Bay leaf is an aromatic plant that is most widely used as a spice in culinary activities.
It is pungent and has a sharp, bitter flavour, and can be used in the fresh, dried or powdered form.
It appears similar to curry leaf buy while bay leaf comes from the laurel tree, curry leaf comes from the sweet neem tree.
It is a good source of folic acid, dietary fibre, vitamins A, C, B6, calcium, iron and manganese.
Below are six reasons to use it in your meals.
It contains a unique phytonutrient, called parthenolide, which can quickly reduce inflammation and irritation when topically applied to affected areas, such as sore joints or areas affected by arthritis.
This effect can also be achieved through normal consumption of bay leaf spice.
Caffeic acid, rutin and salicylates are important organic compounds, found in bay leaf, that enhance your heart health.
Rutin strengthens capillary walls in the heart and the body’s extremities, while caffeic acid can help eliminate bad cholesterol.
The unique combination of antioxidants and organic compounds in the leaf, including phytonutrients, catechins, linalool, and parthenolide, help to protect the body from the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells and bay leaf is particularly adept at preventing this activity.
Quercetin, euganol and catechins all of which are naturally present in bay leaf, possess chemo-protective properties which provide resistance to different types of cancer.
Good for pregnant women
It is rich in folic acid which is beneficial during the periconception period (three months before and after pregnancy).
The folic acid content prevents birth defects in the child.
Relieves anxiety, stress
Linalool found in bay leaf can help lower the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy.
Excess stress hormones can be dangerous for long-term health, so bay leaf can help you calm down and remain relaxed even in your anxious moments.
Bay leaf helps to regulate glucose in diabetes patients so the liver is less stressed. It also reduces the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Note: Bay leaf is a commonly used term that applies to different plants around the world. However, to achieve all of the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the laurel tree.
Other varieties could be toxic when consumed, so be certain that you’re getting the real deal.