Bay leaves can be used in various other ways apart from cooking as they offer powerful digestion-boosting, respiratory-enhancing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
These leaves have been valued and commonly used for thousands of years, due to their powerful healing effects. According to Dr.Axe:
“The bay leaf goes way back to ancient times when wreaths of laurel were made to crown victorious athletes in ancient Greece, which inspired the famous crown for the winners of the Boston Marathon and the Olympics.
Furthermore, it was Nike, also known as Victory and the origin of the name for the well-known Nike shoe, that led the path for the laurel wreath to adorn heads of athletes worldwide. Representing the goddess of strength, speed, victory, glory, and fame, Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the winners with the now famous wreath of laurel leaves (bay leaves). “
Moreover, a tablespoon of crumbled bay leaf contains:
- 5.5 calories
- 1.3 grams carbohydrates
- 0.1 gram protein
- 0.1 gram fat
- 0.5 gram fiber
- 0.1 milligram manganese (7 percent DV)
- 0.8 milligram iron (4 percent DV)
- 108 IU vitamin A (2 percent DV)
These leaves taste great after an hour of simmering, but if you do not have that much time, you can still rap their benefits in another way- to burn them.
The intense fire stimulates the release of the active compounds of bay leaves, and by inhaling the smell, you will experience major health improvements.
First of all, bay leaves can help you fight stress and anxiety, due to the presence of linalool. You can breathe in the smell of bay leaves while meditating, to relax and free your mind, and release all the tension that overwhelms you.
Moreover, bay leaves contain mycrene and eugenol, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, and reduce stress. They become airborne when you burn the bay leaf, so when you inhale them, they will reduce any respiratory inflammation, treat congestion, aid breathing, and soothe allergies and colds.
Despite these two benefits, you will also improve cardiovascular health, as bay leaves lower cholesterol levels, and are rich in caffeic acid, which strengthens the capillary walls.
However, to prevent lung irritations, follow these tips:
- Take a dried bay leaf, put it on an ashtray, and set it on fire
- Leave the room for a few minutes for the aroma to fill the room
- When you return, blow out the embers and inhale deeply
- Do not inhale the smoke directly
- If you think this method is not suitable for you, leave the bay leaf to simmer in water for an hour, and then inhale the vapors