FROM THE DESK OF DR. HILDY™ – Botanicals of Antiquity – BAY LEAVES

FROM THE DESK OF DR. HILDY™                    

by Dr. Hildegarde Staninger, RIET-1    

Series 4:  Botanicals of Antiquity        BAY LEAVES

© August 3, 2012

Bay leaves have been used in culinary dishes from all over the word to give the tasty dish a “little zing” since ancient times. The bay tree belongs to the family of Laurraceane of the genus Laurus nobilis.   It is thought to originate from Asia Minor, but spread all over the Mediterranean and Asia during earlier times. 

Bay Leaf Tree

The bay plant is a conical evergreen tree growing to 30 feet in height.  Yellow or greenish white, star shaped flowers appear during early spring, which subsequently produce dark green-purplish single seeded berry.  The leaves are eliptic and shiny dark green about 3 to 4 inches long, rather thick and leathery.  

The leaves give off a sweet aroma when broken and added to a dish or your flour container to keep it fresh.  When slightly wilted and dried, they are strongly aromatic.  The dried fruit is also used as a flavoring agent in cuisines.

If you want to use it as a lymphatic and central nervous system detoxifying water, cell



regenerator as it nurtures your body back to health I personally recommend the following Dr. Hildy™ recipe.   Add 8 bay leaves to 4 quarts of water (spaghetti pot size to hold the water).    Bring to a boil, and then set to a side, off the burner.  Let steep 15 minutes or longer.   Pour into a pitcher as it cools down and keep in the refrigerator.  Serve as a refreshing drink. After drinking two glasses (approximately 10- to 12 ounces each) you may experience its detoxifying effects as it cleans out the nervous system of the lymph glands and CNS.  You will feel it strip the toxic build up away.  In cases where an individual may have been exposed to aromatic solvents, organophosphates/carbamates and silanes/siloxanes the bay leaf water will clean out the spinal cord and 350 glands within the individuals head.  You may experience a sweating from the crown of your head to the tip of your spine.  Quite refreshing and invigorating as the more you clean this target organ system.

The health benefits of bay leaf are the following: 

  • ·        Bay leaf was highly praised by the Greeks and the Romans, who thought that the herb was symbolic of wisdom, peace and protection.
  • ·        The spice contains many notable plant derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health, detox and cellular regeneration.
  • ·        This spice has many volatile active components such as alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, alpha terpineol,

    Jar of Bay Leaves

    geranyl acetate, eugeonol and chavicol.  These compounds are known to have antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties, due to vincae a compound that shrinks tumors and cysts.

  • ·        Fresh leaves are a rich source of vitamin-C; provide 46.5 mcg or 77.5 % of RDA per 100 g.  Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidants that help remove harmful free radicals from the body.  Ascorbic acid also has immune boosting properties, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
  • ·        Furthermore, its fresh leaves and herb pars are very good in folic acid; contain about 1809 mcg or 455 of RDA per 100 g.  Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during pre-conception period can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • ·        Bay leaves are excellent source of vitamin A; contain 61285 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g.  Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant and is an essential vitamin for vision.  It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.  Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect form lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • ·        The spice is indeed a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.  These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism
  • ·        This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium.  Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.  Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.  Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes.  

Ancient Medicinal uses of bay leaf are the following:

 ·        Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful.  It has stringent, diuretic and appetite stimulant properties.

  • ·        Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, alpha and beta pinene, phellandrene, linatool, geraniol and terpineol are also found.
  • ·        Infusions of herb parts are reputed to sooth the stomach and relieve flatulence and colic pain.
  • ·        The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
  • ·        Bay laurel infusions are used to soothe the stomach ulcers and relieve flatulence.
  • ·        The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis and flu symptoms. 

Traditionally, the leaves are picked and dried slowly under the shade, away from direct sunlight, in order to retain volatile essential oils. 

In the spice stores, one might come across different kinds of bay leaf preparations.  Completely dried, dried crushed, freeze-dried, and dried and ground forms are displayed for sale in various food or culinary stores.  Buy form authentic sources and avoid those with off-smell, spots, or fungus infected leaves.  Once at home store them in an airtight jar or container.   Use the leaves in your flour container or corn starch container to keep bugs away.



All information contained herein is for educational purposes. The
information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The  information is not intended to replace medical care, diagnose, treat, prevent,  mitigate or cure disease. We believe in the individual’s informed right to  choose their own health care methods. As always, consult with a health professional before attempting any self-health program.


Posted on August 10, 2012, in BAY LEAF, Detoxifying, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you for this post. I want to only say that bay leaf tea has helped me tremendously with controlling my rheumatoid arthritis–it is the best pain killer I have ever tried. A small cup of tea is enough to reduce and eliminate inflammation in the smaller joints and drinking the tea over a few days handles any pain or swelling in the bigger joints (e.g. knees). One side effect is that it makes me sleepy, but this is NOTHING compared to the side effect of Methotrexate, which I flat out refused to take. Thank God for bay leaves.

  2. Reblogged this on paynefulponderings and commented:
    This was my “learn something new” topic of today.

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