8 incredible benefits of bay leaf you must know about
Bay leaf is a staple spice that’s used to add a distinct flavor to curries, soups, and other recipes. Not only this, the herbal-flavored and culinary herb is also quite popular for its medicinal properties and numerous health advantages. Bay leaves are commonly found as whole, dry leaves but they are also available in powdered form.
Some studies suggest that bay leaves contain anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties that can help with a variety of health problems. Want to know more about the incredible benefits of bay leaf? Read on to learn more about it.
Top 8 health benefits of bay leaf
Take a look at some of the amazing advantages of using bay leaves in your diet:
1. Promotes immune health
Bay leaves contain a significant amount of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals and also provide a small amount of calories to foods. They are also rich in essential vitamins like vitamins A, C, and B6, which are all known to boost the immune system.
2. Manages diabetes
Another great benefit of bay leaf is its ability to manage diabetes. Studies suggest that consuming bay leaves can lower blood sugar levels and help you manage your type 2 diabetes concerns. Moreover, this culinary leaf can lower bad cholesterol, too.
3. Improves kidney health
Bay leaves contain a good amount of diuretic properties that help improve the functioning of the kidneys. Diuretics promote urination, which in return helps eliminate toxins from the body.
Several studies also claim that this medicinal leaf prevents the formation of kidney stones and eliminates sodium from the body as well.
4. Promotes digestion
Bay leaf is also good for digestion as it prevents gastric problems and keeps the gastrointestinal system healthy and well-functioning. The essential compounds found in bay leaves soothe upset stomach and prevents problems like irritable bowel syndrome as well. Consumption of bay leaves can make it easier to digest food, too.
5. Prevents fungal infections
This culinary herb is known for its antifungal properties, which help fight a variety of fungal skin infections. Additionally, the vitamin C in bay leaves prevents the skin from damage and keeps the immune system healthy as well.
6. Contains anticancer properties
Alongside antifungal and antioxidant properties, bay leaves are also rich in anticancer properties that help keep cancer at bay. The organic compounds such as catechins, phytonutrients, and parthenolide in this beneficial leaf protect the body from the harmful effects of cancer cells and keep the body and its organs super healthy.
7. Good for heart health
Studies suggest that bay leaf contains caffeic acid and rutin, both of which are important compounds required by the heart to work efficiently.
Medical experts believe that these compounds work by improving the functioning of the capillary walls in the heart, which as a result helps manage cholesterol levels and keeps the heart healthy.
8. Improves hair
If you have damaged and dull hair, using bay leaves can help. Several anecdotal studies suggest that this leaf can work wonders for your hair and repair damaged strands to a great extent.
To use bay leaves on your hair, you can use its powdered form as a hair mask or simply steep a few leaves and use the water to rinse your hair.
Benefits of burning bay leaf
Apart from consuming bay leaves, you can even burn them to attain their benefits. Yes, you heard that right! It is said that the smoke produced from burning these leaves provides numerous physical and mental health advantages, including anxiety relief.
Several studies suggest that the smoke of burning bay leaves contains an essential compound called linalool, which is famous for its use in treating anxiety and depression. This compound is also found in other plants including lavender and mint.
Bay leaves are mostly considered safe for almost anyone, but you’ll want to avoid them if you are diabetic, have allergies, or have any kind of respiratory problem including asthma. Also, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or going to have surgery, it's best to avoid bay leaves or consult a doctor to know about their usage.