Bay leaf- a sacred leaf used in cooking
Botanical Name : Laurus nobilis
Family : Lauracean
Bay leaf is also known as Sweet bay, Indian bay, bay laurel, poet’s laurel, Nogel laurel, Wreaths laurel, Apollo’s bay leaf etc. Bay leaf tree is considered as a sacred tree and the wreath, crown etc made with bay leaves are given in honor of several designations. Doctors, graduates, poets, winners of several games were crowned with Bay leaf. Bay leaf tree grows to a height of 20- 60 ft bearing oval, leathery leaves having a length of 1 to 3 inches. Flowers are in clusters and fruits are small.Propagation is by stem cutting. The main part is the leaf which is used in perfumery and preparation ofbay rum. The aromatic oil in the leaf is used in flavoring the vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Uses of Bay leaf (Health benefits of Bay leaf)
- Bay leaf was highly praised by the Greeks and the Romans, who deeply believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
- This spice is known to have minerals and vitamins which is good for our body and health.
- This spice contains certain volatile components such as α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool etc…these compound have anti-oxidizing, antiseptic and digestive properties which protects our body.
- Leaves are used as such or dried and even powdered. It is believed that bay leaf has got many magical qualities.
- Health benefits of Bay leaf
- It has got repellant properties and it is used in liniments for brushing and sprains. It is diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic and also used as astringent and stomach problems.
- Bay leaf is a good source of vitamin-c ,which helps in removing harmful free radical from the body.
- Bay leaf is also an excellent source of vitamin -A, which is a natural anti-oxidant and is essential for healthy and high visual sight.It is also required in maintaining mucus membranes and skin health.
- This spice is a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine and riboflavin. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
- The minerals such as potassium,calcium, iron etc.. helps in controling heart rate and blood pressure.
- The mineral iron in Bay leaf is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes.
- Bay leaf also contains certain acids like lauric acid which can soothe ulcers and relieve flatulence.
- The Bay leaf oil can also be used to treat muscle pains,joint pains ,arthritis,bronchitis.
Indian Bay leaf”
Essential Vitamins and Minerals contained in Bay leaf (just to know)
|Vitamin A||6185 IU|
|Vitamin C||46.5 mg|