Laurel: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits
Laurel, Laurus nobilis L. belongs to the family of Lauraceae and includes plants originating from Asia Minor, introduced in the Mediterranean basin in ancient times.
It is a very widespread plant, especially in countries with a temperate climate both in the plains and in the hills. Laurel or laurel is a perennial shrub-like plant and can take the form of a bush or a tree so that if it finds the right ideal, it can reach 10-12 m in height.
The trunk is normally smooth with blackish bark with thin and very dense branches.The bay leaves, carried by a short petiole, are lanceolate, leathery, of a beautiful dark green with wavy edges and with a glossy upper page while the lower one is a pale, dull green-yellow. They are rich in resinous glands that give it its characteristic aroma. The flowers are gathered in cluster inflorescences or axillary buds and bloom in early spring.
It is a dioecious plant that is to say that there are plants that carry only male flowers (with stamens) and plants that have only female flowers (and stamisterili) that carry the female reproductive organs.
The laurel fruit is a berry, similar to a small olive that turns bluish-black as it ripens. The berries contain only one seed and ripen in October and November and are very aromatic.
If you want to know how to grow it, go to this page.
Laurel is a plant rich in essential oils both in the leaves (from 1 to 3%) and in the berries (from 1 to 10%) such as: geraniol, cineol, eugenol, terpineol, phellandrene, eucalyptol, pinene.
Numerous therapeutic capacities are recognized by the laurel plant thanks to its essential oils: it treats rheumatism and muscle tears, has relaxing abilities, reduces sweating, has expectorant and digestive properties.
Bay leaves have antipyretic properties.
For a long time, laurel has been used as a remedy for the plague.
USED PARTS OF THE PLANT
The leaves without the petiole are used for the laurel and can be harvested throughout the year. It should be borne in mind that the younger they are, the higher their content in active ingredients. The leaves are dried in the sun.
The berries harvested in autumn are dried in a dark place.
HOW TO USE IT
The infusion of bay leaves helps digestion especially for those with fermentation problems, helps in cases of loss of appetite and fights stomach pains.
The decoction is used for colds and rheumatism.
For rheumatism, sprains and sprains, frictions with essential oils are also used.
A few drops of bay oil and a handful of leaves in the water allows you to obtain a fragrant and revitalizing bath.
Its use in the kitchen is well known.
Today laurel is normally used in cooking all over the world for its aroma. The peculiarity is that its leaves do not lose their aroma after cooking.
In Emilia Romagna (Italy) from its berries is obtained a delicious liqueur calledlaurin.
There are no contraindications reported for the use of laurel.
LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS
You see: Laurel - The language of flowers and plants.
It is a rustic evergreen plant typical of Mediterranean which easily adapts to even the coldest climates and can be grown in any type of soil.
Her leaves they are used in the kitchen for aromatic essences and can be harvested all year round.
Thanks to its high content of oils essential, laurel is an excellent ally for our health and a fragrant ingredient in the kitchen.
Already Greeks and Romans exploited laurel for its marked beneficial properties that have made it famous over the centuries as a health plant with multiple applications.
In addition to covering a well-deserved place in the kitchen, bay leaves are a worthy element to use in the therapeutic field. The aromatic leaves are a concentrate of fibers, proteins and mineral salts. But that's not all, experts have highlighted the presence of B vitamins inside, in addition to others such as the vitamin A and the C.. To get a little more specific, in the list below there are some certain benefits on laurel:
- Respiratory system. Its benefits are appreciated for naturally treating respiratory problems. Its use in fact helps to dissolve the phlegm and mucus that obstruct (and create discomfort) in the respiratory tract. It is therefore an excellent expectorant.
- Digestive. The bay leaf infusion is useful for purifying the body, fighting aerophagia and improving digestion. It is obtained from the leaves of the plant, the usual ones from which the liqueur is also born.
- Immunitary defense. The vitamins inside (in particular A and C) are responsible for stimulating the immune defenses. At the same time, they fight free radicals which, if in excess, can create even serious imbalances within the body.
- Nervous system. It has many components that have a positive effect on the nervous system. Just to give an example, the leaves find space in some therapies that try to go and cure anorexia. It is shown to be suitable for combating some mood problems and insomnia.
- energy: 307 kcal
- proteins: 7.14 g
- lipids, total (fat): 7.14 g
- carbohydrates: 71.43 g
- Fiber, total: 28.6 g
- sugars, total: 28.57 g
- calcium, CA: 0 mg
- iron, FE: 0 mg
- sodium, NA: 21 mg
- vitamin C, total ascorbic acid: 0 mg
- vitamin A, IU: 0 IU
- saturated fatty acids, total: 0g
- trans fatty acids, total: 0 g
- cholesterol: 0 g.
- Heat 2 cups of water in a pot until it begins to boil.
- Add the fresh bay leaves to the boiling water and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Soak a cloth with the infusion and apply it to the chest.
- Another option is to soak the bay leaves in hot water and place them directly on the chest in the form of a compress.
- Cover the chest with a towel and reheat the leaves every time they cool.
- Bad digestion - my grandmother always took her laurel infusion at the end of a meal, because she did not digest well anything she ate. Laurel is perfect if you often suffer from stomach pain
- Of erythema and redness due to excessive exposure to the sun - if you boil bay leaves in water and then pass them on the reddened parts it is a real panacea. For example, I am a fair complexion, which has irritations at the first exposure to the spring sun. The laurel has saved me many times
- Headache - before taking any medicines, try drinking the bay leaf infusion and see if it does not relieve your grandmother's discomfort
- Insomnia - if you have trouble falling asleep in the evening or if you are having a difficult time in your life with your grandmother, the bay leaf tea gives you a great hand
Inflamed gums. A natural remedy (which intervenes without causing side effects) in case of inflamed gums involves the use of gargle with water where the bay leaves have been cooked. It takes about 10 and they have to boil. After cooling, it can be used for oral hygiene. 1 lukewarm glass a day is enough.
Relaxing bath. Its use is common for the purpose of offering a nice relaxing bath. It is also quite suitable for foot baths. This concerns the decoction of laurel, achievable with a few leaves of the plant. These must be stamped for at least 20 minutes.
How is laurel used?
Its uses are the most diverse since it is common in the world of gardening, in the kitchen, but also in cosmetics and phytotherapy. The plant present here is present in practically every sector. The infusion of laurel, for example, offers many useful effects for the body. Thelaurel essential oil, an anti-stress remedy and more ... we will talk about this interesting essence in the next articles!
In cooking, the leaves lend themselves well to meat and soups. One recipe to try is the baked pork shank with potatoes, superlative thanks to its mix of flavors that unbalance anyone. All accentuated by the laurel of course.
However, berries are also widely used for their countless health properties. Generally used as an astringent product, due to their haemostatic and anti-inflammatory effect. Thanks to these laurel berries, a product is created that takes the name of l 'laurel oil.
When placed on the scales, the benefits outweigh the contraindications of laurel. However they are not to be underestimated, but to be evaluated with the utmost consideration. Experts advise parents not to let their children take bay leaves, unless they are about 6 years old. The plant can cause allergies, a bit like all foods therefore. As for pregnant women, consult an expert before consuming laurel. Finally, excessive consumption can cause vomiting and / or nausea. Some also seem to have accused episodes of drowsiness due to an excess of laurel, a side effect that can cause problems, for example, in those who have to drive vehicles or use special tools.
Is laurel poisonous?
There is a common belief that laurel is poisonous. We need to clarify this topic immediately. The commonly used laurel plant, which in the botanical field is called Laurus nobilis (as well as today's protagonist) is not poisonous at all. It is in fact commonly used in the kitchen. However, the greatest attention must be paid to Laurel Cherry laurel, the only toxic species of this plant.
Nutritional values of laurel
100 grams of leaves of Laurus Nobiliscontain:
Wraps with bay leaves
To make your own wraps, you can prepare an infusion based on bay leaves. These packs can help relieve some episodic, mild-intensity ailments.
Laurel and its properties? There are so many in ’Nonna
Laurel is a plant that is always worth having at home, especially if you suffer from:
In addition, the laurel has some antioxidant and purifying properties, so it's perfect if you suffer from the common discomfort of cellulite, like all of us on the other hand. do not fear.
The bay leaf infusion is also an excellent after-hangover, when you get up in the morning and are weighed down by the night before ...
… And yes grandmother's joy, we had a good time with my husband, before having our beloved daughters.
We liked to dance and every Saturday night we went to the dance halls ... and of course we let ourselves go with the drinks a bit. The next day we would wake up a little dazed, but we drank a cup of bay leaf infusion and immediately felt better.
I could tell you all the hours for hours properties and benefits of the laurel plant, but there are so many that I would never finish.
Probably another benefit that you may be interested in knowing is the curative one for bronchitis and pneumonia.
My daughters loved playing outside when they were little, even in the dead of winter. There was no way to bring them into the house and they often got cold.
Since until then I had tried the laurel plant for everything, I tested its healing properties on little girls.
First of all, I accustomed them to drinking an infusion of laurel a day, from the age of 10, throughout the winter and then, when one of the two had a beginning of bronchitis with a high fever, I prepared a sort of cream of laurel and I spread it on his chest. It was excellent for alleviating the discomfort of bronchitis.
Obviously we had her treated properly, but the doctor complimented me for that idea, because he said that it had helped the little girl a lot to heal.
Do I have to consult a doctor to use the laurel-based remedies?
Before starting to make use of home remedies based on laurel, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Otherwise, there is a risk that their use could interfere with other substances and create adverse reactions.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that we must never replace the treatment prescribed by the doctor with any home remedy, even when its benefits are very well known on a popular level, because complications could arise. In any case, if the professional authorizes its use, the remedy can be used as a complement in the context of a healthy lifestyle.