Bay leaf commonly known in India as Tej Patta is an herb used very often in cooking. That yummy biryani that you love, well, it’s the bay leaf that adds to its flavor! Bay leaves have high nutritional value and are rich in vitamins, copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and manganese.
Benefits of bay leaf:
1. Improves digestion:
Bay leaves have very strong effects on the gastrointestinal system and can help cure stomach upsets, soothe Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or can even reduce the effects of celiac disease (disorder that can be triggered when gluten is consumed). It has enzymes which can help the digestion process by breaking down the proteins and increasing the process of digestion.
2. Helpful for the skin:
Extracting bay leaf water can be helpful for the skin by making the skin evenly toned and can also help eradicate hyper pigmentation (skin disease where dark patches begin to appear on the skin). This bay leaf water can be used as a toner (an astringent liquid used to reduce oiliness on the skin).
3. Protects heart health:
Bay leaves contains caffeic acid (has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antiviral properties) and rutin (a plant pigment which helps the body reduce collagen and use vitamin C), which are helpful for a healthy heart. Caffeic acid also helps to eliminate or reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
4. Helpful to treat acne and make your skin look fresh and radiant:
For acne you can add a little bay leaf powder to rose water and apply it over the acne to reduce or get rid of it. You can also do steam inhalation of bay leaf water and enhance your skin and make it look radiant and fresh. This bay leaf water can also be stored in a container and used as toner (as mentioned above).
5. Anti-inflammatory in nature:
Bay leaves have the property of anti-inflammation and can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. The leaves contain a unique phytonutrient (natural compound present in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains products and legumes) called parathenolide. When this is applied topically on the affected areas such as sore joints or even on areas affected by arthritis, it can provide relief from the pain.
6. General health benefits:
- Prevention of cancer – Bay leaves helps keep the body protected from free radicals, which can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
- Reduction of anxiety and stress – Linalool found in bay leaves can help lower the stress hormones in the body.
- Whiten teeth – Crush bay leaves into a powder and add equal amount of turmeric powder to it. Use this powder to brush your teeth 1-2 times a month to get rid of stains and whiten teeth naturally.
- Used in aromatherapy – For herbal treatments to cure skin and respiratory problems.
- Better sleep – consume bay leaves tea for better sleep.
- For scalp and dandruff – Bay leaves can help reduce or eliminate dandruff and help in hair growth. READ MORE – CLEAR DANDRUFF AND STOP HAIR FALL OVERNIGHT with bay leaves
Uses of bay leaves:
- To make bay leaf oil – The dried (but not directly under sunlight) bay leaves are used to make oil.
- For culinary purposes – Fresh or dried leaves can be used in dishes to enhance the flavor. Just add bay leaves when u cook your rice to reap all the benefits and also enhance the taste of your rice.
As an herbal remedy you can consume bay leaf tea. Here’s how you can make it:
- 2 glasses of water
- 4 to 5 dried bay leaves
- 1 inch piece of ginger (finely chopped)
- Honey (to taste)
In a vessel on high flame, add two glasses of water and as it begins to get heated, add the bay leaves. Let it boil for 2 minutes before adding the finely chopped ginger to the boiling water. Let it continue to boil till the water reduces to half the quantity (approximately for another minute or so). Turn off the flame and let it sit for around 2 to 3 minutes, after which you can strain into a glass and add honey as per your requirement. The bay leaf tea is ready to consume.