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Laurel

The laurel is a plant belonging to the family of Lauraceae. One of its main characteristics is that its leaves are very rich in a substance called eugenol. It is one of the plants with the greatest number of properties and health benefits. The laurel has been used for several thousand years as an ingredient to cook many dishes.

Recent research has shown that the Greeks were the first to make use of laurel for its nutritional and medicinal properties.

What is laurel and what is it for?

The laurel is a small tree with a straight trunk , whose bark is smooth and grayish in color. It reaches approximately 15 centimeters in height, and its leaves are a highly appreciated ingredient both in gastronomy and in natural medicine and cosmetics.

The bay leaves fresh with an aroma of great intensity. As for their flavor, they are quite bitter, although during the drying process the bitterness is significantly reduced. They are bright green.

Bay leaves have been used for several thousand years as a natural remedy for different disorders. Its composition includes organic acids, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals.

Contraindications

Despite the many properties and benefits of laurel, there are certain cases in which its consumption is not recommended.

First of all, it is not recommended that children under six years of age consume the plant in any of its forms as there is a certain risk of suffocation.

And secondly, pregnant women should also not consume laurel as the plant can lead to miscarriage. Nor is the consumption of the plant recommended during lactation.

Laurel properties

Bay leaves are rich in vitamin C . A nutrient with antioxidant properties that helps eliminate free radicals from the body and prevent premature aging of both skin and cells. In addition, vitamin C notably strengthens the immune system, so that it has greater resistance to certain diseases such as the flu or the cold.

This plant is also a very important source of vitamin A , which is essential for maintaining good vision.

Another of the properties that is worth knowing about laurel has to do with the high content of its leaves in folic acid . Folates are very important in DNA synthesis.

Bay leaves are also a very rich source of minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese. It is also high in potassium , which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate levels.

What are the benefits of laurel?

This plant has a wide range of properties that are very beneficial both to treat and to alleviate the symptoms of a large number of health problems.

Promotes intestinal transit

In some countries of the world such as India, laurel is widely used in cooking as a digestive supplement . Thanks to its antiseptic properties, it favors intestinal transit, thus reducing the chances of suffering from diseases such as constipation .

Prevents stomach acid and gas formation

Another benefit of bay leaf related to the digestive system has to do with the high content of the leaves in cineole and eogenol . Two substances that are very effective in preventing both heartburn and gas formation.

Strengthens the immune system

Another of the great benefits of laurel in relation to the health of the body is that it strengthens the immune system , thus helping to prevent diseases such as the flu or cold. Something especially important in children and the elderly, who are more likely to suffer from these types of health disorders.

Reduces inflammation

Bay leaves are very rich in eugenol. A compound that acts as a natural anti-inflammatory . Thus, this plant is used as a natural remedy to alleviate the symptoms of many diseases such as arthritis .

Regulates circulation

Thanks to its vasoconstrictor action , laurel helps regulate blood circulation and relax nerve impulses. It is generally used in the form of oil and topically to treat tired legs and varicose veins .

Clears the airways

One of the best natural remedies to remove mucus accumulated from a cold is the bay leaf bath. And it is that this plant cleans the respiratory tract, thus improving respiration and quality of life.

Fight diabetes

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition indicates that consuming one to three grams of bay leaf per day can lower glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides in patients with type II diabetes .

Reduce stress

Thanks to the soothing action of laurel, this is a very effective natural plant to reduce both stress and anxiety in adults and children. Stress is precisely one of the main diseases of the 21st century, so the consumption of this plant can be very beneficial.

Eliminate toxins

Laurel has diuretic properties , making it a natural ingredient that helps eliminate toxins eliminated from the body. Thus, it significantly improves the functioning of the renal system since it favors the elimination of fluids.

You may also be interested in:   Hawthorn

Regulates body temperature

When dealing with a cold, steaming with bay oil is an excellent solution. It is also very effective to apply compresses soaked in bay oil on the chest to relieve symptoms. In addition, this plant regulates body temperature and stimulates sweating if there is a fever .

Regulates menstrual flow

In the case of women, laurel is very beneficial to regulate the flow of menstruation , whether it is very abundant or reduced.

Avoid premature aging

One of the most important properties of laurel is the antioxidant . Thus, it prevents premature aging of both skin and cells, maintaining a younger appearance and health for longer.

Heals dermal conditions

Laurel used topically can be of great help in speeding up the healing process and alleviating the symptoms of certain skin conditions: burns, acne, ulcers, etc.

Eliminate lice

In the field of cosmetics, bay leaf is very beneficial in eliminating lice . The boiled water of the leaves is used as a natural remedy to kill these annoying insects.

Eliminate dandruff

Another of the great uses of laurel in the cosmetic world has to do with its high content of vitamin A , which helps to effectively eliminate dandruff.

Where is the Laurel plant located?

The laurel is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean . It needs a lot of sun to grow properly. It can be planted in a home garden to enjoy the benefits of its leaves. In this case, it must be taken into account that it needs protection during the winter frosts.

It is best to use fresh bay leaves , although they can also be air dried. They are then stored in zip-top bags or jars and can be kept year-round.

Bay oil

Bay laurel essential oil is obtained from the fresh leaves of the bay tree by steam distillation . The liquid is yellow in color with a very intense aroma, similar to that of clove oil. It is used with great frequency in the field of cosmetics as it acts as a natural skin toner and also treats various conditions such as acne. This essential oil is also widely used in aromatherapy for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Laurel oil stands out for three components: eugenol, chavicol and myrcene . For its topical application it must be diluted since otherwise it can cause irritation. Thus, it is recommended to mix it with another oil, such as almond or olive oil.

Prescription

Ingredients

  • 7 grams of bay leaves
  • 200 grams of sweet almond oil
  • 1 glass jar of 250 milliliters

Elaboration

  1. First of all, you have to wash the glass jar very well, until it is completely clean.
  2. The bay leaves are then introduced into it. It is important that they are all very clean.
  3. Once the bay leaves are inside, add the almond oil.
  4. Finally, it is hermetically closed and left to marinate for 40 days.
  5. Once the time has elapsed, you can use the bay oil to use.

Applications

Laurel oil has a large selection of uses that are interesting to know.

  • Muscle relaxant: this natural oil is a great muscle relaxant thanks to its vasoconstrictor action. Thus, before neck or shoulder pain, a massage with this oil is a fantastic remedy. It is also a good idea to put on compresses soaked in bay leaf oil for migraines or headaches.
  • Lower fever: in both adults and children, bay oil can be used to steam or apply poultices on the chest to relieve symptoms of the cold and lower body temperature
  • Clean wounds: bay oil has great antibiotic properties, so it can also be used to clean wounds and burns, and accelerate their healing process. In addition, it reduces the risk of infections.
  • Caring for the skin: one of the most widespread uses of this natural oil globally has to do with skin care. It is a very rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, so its benefits are various. On the one hand, it helps to keep the skin clean, eliminating the toxins that accumulate in it and cause a dull appearance. On the other hand, it provides great hydration and nutrition. And lastly, it minimizes acne scars and other skin rashes.
  • Promote hair growth: laurel oil is also used on hair. By enhancing blood circulation, it stimulates hair growth.

Conclution

Taking into account the wide range of benefits that bay leaves have for the care of both the body and the skin or hair, it is really worth making use of this plant. In addition, it is a 100% natural ingredient, without any type of toxic compound that can damage the body in the medium or long term.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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