The benefits and uses of Bay leaves

Many people use bay leaves in their food; especially when preparing red meat and chicken dishes. Bay leaves don’t have a taste, but when it is added to meat, it changes the triglycerides into mono-unsaturated fats.  For example, take 2 pieces of chicken and cook them separately, one with a bay leaf and the other without.  Notice the fat content after it has been cooked.

Bay leaves have many health properties; here is a few:

  • It treats digestive disorders and aids heartburn
  • It helps against acid reflux and constipation
  • When used to make a tea, bay leaves regulates bowel movement, reduces blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant
  • When you eat or drink the leaves for a month, the body is able to produce its own insulin
  • Bay leaves eliminate bad cholesterol and helps to excrete triglycerides from the body
  • Due to its high vitamin C-content, when used as a tea, bay leaves help to relieve colds, flus and bad coughs
  • If you don’t like the taste of the tea, place some bay leaves in hot water and inhale the steam.  This will help the body to get rid of phlegm and reduce the severity of the cough
  • Bay leaves protect the heart against heart attacks and strokes; due to its cardio vascular properties
  • The leaves are rich in acids, for example, Quercetin, Caffein acid, Eugenol and other, which fights off the development of cancer cells in the body
  • Not able to sleep?  Stress and worry keeping you awake?  Then have a cup of bay leaf tea, or inhale the scent, before bed time.  The leaves will help you to relax and get a good night’s rest
  • When you drink bay leaf-tea twice a day, it aids in breaking down kidney stones and will aid in clearing the body of infection

Bay leaves also contain vitamin A and B6 which, together with vitamin C, plays a key role in boosting your immune system   Drinking bay leaf tea or steaming with it, will aid in relieving a stuffy nose and sinus pressure.  Bay leaves are quite versatile, and is used in drinks as well as food dishes.  A few examples are soups, Mexican food like posole, stews, beef- and chicken dishes, as well as in Thai-, Indian- and Laotian curries. 

The leaves can also be used to make a tea.  However, you will find that bay leaves are also used in cocktails – either as an ingredient or a garnish!  Two such cocktails are Futuro (made from gin, blueberry liqueur, sour apple liqueur, amaretto and mango juice, garnished with a bay leaf, apple slice and a few blueberries) and Piso de Pedra (made from Boca Loca cahaca, cream sherry, bitters and bay leaf).

As you can see, bay leaves are quite versatile and has many uses as well as health benefits.  Enjoy experimenting with bay leaves and happy eating (and drinking)! If you do have any other uses for bay leaves, myself and all my followers (readers), would love to hear what you do with bay leaves!

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