Bay Leaf is used in all spice recipes. Bay Leaf is mostly used in biriyani.
Pleasantly aromatic bay leaf or bay-laurel is one of the well-recognized culinary leaf-spices in use since the earliest times. In the legends, bay laurel is depicted as the tree of the Sun god, under the celestial sign of Leo.
Botanically, bay tree belongs to the family of Lauraceae, in the genus; Laurus. It is thought to have originated in Asia Minor region, from where it distributed to all over the Mediterranean region and other parts of Asia.
Health benefits of bay leaf
Bay leaf was prized highly by the Greeks and the Romans, who believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
- The spice contains many important plant-derived chemical compounds, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
- This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, antioxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
Medicinal uses of bay leaf
Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic, and appetite stimulant properties.
Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and ß-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, and terpineol are also found.
Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers and help relieve flatulence and colic pain.
The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.