7 Crazy Good Health Benefits of Bay
Leaves


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April 17, 2016
By Ariadne Weinberg,  Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by Registered Nurses, Certified
fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial Board]




Bay leaves are for winners. Nope, that isn't just a weak
marketing ploy. Many years ago, bay leaves actually were used
to crown winning athletes. With the official name "Laurus
Nobilis", the bay leaf plant is a likely candidate for something
regal.

In Greek mythology, the bay leaf was considered sacred to the
deity Apollo. Laurel was also named as the tree of the sun God,
Leo.

Bay leaves do have a shining appearance, with their yellow star-
shaped flowers. The laurel evergreen tree grows up to 30 feet
in height and is generally found on the continents of Asia and
America.

Perhaps the most commonly used part of laurel is the leaf itself,
which gives off a pleasant, sweet aroma. Even the wilted and
dried leaves conserve their smell, and can be stored for
months, waiting to be added to your favorite soup.

But this potent plant, thought by the Greeks and Romans to
symbolize wisdom, peace, and protection, isn't just used for
cooking. Within its flowers and leaves, bay leaves contain an
array of healing powers.

We've collected the 7 most remarkable from medial research:































1.
Bay Leaves Heal Wounds and Are Anti-Microbial  

Bay leaves are the new Band-Aids? They help those cuts close
up at a faster rate, in any case.

In a 2006 study led by Shivananda Nayak from the University
of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, researchers found
that rats treated with 200 milligrams of bay leaf extract per
kilogram increased their wound closure and healing in just ten
days.

Another study, performed by N. Fukuyama of the University of
Tokyo in January 2011 showed that bay leaf is antimicrobial,
meaning that it kills bacteria. Because of this property, bay
leaves are also beneficial to healing both minor wounds and
wounds from  surgery.

In their findings, they discovered that it fought against
staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pyogenes, aspergillus
fumigatus, and candida albicans, all quite common bacteria.




2.
Bay Leaves Help You Breathe Easier

The magical antibacterial powers of bay leaves mean that they
can also loosen up phlegm and eliminate bacteria in your
throat.

In 2008, Nao Otsuka and researchers from Okayama University
found that extracts from laurus nobilis leaves showed
antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant staphylococcus
aureus.

If you have a sore throat or respiratory issues, looking into
laurel as a solution is a great idea. There are a few options: You
can extract the essential oil and mix it into a salve, or make a
poultice from the leaves. Then, leave it on your chest overnight.

You can also boil it and inhale the vapors, in order to clear a
congested throat. Laurel is your friend at cold time.

And of course, Bay leaves are always a good option to use it
for general cold symptoms in chicken soup, the Jewish
penicillin.




3.
Bay Leaves Inhibit the Spread of Cancer Cells

Not only are bay leaves great for the minor scars of everyday
life, they actually can prevent the most serious ones.

A 2014 investigation from Dr. Rana Abu-Dahab of the
University of Jordan revealed the potential of bay leaves to be a
natural agent for breast cancer therapy.

The researchers took the extract from the bay leaf plant and
tested which parts protected against the proliferation of cancer
cells.

Although the experiment  turned out successful for both leaves
and fruits, the fruits were found to be more effective.
Oxygenated monoterpene 1.8 is the main active component
which inhibited the spread of cancer cells.

4.
Bay Leaves Reduce the Symptoms of Type II Diabetes

Bay leaves and better blood sugar are buddies. Dr. Alam Kahn
of the NWFP University of Pakistan  looked at the potential of
ground bay leaves in his 2009 study. Participants in the
experiment received 1 to 3 grams of ground bay leaves for 30
days. Not only did this treatment help lower blood sugar, it also
caused a drop in cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.

The implications of this are great for the overall health of
diabetics because it means that Nobilis Laurus can improve
insulin function and markers for heart disease. Grind up a few
bay leaves after your meal, and see how you feel. Balanced
glycemic levels are great for everybody.




5.
Bay Leaves Calm Your Tummy

The laurel leaf is very versatile in matters of digestion. Bay
leaves ares a diuretic and stimulate vomiting when a toxin has
been consumed.

Dr. E.Y. Qnais from the Hashemite University in Jordan
wondered whether the use of bay leaves for its digestive
properties, seen in folk medicine, had a solid scientific backing.
In 2009, he did a study that confirmed its potential. When an
aqueous solution of Laurel Nobilis was given to rats, it both
inhibited diarrhea and slowed down digestion of a charcoal-
based meal. In addition, the more of the solution consumed,
the more it relaxed smooth muscle.

The active ingredients for the solution contained flavanoids,
alkaloids, and tannins, all which have strong antioxidant
potential. At the end of the study, they concluded that it was an
antidiarrheal agent and was consistent with the popular use of
the plant in curing gastrointestinal disorders.




6.
Bay Leaves Lessen the Effects of Epilepsy

The approximately 1% of  the population that has epilepsy is
still looking for a way to stop suffering.

Epilepsy, characterized by spontaneous seizures caused by a
complex of neurotransmitter systems, is one of the most
common brain disorders worldwide.

About 30% of those 1% who have it still experience
uncontrollable seizures even with the best available drugs. In
2002, M. Sayyah from the Institute Pasteur in Iran evaluated
the anticonvulsant activity of Laurus Nobilis against seizures.

He found something remarkable --- the essential oil of bay
leaves protected mice against convulsions induced by maximal
electroshock.

The active components partially responsible for this included
mehtyleugenol, eugenol, and pinene. He also found that at
anticonvulsant doses, the essential oil produced sedation and
motor impairment. More research must be continued to be
performed, but bay leaves could represent an effective
alternative for more mainstream epilepsy drugs.




7.
Bay Leaves Are Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory

From the same researcher, but a little later in 2003, we have
good news for people in pain.

Essential oil from the bay leaf was tested on mice and rats. It
was found to be analgesic and to have a dose-dependent anti-
inflammatory effect. In anti-inflammatory doses, it caused a
moderate sedative effect.

Laurus Nobilis was discovered to be similar to other
analgesics/non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, including
morphine and piroxicam.




Special Note: When you buy bay leaves, make sure you are
buying Laurus Nobilis. Bay leaf is a common term applied to
many plants, but other varieties may be toxic when consumed.
Laurus Nobilis is usually safe, but may have an allergic effect,
including dermatitis and ezcema. If you are not allergic to
plants in the Lauracae family, you should be fine.




































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