Bay leaf Profile

Written by Joy

Nov 02 2020

Bay leaf Profile

Bay leaf is the leaf of sweet laurel, an evergreen tree of Lauraceae. A popular spice used for pickling or dipping food, and also for stew, stuffing, and fish. Fragrant, but slightly bitter. The essential oil content is about 2%, the main component is cineole (C10H18O). Dried bay leaves are smooth and shiny. They are usually used whole and removed from dishes after cooking. Or sold as laurel powder. Sweet Laurel is native to the Mediterranean coast and has been cultivated since ancient times. In ancient Greece, laurel leaves were used to make wreaths on the heads of winning athletes. In the Middle Ages, bay leaves were used for medicinal purposes.

Bay leaf is also called fragrant laurel leaf and laurel leaf etc.
Laurel is a small evergreen tree of Lauraceae, and its leaves are used as condiments in cooking. Although bay leaf is also called laurel leaf, it is different from the laurel leaf of the cinnamon tree and the laurel leaf of the osmanthus tree. It belongs to western food seasoning and canned ingredients, and its value is much higher than cinnamon leaves and osmanthus leaves.
bay leaves
Bay leaves are native to green shrubs or small trees on the Mediterranean coast of southern Europe. Both bay leaves are green, oblong-lanceolate, about three inches long, and have a smooth surface with a spicy and strong bitter taste. Bay leaf is a commonly used seasoning and food decoration in Europeans, such as soup, meat, vegetables, stews, etc. It can be said to be a stomachic agent.

Bay leaf morphological characteristics

Bay leaves are evergreen trees with a height of 9-12m and dark brown bark. The leaves are alternate, leathery, oblong or lanceolate, about 6-11cm long, 2-4cm wide, apex acute, base wedge-shaped, whole or slightly wavy, recurved, dark green, with fragrance after broken; leaf veins Pinnate, raised on both sides; petiole is about 1cm long and purple. The umbels are axillary and dioecious; the flowers are relatively small, 3-4mm in diameter, and yellow. Its total pedicel is about 1cm long, with involucre at the base of the stem; male flower tepals 4, obovate, apex obtuse; stamens 12, arranged in 3 numbers per round, anthers split inward; female tepals 4, pistil 1, ovary 1 compartment, short stigma, slightly capitate. The berries are oval and dark purple. The flowering period of bay leaves is generally in April.

Bay leaf growth habit and growing environment and distribution

Ecological environment: It’s native to the Mediterranean.
bay leaves
Resource distribution: Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Taiwan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and other places have introduced cultivation.
Bay leaves are generally oblong or lanceolate, 6-11cm long, 1.5-4cm wide, sharp at the tip, wedge-shaped at the base, whole or microwave-like, recurved, gray-green on the upper surface, light on the lower surface and on both sides. The veins and net veins of Bay leaves are prominently raised and glabrous; petioles are 5-8mm long and glabrous. It is leathery and will not break easily. The air is fragrant and the taste is pungent and cool.

Bay leaf efficacy and role

Body curative effect

Bay leaves have significant benefits to the digestive system, can help you open your appetite, dispel flatulence, soothe stomach pain, and nourish the liver and kidneys, and promote the flow of urine.
bay leaves
Whether it is rheumatism, general pain, or sprains, bay leaves have the effect of reducing symptoms, especially when used in harmony with rose and juniper. In the case of feeling cold, it is especially suitable to take Laurel as a prescription. At the same time, with its sweating effect, Bay leaves can also lower body temperature. It is effective in infectious diseases and may also help treat bronchitis.
Bay leaf can regulate the reproductive system, regulate menstruation with too little flow, and can accelerate the process of labor during production. It can also help the condition of ear infections improve, thereby reducing the feeling of dizziness and restoring balance.

Skin efficacy

A good tonic for hair and scalp, it can stimulate hair growth and remove dandruff. It is said that it can also dispel congestion, soothe inflammation, and reduce the extent of scarring. The Egyptians used Bay leaves a lot, and it was also favored by the Romans, who regarded it as a symbol of intelligence, protection, and peace. People often associate the laurel tree with Apollo, the god of medicine. The Latin origin of laurel is Laudis meaning praise, so those who win the Olympic competition will receive a crown made of laurel, and the image of Poet Laurel is also derived from this allusion.
bay leaves
According to legend, if you put a bay leaf under your pillow, you can dream of a good omen. The more practical way to use it is to add it to soup or sauce. The reason people have done this for a long time is that laurel can increase saliva production to help digestion. In Greece, people still sprinkle bay leaves on the floors of churches, probably because of its antibacterial properties. Laurel wood is very durable, so people use it to make walking sticks. In addition to its common name, Bav, it is sometimes called Laurel.