Bay Leaves (Daphne) - Everything You need to know Posted on 06 Apr 21:46 , 2 comments

Daphne (Bay/Laurel)

 For the pains of rheumatism and aerophagy.

 Known as: Apollo’s Daphne, Vagia, Laura gentle.

 Official: Laurus nobilis.

 Dried Wild Bay Leaves theSpartantable


The ancient Greeks and Romans had dedicated the laurel to Apollo and Asclepius (god of medicine).

From its branches, they used to make wreaths honor heroes and race winners.

Therefore, because the laurel was so closely connected with glory, success and protection from evil, they believed that something bad would come/happen if a bush was getting dried!



Later, people were using the laurel for rubbing the skin of animals to combat lice and parasites. Also to stimulate and darken the color of head hair and eyelashes of men and women (Used to boil together laurel and walnut leaves and washing their heads).

Even today, the leaf porridge is still used in many villages with flour of chickpeas in “seven-dough” bread.

 Today the extract and the essential oil of bay leaves are used as a natural fragrance vermouth, ice cream, sweets, bakery products, canned meat, soups, pasta, candy and chewing gum.

 Tip: You can put a bay leaf in Your coffee to add flavor. (The Bedouins have their coffee in such way).

Finally, several villagers tend to put bay leaves in baskets that keep raisins and figs to add flavor and not avoid getting any worms.



Useful parts: The leaves and fruits (without the pit).

 Where to find: the easiest thing we can do is to have a large pot with bay leaves on our balcony, terrace or garden as it is also a beautiful decorative plant.

The laurel has no preference in specific types of soil or climate but needs frequent watering. The leaves have a strong aroma and can be dry for future use in a dark place (not to lose their color). The dried leaves have a stronger flavor than fresh and can be purchased at various stores and pharmacies. Just remember that the seeds of laurel are toxic.

 Active substances: According to various chemical analyzes, the fruit is containing essential oil, wax, resin, cineol, geraniol, lauric acid. The leaves contain a volatile oil, which comprises tannin and other substances.

 Properties - Indications:

The essential oil of laurel fights aerophagy (gas concentration in the stomach, abdomen, and intestine).

Also relieves rheumatism and arthritic pains. The decoction of bay leaves is used as a solvent of the body salts that accumulate in the joints.

 Generally, the laurel has multiple utilities for anyone who has gastritis or other problems with his stomach. It is antispasmodic, fight atonic indigestion and stimulates the functions of digestion.

Considered effective antiseptic.

Considered as having diuretic and abilities.

Fact : during the 19th century, doctors used it in pharyngitis and sinusitis (with external use patches).



The leaves are considered astringent, antidiarrheal, bile and liver, sweat and emmenagogue.

Strengthen and darken hair, and stop hair loss.

The powder of dried leaves stops nose bleed (topical use).

An ointment containing laurel oil and glycerin is used in liniments for sprains and contusions.

Finally, the leaf decoction is effective against amoebae.

 How to use

As a decoction: Boil 2-3 leaves in a cup of water and strain after 10 minutes .We can drink up to 2-3 cups a day between meals. Particularly a cup after dinner helps digestion and sleep.

 As infusate: Soak 2-3 bay leaves in a liter of boiling water for 8-10 minutes.

For external use: We can boil for 3 minutes 5 leaves for each cup of water and make gargles and washes our mouth in a sore throat or mouth infections.

We can use 10 leaves in a cup of water and put it in warm compresses to the forehead and the parts that hurt from sinusitis. The French physician Valne recommends the compress stay overnight.

For hair that has begun to whiten and fall, boil 150 gr fresh bay leaves or 80 gr dried in 6 liters of water and when cool bathes our head every night for two weeks.

To prevent the whitening of hair, also, can not use the fruits of laurel. Boil 150-300 seeds, peel them and beat them in a wooden mortar with similar extra virgin olive oil. Then hit to be an ointment, which is used by spreading the hair at night before sleep.

A practical recipe using many women in Crete add to unripened olive oil, then beaten seeds in a transparent jar and then leave it in the sun for 40 days. Then, when they want to use, using a linen cloth, strain them the desired quantity and put the roots of the hair by rubbing. This is the only use of pits without side effects.

Precautions: If used alone bay leaves oil in spreads, they can cause burns to the skin. If you drink even two drops are likely to shock nausea, vomiting, colic or burns to the gastric mucosa.

In large doses, the leaves of laurel cause vomiting.

And a last but very important fact: Always remember that the fruits of laurel can cause interruption of pregnancy!