Bay leaf

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Bay leaf has been used since ancient Greece as a symbol of praise or scholarship for heroes and poets. Bay leaf is primarily used to flavor foods, and it is used by chefs of ethnic cuisines, from Italian to Thai. It is also frequently used in salt-free seasonings.
Bay leaf is thought to be useful for gastric ulcers, high blood sugar, migraines, and infections. Bay leaves and berries have been used as astringents, to promote sweating and relief of intestinal gas, and to tone and strengthen the stomach. In the Middle Ages, bay leaf was believed to induce abortion. Traditionally, the berries of the bay tree were used to treat boils. The leaf essential oil of Laurus nobilis has been used as an antiepileptic remedy in Iranian traditional medicine.
Bay leaf may have beneficial effects on glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"), HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"), and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Currently, scientific evidence supporting the use of bay leaf to treat any condition in humans is lacking.

Related Terms

1,8-Cineole, alpha-methylene-gamma-butyrolactone moiety, bay laurel, bay tree, costunolide, daphne, dehydrocostus lactone, Grecian laurel, guaianolides, Lauraceae (family), laurel, laurel oil, laurus, Laurus nobilis L., Laurus nobilis var. angustifolia, Laurus azorica, Mediterranean bay, Mediterranean laurel, noble laurel, p-menthane hydroperoxide, reynosin, Roman laurel, santamarine, sclerophyllous shrubs, sesquiterpenes, sweet bay, sweet laurel, true bay, trypanocidal terpenoids, zaluzanin D.
Note: Bay leaf (Laurus nobilis) may be confused with California bay leaf (Umbellularia californica), also known as "California laurel" or "Oregon myrtle," or Indian bay leaf (Cinnamoma tamala). California bay leaf (Umbellularia californica), Indian bay leaf (Cinnamoma tamala), cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), and laurel (Ocotea puberula) are not covered in this monograph, which covers bay leaf (Laurus nobilis), as well as the closely related Laurus azorica.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Diabetes (Grade: C)
Bay leaf may have beneficial effects on glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"), HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"), and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Additional research is needed in this area.
High cholesterol (Grade: C)
Bay leaf may have beneficial effects on glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"), HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"), and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Additional research is needed in this area.