The laurel bay leaf has been used in cooking for centuries for bringing a spicy flavor to a dish. Often confused with California bay, laurus nobilis is from the Mediterranean area but is used in folk medicine around the world. Aside from cooking, there are several proven benefits and uses of bay laurel essential oil.
Recommended Bay Laurel Based Products:
Are Bay Leaves Poisonous?
You’ll find fresh or dried bay leaves in a lot of different cultures as an important cooking ingredient. It has a very distinct aroma and taste, but it doesn’t mature until it dries for several weeks after you pick it. They’re also an effective way to repel cockroaches, meal moths, mice, and cockroaches.
A few members of the laurel family like the cherry laurel and mountain laurel have poisonous leaves for both humans and livestock. You won’t find these plants sold anywhere for use in cooking, but they look very similar to bay leaves. This is where the belief came from that you should remove bay leaves from your cooking when you finish because they’re poisonous.
However, this is false. Bay leaves are not poisonous to eat. However, they retain a very stiff texture, and the edges could actually cause punctures in your digestive tract.
6 Major Benefits and Uses of Bay Laurel Essential Oil
1. Assist in Controlling Seizures
Many medical conditions, such as epilepsy are characterized by the presence of seizures. Seizures can not only be hazardous to the health of those who have them but can be embarrassing in the accompanying side effects. Seizures are often controlled by medication, but sometimes, other methods can be supplemented to help reduce the incidence of seizures. The oil derived from the bay leaf benefits people who suffer from seizures by causing a sedative effect and reducing motor function. (1)
Mix 1-2 drops with a carrier oil and apply to your wrists to carry the scent with you through the day. Diffuse throughout your house to prevent seizure incidences.
2. Control Insects
Insects are always ready to invade your pantry and get into your food materials such as flour or corn. This may not be more than an inconvenience in a modern country, but in countries where people rely on grain products for sustenance, infestations can lead to going without food. Though we may reach for the insect spray, the use of commercial pesticides around food can lead to contamination and sickness from the chemicals. Natural alternatives like bay laurel oil can kill current infestations and prevent further insects from being born. (2)
Add a couple of drops to cotton balls and place them near your flour storage to discourage insects from infesting your supply.
3. Pain Management
Everyone experiences some pain in their lives. It can be minor, caused by muscle strain or more serious such as aching joints from a chronic condition. In either situation, natural pain relief may be a viable alternative to overusing over the counter medication. Using substances such as aspirin or ibuprofen too often has side effects of their own, but an essential oil like bay laurel has been shown to interrupt the pain signals in the nerves as well as reducing the inflammation associated with joint issues or minor wounds. (3)
Add 1-2 drops to about a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the affected areas for topical pain relief.
4. Prevent Disease
With the advent of modern medicine, there has also been the continued discovery of new diseases as well as ways to cure or prevent them. Essential oils like bay laurel have been used for centuries for treating health ailments but in the race to discover more natural ways to prevent the spread of disease, it has been studied and found to have particular properties. Bay laurel has been shown to help prevent the spread of cells that may cause damage to the systems of the body. It is not a cure, but a preventative measure that may help when dealing with progressive disease. (4)
5. Ease Respiratory Symptoms
Respiratory problems can stem from several causes. This includes molds and pollens found in the air or chronic conditions such as asthma. Bay laurel has been shown to possess antibacterial properties that may kill off the bacteria and molds that could cause allergic reactions. It also eases cough associated with conditions such as the common cold. Analgesic properties may help with muscles which are sore from coughing. (5)
Diffuse 2-3 drops throughout the house. It may kill the mold in the air that can stimulate coughing or worsen asthma symptoms. Bay laurel blends with eucalyptus, another oil that is known for being effective against different types of cough and respiratory distress.
6. Support Rheumatic Conditions
Rheumatic conditions are any disease or syndrome that are autoimmune in nature, where the body begins attacking certain parts of itself, as the cartilage between bones. Bay laurel has been shown to relieve rheumatic conditions in different ways. One way may be the anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and redness in affected areas. It also blocks the pain caused by chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and may be a worthwhile addition to a natural pain relief routine. (3)
Add 1-2 drops of bay laurel essential oil to your desired carrier oil and apply to affected areas such as inflamed joints or minor wounds for natural pain relief.
What is the Best Bay Laurel Essential Oil?
Finding the best bay laurel essential oil can be challenging because there are so many reputable brands and options available. We want you to get the best options available, and this is why we rounded up the top three options below.
Amrita Organic Bay Laurel Essential Oil
This therapeutic-grade essential oil comes from the best cultivators that grow their bay leaves in the optimal soil and lighting conditions. Extracted using low-heat, this method helps to support the oil’s potency. However, this also means that this oil is very strong, and you want to dilute it to safe levels before you apply it. You also want to be careful when you use it with small children.
Best for: Certified Organic
Mountains Rose Herbs Organic Bay Laurel Essential Oil
Mountains Rose Herbs brings a strong bay leaf essential oil that has a very spicy and medicinal smell. They come packaged in dark amber bottles to help preserve the oil’s potency, and you get an easy dropper that lets you apply the oils with precision accuracy. There are several sizes available, but you want to keep them away from small children. As always, dilute it before you use it.
Best for: Topical Use
Florihana Organic Bay Laurel Essential Oil
This 100% pure and natural bay leaf essential oil comes from Turkey using the leaves of the plant. It has 100% organic ingredients without any preservatives. This essential oil comes in a dark-tinted glass bottle to help keep the oil’s potency. It’s a cost-effective option that’s great for any beginners to the essential oil world, and it lasts for months under the correct conditions.
Best for: Bargain Shopping
My Favorite Uses For Bay Laurel Essential Oil
I’d used bay leaf before in my cooking. I admit I was once a victim of the myth of being poisoned if I didn’t remove the bay leaf before eating. It’s not easily digested and may wreak some havoc on the digestive system but is generally safe to cook with.
I had to face the fact that I was starting to feel more and more joint related pain, especially in the knees and fingers. Muscles also seemed to ache for longer after a workout, further proof that I was starting to feel my age.
When looking for essential oils that would be effective for treating minor aches and pains throughout my body, bay laurel appeared alongside peppermint as one of the oils used consistently for this type of pain. It wasn’t severe but was especially prevalent after typing for an extended period.
Overdoing it with my exercise routine wasn’t helping much either. I forget I’m no longer as young as I wish I was.
Using an even mix of peppermint to bay laurel, I make a topical application in a roller bottle that I can rub over the affected joints and muscles whenever I need. I sometimes add 10 drops bay, 10 drops peppermint to about 2 cups of distilled water with dispersant and pour it over paper towels to make wipes that can be used on any part of my body at any time.
Recommended Bay Laurel Oil-Based Products
1. Olive Oil and Laurel Oil Alep Soap
- Aleppo soap is considered one of the purest soaps ever made, created...
- Helps to eliminate the excess of sebum. It does not dry out skin....
- Made from 100% natural ingredients. No preservatives or other...
Made in an ancient tradition from only a few plant-based ingredients, this soap is as close to natural as soap can be. Olive oil and laurel essential oil can help clear the skin’s natural oil that can clog pores and trap bacteria, leading to a breakout of acne. Olive oil can help moisturize dry skin even as laurel oil prevent bacteria from surviving on your skin. If you have exceptionally sensitive skin, this very natural soap may be what you need.
2. Fiery Wall of Protection Spray
- For Protection, Jinxes, Curses, Negativity & Bad Intentions
- Comes in a 4 oz Plastic Spray Bottle
- Hand Blended and made to order.
Part of a folk belief about the protective abilities of the bay laurel, this spray is an alternative to burning bay leaves as a way to benefit from the aromatic properties of herbs. I can’t speak as to the protection against negative emotions, but this spray will afford you the antibacterial properties found in bay laurel essential oil, killing germs and molds in the air. It may also help with respiratory problems but preventing coughing.
Caution of Bay Laurel Essential Oil
- Be sure to check for the scientific name laurus nobilis to prevent confusion with other potentially poisonous cousins such as cherry laurel trees.
- Always dilute the oil with a carrier oil to prevent any skin sensitivities. Test on a patch of skin before using.
- Use 100% therapeutic grade oil to prevent any contamination.
- Do not take bay laurel oil internally.
- Bay laurel oil may affect the nervous system. Do not take use the oil before surgeries as it may exacerbate the effects of anesthesia.
- Bay laurel may affect blood sugar. Consult with your doctor if you have blood sugar issues.
- Side effects from narcotics and sedatives may be more marked if used with bay laurel oil.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the other uses of bay laurel beyond your kitchen. Be sure to share this information with anyone looking for some supplemental therapies for respiratory or rheumatic conditions. Bay laurel essential oil may be the oil that can help supply some relief.