Bay leaf or more popularly known as “Tez Patta” has a deep root connection with Indian kitchen since history remembers. Pleasantly aromatic bay leaf or bay-laurel is one of the well-recognized culinary leaf-spices in use since the earliest times. Moreover, it gives a unique identity to Indian cuisine and used by almost all states across India. This leaf gives an aromatic flavour to food and can be used whole, or as dried and ground. Most importantly, it does not only come with aromatic flavour but actually blessed with incredible health benefits and medicinal properties. As per myths and legends, bay laurel is depicted as the tree of the Sun god, under the celestial sign of Leo.
Botanically, the bay tree belongs to the family of Lauraceae and scientifically named as Laurus nobilis. It is thought to have originated in Asia Minor region, from where it distributed to all over the Mediterranean region and other parts of Asia.
What Happens When You Burn Bay Leaf at Home?
Since the ancient time of Greeks and Romans, bay leaves have been considered a valuable, medicinal herb. Although nowadays, we mainly use them as a spice in cooking, ages ago these leaves served a much different purpose.
As we typically burn sticks or cones of incense now, bay leaves were once (and in some places, still are) burned in homes and places of worship. Although some reasons were religious, some even fantastical, but rest were based on the true scientific fact that bay leaves contain a hodgepodge of chemicals beneficial to the body and relieve stress and anxiety.
Bay leaf burning has been used as a way to relieve stress for centuries. As per reports, The combination of chemicals (specifically the chemical linalool) in the leaves creates smoke that, when inhaled, calms the body and mind.
Health Benefits of Bay Leaf
As per the history concerns, the bay leaf was highly prized by the Greeks and the Romans, who believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
The combination of chemicals (specifically the chemical linalool) in the leaves creates smoke that, when inhaled, calms the body and mind.
Source of Minerals and Vitamins
The spice contains many important plant-derived chemical compounds, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The spice is indeed an excellent source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
Antiseptic, Antioxidant and Digestive friendly Component
This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, antioxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
Fresh Bay Leaves Comes with Vitamin C
Although many are not aware of the fact that fresh leaves are a very rich source of vitamin-C; provide 46.5 mg or 77.5% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural antioxidants that help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has an immune booster, wound healing, and antiviral effects.
Excellent Source of vitamin-A
Moreover, bay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin-A; contain 6185 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g. Vitamin-A is a natural antioxidant and is essential for normal eyesight.
Good for Skin Health
It is also required for maintaining mucosa and skin health. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Helps to beat stomach ulcers flatulence and colic pain
Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers and help relieve flatulence and colic pain.
Used in the Treatment of Arthritis, Muscle pain, Bronchitis
The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis, and flu symptoms.