The medicinal power of laurel

Bay leaf is a tasty herb that is rarely eaten because it has a leathery, tough structure. By cooking bay leaves in a sauce, it imparts flavor and medicinal properties. It is harmless to eat the leaves but it is not advisable; simply because it is not tasty and difficult to chew. Laurel has particular medicinal properties for intestinal problems. Bay leaf is also said to have an antidepressant effect, but this has not been scientifically proven. Some people feel calmer after drinking bay leaf tea and have less desire to give in to smoking or sweets addiction. It’s hard enough to break an addiction so you can always try. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing laurel / Source: Köhler’s Medizinal Pflanzen, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Naming laurel
  • Where does laurel come from?
  • Laurel for diabetes
  • Laurel as folk medicine
  • Bay leaf against diarrhea
  • External folk medicinal uses laurel
  • Other folk medicine applications:
  • Laurel in food


Naming laurel

The Latin name of laurel is Laurus Nobilis . Nobilis means ‘noble’. In fact it says ‘noble laurel’. The laurel tree is an evergreen tree. Laurier has had many imitations in Dutch from ancient times. To ‘laurel someone’ means to give someone a laurel wreath or to honor someone for their achievements. There are several types of laurel, but not all of them are useful as medicine or herb in dishes. The California laurel is used in the US as a bay leaf; This tree is a close relative of the laurel from Southern Europe.

Where does laurel come from?

Laurel originally grows in the eastern Mediterranean; around Greece and Turkey. Olympic winners

Dried bay leaf / Source: Henna, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-1.0)

Competitions were decorated with a laurel wreath in ancient Greece. The term that ‘someone is praised’ comes from this herb. The ancient Romans also honored people who had achieved special achievements. The laurel leaf symbolized wisdom, peace and protection.

People who believe in magical potions use bay leaf in drinks that increase mental powers.


Laurel for diabetes

Bay leaf is good for people with diabetes. If you drink bay leaf tea daily, blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels will decrease. As a result, cardiovascular disease will also occur less often in diabetes patients. Cardiovascular disease is a known complication of diabetes. This became known after Pakistani research that was first published at a conference in Washington in 2007. More research will have to be conducted if the scientific community is to actually be able to use laurel as a medicinal plant for diabetes complications.

Laurel as folk medicine

Licorice is made with, among other things, laurel as a flavor. Such a bay leaf drop used to be a way to use bay leaf as a medicinal herb. In folk medicine, laurel is used as a medicine for various diseases. These medical effects have not yet been subject to scientific research. It was used as a diuretic, diuretic. It is also a means of inducing vomiting, but then a lot must be used. Furthermore, it has astringent or

Close-up blooming laurel tree / Source: Giancarlo Dessì, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

astringent properties and helps wounds to secrete less fluid. You could wash your head hair with a strong laurel tea. It is said to be good against dandruff. In addition, it is used in some natural medicine therapies as a remedy for bronchitis. For this, a decoction of laurel is cooled and applied to the skin as a compress. The beneficial substances from laurel are absorbed through the skin.

Priestesses who worked for the oracle of Delfi chewed laurel leaves so that they could better fulfill their prophecies.


Bay leaf against diarrhea

Another folk medicinal power of bay leaf is its anti-diarrhea efficacy. Bay leaf stops the growth of bacteria that lead to diarrhea. In addition to the laurel leaves, the bark and fruits of laurel could also be used against conditions associated with diarrhea.

External folk medicinal uses laurel

Laurel has many more uses in folk medicine. It is used externally for rheumatism, sprains, bruises, ulcers and scabies. You can use a compress for this. In addition, laurel essential oil is used to treat the above conditions. You can put a drop of oil on the lymph nodes. The body has 500 to 600 lymph nodes spread throughout the body. The armpit, neck and chest are points where lymph nodes come together.

Other folk medicine applications:

  • In France, bay leaf is used to dispel flatulence.
  • In Israel, bay leaf is used as a potency enhancer.
  • In Lebanon, fresh bay leaves are used to induce an abortion.
  • In Spain, laurel essential oil is used to repel lice.


Laurel in food

Bay leaves are edible, but hardly anyone does. The flavor is released very well if you cook them in a sauce. Usually only dried bay leaves are used. In general, dried leaves release their flavor better in water. You can add bay leaf to a stew, sauce, marinade, tomato dishes and in pickled vegetables. You remove the bay leaf from the dish after preparation. Another use is to drink bay leaf tea. You can make an excellent tea from three or four bay leaves.

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