10 Health Benefits of Bay Leaves and Side Effects

Bay leaves serve many purposes. Although they are considered to be aromatic leaves, they are usually used as ingredients in various food dishes. Bay leaves come from several types of plants all around the world, including Mexico, Indonesia, India, and the United States. They have a distinctly bitter taste which makes them perfect as a spice for many foods. If you keep the leaves dry, they provide a strong fragrance which is said to have remedial properties. Eating bay leaves gives you these benefits too.

Top 10 Health Benefits

Below are the 10 health benefits of bay leaves.

1) Diabetes Control – If you consume bay leaves about 1 to 2 times daily, there is a good chance it will lower your blood sugar levels when they are high. It does this by accelerating the body’s production of insulin so that blood sugar can be controlled. Anyone at risk of type 2 diabetes will benefit the most here.

2) Better Digestion – Your digestion health will be improved with bay leaves. If you experience a lot of bloating and constipation, then bay leaves will give you a lot of relief from these conditions. They work to fire up your digestive tract and keep its juices flowing strong.

3) Better Cardiovascular Health – The caffeic acid and rutin in bay leaves are good for the heart. It will make the heart walls more durable and work to lower your cholesterol. This will reduce your chances of obtaining a stroke or heart attack.

4) Fights Cancer – Some medical studies have revealed that bay leaves can actually kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading in the body. This is attributed to certain compounds in the leaves, such as catechins and phytonutrients.

5) Pain Reliever – The anti-inflammatory properties of bay leaves will come in handy if you experience pain from arthritis, sprains, or joint problems. These properties will reduce your painful symptoms and help you relax more.

6) Alleviates Coughing and Throat Irritation – If your throat is clogged and irritated, you are probably coughing a lot too. If you consume bay leaf juices orally, they can unclog your throat’s air passages so that you can breathe better. Furthermore, it will destroy the bacteria that caused your cough and throat irritation in the first place.

7) Heals Wounds – People have used bay leaves to heal wounds faster for centuries. Since bay leaves have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, any scars and wounds on the skin will clear up faster with a topical treatment of bay leaves.

8) Reduces Stress – If you have a lot on your mind and are just filled with anxiety and stressed out nerves, then bay leaves may help you relax more. People like to drink a bay leaf solution before they go to sleep at night for this reason.

9) Relieves Kidney Stone Pain – Gastric problems, such as kidney stones, can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. Bay leaves is a natural form of treatment for this discomfort. They will help you feel better as you deal with this problem.

10) Helps Hair Growth – If you have experienced hair loss or have a lot of dried skin and dandruff on your scalp, then bay leaves have natural hair growth properties to help you with this issue. After you boil the bay leaves, dilute it with water and possibly even coconut oil to give it more of a lathery feel. Then rub it on your scalp and hair and leave it on for half an hour. This should give moisture to your scalp and hair so that regrowth can occur.

Read also: 10 Health Benefits of Soursop Leaves and Side Effects

Side Effects

You need to be careful which plants you get your bay leaves from. There are some bay leaf variations which are poisonous, especially the ones from plants like the cherry laurel and mountain laurel. If you purchase your bay leaves from retail stores, then you can feel safe consuming them. However, if you go pick your own bay leaves outside, you need to be aware of the poisonous ones versus the non-poisonous ones. Aside from that, do not eat the whole bay leaf because it cannot be digested. Boil it for its juices instead.

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