an increased tone, miscarriage, or irreversible damage to the fetus.
Other bay leaf contraindications: protein metabolism disorder (amyloidosis), severe diabetes mellitus, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, constipation, bleeding tendency, renal failure (acute or chronic), acute kidney disease, heart disease.
While undergoing treatment with laurel products, avoid alcohol. It is also worth minimizing or completely eliminating the consumption of meat and heavy food.
To exclude the likelihood of side effects or poisoning of the body, as well as to assess the risks in relation to the potential benefits, it is worth visiting the doctor for a preliminary consultation.
In order not to feel the harm of bay leaf, do not exceed the doses of this plant described in folk recipes, as well as the recommended frequency of administration.
The use of bay leaf in cooking
Most likely, there is no such person in the world who does not know about such a spice as bay leaf. After all, it is used in almost all countries on the planet as an aromatic additive to various dishes.
Features of the application of bay leaves cooks:
- The combination of laurel leaves with other spices, such as cloves, sage, rosemary, dill, thyme, parsley, adds a special piquancy to dishes.
In the best way, the taste and aroma of laurel is revealed in sauces, dips, sour dishes. Bay leaf complements the recipes for cooking meat, fish, vegetables.
In order for the aroma to open up to the maximum, laurel is placed in the first dishes 5 minutes before the end of cooking, in second dishes the heat treatment can be longer - up to 10 minutes. It is not recommended to leave the leaves in the finished dish, so that its taste does not become bitter.
In some countries, this spice is added to desserts and other sweets.
It is noteworthy that the leaves of laurel retain their useful properties even in dried form. But do not keep it for more than one year.
Bay leaf for weight loss
The use of bay leaf is used and wanting to lose weight. But in order not to harm the body and not feed illusions about the high performance of this tool, it is worth exploring the mechanism of action of the complex of substances that make up this spice.
In fact, laurel products are not able to significantly reduce body weight. They cleanse the body of harmful substances, improve digestion. A normalized metabolism, of course, is the key to proper digestion of food and the distribution of nutrients.
However, a sustainable positive effect can be achieved if in the future a person switches to a proper diet and, possibly, goes in for sports.
Weight loss occurs on the background of excretion of salts and the establishment of water balance. Body weight is reduced by removing excess fluid.
The use of laurel noble in cosmetology
Another option to use bay leaf - as a cosmetic.
For the treatment of problem skin, laurel extracts, essential oils of this plant are used as an antiseptic and a nutritional component. After several procedures, the manifestation of acne is significantly reduced, the intensity of the color of age spots. For oily skin in order to get rid of the shine and narrowing of the pores, frozen cubes of laurel decoction are used.
Effective laurel and in the fight against dandruff. For the rinse use 30 g of bay leaf and 1 liter of boiling water. Boil this solution is not necessary, it is enough to let it brew for 4 hours, and then wash the hair, well processing the root areas.
If you add fresh lemon juice to such a solution, you can enhance hair growth, endow it with a gorgeous shine.
Laurus sbilis in folk medicine
Bay leaf is widely used in traditional medicine. There are many tried and tested remedies with this ingredient with proven effectiveness. Means, made on the basis of bay leaf, can be used externally or used inside, rinse mucous membranes, lotions are also applicable.
Here are some examples of using laurel at home for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes:
- Disinfection. To disinfect the air in the room, you can use water infusion on the laurel. The leaves of the plant are poured boiling water, the solution is infused for 15-30 minutes, and then set in an open vessel in the right room. This method can be used to neutralize viruses and bacteria, if, for example, in the family of someone with infectious diseases of the respiratory system.
Diseases of the mouth. In the fight against stomatitis, unpleasant smell from the mouth, you can chew laurel leaves 1-2 times a day an hour before eating or drinking any kind of liquid.
Skin diseases. Oil infusion with laurel helps to get rid of diaper rash, bedsores. For the manufacture of this tool used laurel powder (1.5 tbsp. L.) And vegetable oil (1.5-2 tbsp. L, can be more). The ingredients are mixed and sent to a dark place for 7 days. Infusion is used externally.
Mild diabetes mellitus. 10 bay leaves are poured with 3 cups of boiling water, the mixture is infused for 3 hours. To lower the level of sugar in the blood is taken three times a day, 100 ml. This solution can also be used as an anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating, antibacterial agent.
Increased sweating feet. A large amount of laurel (about 30 leaves) pour 200 ml of boiling water and infuse for 30-50 minutes. Then the infusion is diluted with warm water in the pelvis, where you need to lower your legs for 10-15 minutes. In addition to reducing sweating, getting rid of an unpleasant smell, this bath perfectly relieves fatigue and swelling after a hard day's work.
To clean the joints. The broth is prepared in the morning in an enamel pot. Ingredients (bay leaf - 5 g, water - 300 ml) must be boiled for 5-7 minutes. So that the prepared solution does not irritate the kidneys, you should not cover the dishes with a lid during boiling, this will allow volatile oils to evaporate. After this, the solution must be infused for 3 hours in a warm place (you can wrap a blanket so that the heat is kept longer). Acceptance of the entire volume of the solution is stretched for 12 hours, drinking in small sips with short temporary breaks. It is forbidden to drink all the broth immediately to avoid side effects in the form of bleeding. The course of treatment is 3 days. You can repeat in 3-4 weeks.
For the treatment of otitis. To relieve pain, reduce inflammation helps a remedy made from 5 leaves of laurel and 1 cup of water. The mixture must be boiled, and then poured into a thermos to insist for 2 hours. This solution (3 drops) buried ears up to 4 times a day, with 1 tbsp. l funds are also taken orally 4-5 times a day.
Watch the video about bay leaf: