Everything you need to know about bay leaves
Bay leaves are what you will find in various Indian dishes. A rich source of vitamin A and C along with folic acid and minerals. It is an integral part of Indian cuisine. Bay leaf has medicinal properties and is also used in cooking. The freshly dried bay leaves have a warm aroma, i.e. infused into cooking. The leaf is crushed before being used. The leaf is used for flavouring stews, dishes that need a long time to cook and soups. If consumed as a whole, bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. With many spices and flavours, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is slightly floral and somewhat similar to thyme. Myrcene, which is a component of many essential oils used in perfumes, can be extracted from the bay leaf.
It is 100% Natural product.
This herb is mostly used for meats and less often for vegetables. Bay leaves have been found to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes as they cause a reduction in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
It contains enzymes that enable the breakdown of proteins, thus making it an excellent spice for non-vegetarian diets. These leaves are used in both their fresh and dried forms to flavour soups, stews, braises etc. The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils (ol. lauri folii), consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% other terpenes, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol, and other α- and β-pinenes, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, terpineol, and contain lauric acid also.
Bay leaves are also used in the making of jerk chicken in the Caribbean Islands. The bay leaves are soaked and placed on the cool side of the grill. Pimento sticks are placed on top of the leaves and the chicken is placed on top and smoked. The leaves are also added whole to soups, stews, and other Caribbean dishes. Bay leaves can also be used to repel meal moths, flies, cockroaches, mice, and silverfish. The leaves disable the growth of moulds. It certainly is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations; such compounds include 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and methyl eugenol. They were used by the ancient Greeks. Bay leaves are common in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in the Americas. They are used in stews, meat, seafood, vegetable dishes, and sauces. The leaves also grace many classic French dishes. The leaves are used as a whole and removed before serving (they can be abrasive in the digestive tract). Thai and Laotian cuisine employs bay leaf (Thai: ใบกระวาน, bai kra wān) in a few Arab-influenced dishes, notably massaman curry.
Bay leaves can also be crushed before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart fervent fragrance than whole leaves, but are more difficult to remove, and thus they are often used in a muslin bag or tea infuser. They are said to have strong effects on the gastrointestinal system. It helps decrease the toxicity of the body and further helps the body in functioning well. Organic compounds found in them are effective for settling an upset stomach. Some of the complex
proteins cannot be easily digested by the body, which is when bay leaves play a major role. The unique enzymes present in these leaves help in digestion.rutin that is found in bay leaves enhance our heart health. They both strengthen capillary walls in the heart and further eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
They are commonly found in biryani, pulao, soups, curries and most Indian dishes. Also known as tej patta, this culinary herb is a part of the Indian cuisine, thanks to its distinctive flavour and fragrance. It is also known for its age-old medicinal benefits. Scientifically known as Laurus Nobilis, bay leaves are used for treating various health conditions. The presence of folic acid and various minerals in bay leaf makes it a nutrient-dense herb. Add bay leaves to your curries, rice dishes and other delicacies to make the most of the herb. Not only does it impart strong
flavour to dishes, but also ensures delivering certain health benefits that cannot go unnoticed.
Health benefits of Bay leaf
Bay leaves are mostly used in curries, biryani, soups, and other Indian dishes. Popularly known by the name “tej patta“, bay leaf is a vital ingredient of Indian cuisine as it helps in enhancing their taste. This culinary herb has a unique flavour and odour.
Apart from this, bay leaves are also famous for their medicinal properties. Scientifically known by the name ” Laurus Nobilis”, bay leaves are used for treating various diseases. Bay leaf is a nutrient herb because it comes with compounds like vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, and some other essential minerals.
Not only does it enhance the flavour of dishes, but also provide various health benefits that are easily noticeable.
Some of the benefits of bay leaves are listed below:
- Improve digestion – Bay leaf is said to have a very significant effect on the gastrointestinal system. It plays a vital role in decreasing the noxiousness of your body and further helps in its well functioning. Organic compounds such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and folic acid that are found in bay leaves help in resolving a distressed stomach and calming IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Bay leaf also helps in easy digestion of complex proteins that cannot be easily digested by the body. The distinctive enzymes that are found in bay leaves help you in easing digestion.
- A close friend of people who are suffering from heart disease – Organic compounds such as caffeic acid and rutin, that are present in bay leaves helps in improving the health of your heart. They both ( Caffeic acid and rutin ) give strength to the capillary walls of your heart and further put an end to LDL and bad cholesterol.
- The perfect medicine for diabetes – According to the periodical of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, if you want to see a significant drop in cholesterol, blood glucose, and triglycerides then you must consume 1-3 grams of bay leaf for a total of 30 days. The regular consumption of bay leaves also helps in enhancing your insulin function, which is a blessing for diabetes patients.
- Helps in reducing stress – In this modern world, stress and burden are very common words. In order to control stress better, add bay leaves to your regular food habit. Linalool that is found in bay leaves, will help you in lowering your stress level. The regular consumption of bay leaves also helps in calming your mind and fighting with signs of depression.
- A herb perfect in protecting your body from swelling – One of the most crucial benefits of the consumption of bay leaves is that it has anti-swelling properties; thanks to the existence of a distinctive phytonutrient named parthenolide, it helps in reducing your swelling significantly. It also decreases the chance of developing a joint disease called “Arthritis”.
- Can it treat Kidney stones? – In a study done in 2014, scientists try to find out whether a belief could cure kidney stones or not. The results were quite shocking, scientists found that the regular consumption of bay leaf along with some other traditional medicinal herbs can decrease the quantity of urease. Urease is an enzyme that is responsible for various gastric disorders such as kidney stones.
- Can it exile Brain Disorders? – It is written in ancient texts that the regular consumption of bay leaf can help in treating seizures. Scientists try to find out whether this theory is true or not. They found that the extract of the bay leaf is beneficial in protecting rights against seizures. It was possible because of the distinctive chemical components of bay leaves. Scientists have not started to study the effect of bay leaf extracts on humans. They are trying to cure people who are diagnosed with epilepsy.
- Protects your body from fungal infection- In research scientists have found that bay leaves come with antifungal properties. These properties defend your skin from any outside material that might cause infection or irritation. By adding a bay leaf to your diet you can form a protective layer that will stop bacteria and other foreign materials from entering the membrane.
Some Facts Related to Bay Leaf:
A bay leaf never brings any change to the nutrition value of the dish. Typically, people remove the leaf from the dish before eating it. A 1-tablespoon of crumbled bay leaf provides 5 calories of carbohydrates.
Some of the micronutrients that are present in bay leaves are Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, iron, and Vitamin C.
Some people also love tea that is made with bay leaves, they also add bay leaves in water with which they bathe, and even add crumbled bay leaves in their skin cream.
Bay leaves are also used in treating diseases like cancer, gas, joint pains, and dandruff. However, scientists don’t promote the use of bay leaves in such conditions.
There are only a few people who say that bay leaves have helped them in curing diabetes mellitus.
Bay leaves are also useful in curing hair fall and hair follicles.
Side effects of bay leaf:
It is very dangerous to consume a whole bay leaf. The leaf remains unbroken and it will become very hard to. It may get stuck in your throat and cause damage to it.
It is safe to consume a small amount of bay leaf and a grounded bay leaf. It is also safe if you are consuming bay leaf for a medical purpose only for a short period of time. However, there is no evidence to find out the effect of the high consumption of bay leaf.
Recipe of famous Bay Leaf tea:
- 16 ounce of water
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1-2 juicy lemons
Place all the ingredients together in a utensil, put the utensil on the stove, and wait till it boils. That’s all, drink it whenever you want.
The regular consumption of bay leaf tea will help you in calming your mind and reducing the level of stress. The aromatic odour of the leaves are very soothing and the quintessence of the spiced tea makes the tea more mouth-watering.