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Bay Essential Oil
Benefits of Bay Essential Oil
Sweet bay essential oil or bay leaf oil is obtained from the leaves of laurus nobilis or Mediterranean bay laurel tree through steam distillation. Bay leaves have been used by the Romans to symbolize peace, protection and wisdom. The leaves were also used as medicine to treat angina, digestive problems, gout and heart palpitations. The fresh and dried leaves are also used to add flavoring to soups and stews.
Bay oil produces a strong and spicy aroma and is used in cooking, aromatherapy and as medicinal oil. Among its constituents include 1.8 cineole, alpha tocopherol, eugenol, kaempferol and sesquiterpenes. A study conducted at the Kyoto pharmaceutical university of Japan found that bay leaf extract contains methanolic acid which is effective in the absorption of ethanol absorption.
Some of the properties of bay oil include antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiparasitic and mucolytic. It is also used as a tonic and mild sedative.
Medicinal Uses of Bay Essential Oil and Bay Leaf
- Its sedative and uplifting effects are helpful in relieving stress and tension. An easy way to use it is to add a few drops into a warm bath. Another option is to diffuse the oil and inhale it.
- When used in steam or vapor therapy, it helps clear nasal, lung congestion and other respiratory problems caused by the common cold or flu. Applying a compress on your chest made by steeping bay leaves or adding bay oil to warm water may help relieve chest congestion.
- Drinking a cup of bay leaf tea may help prevent gastric and other digestive problems such as colic, dyspepsia, flatulence or intestinal gas and stomach aches. Instead of taking it internally as a remedy for digestive problems, you can use bay oil as an ointment. Blend the oil mixed with olive oil and rub it on your abdomen.
- Drinking bay leaf tea may also promote sweating and reduce a fever.
- As a hair tonic, one of the uses of bay oil is to prevent hair loss. Adding about 10 drops of bay essential oil with your shampoo may also help loosen dandruff and treat the problem.
- Its astringent action may help treat skin inflammation and infections caused by bacteria of fungus. Dilute bay oil and use it as a compress, poultice or skin wash.
- You can use bay oil as massage oil to provide relief for sprains and pains such as arthritis, headache and rheumatism. A massage with diluted bay essential oil may improve blood circulation. Another way to use it for joint pain relief is to apply a poultice using crushed bay leaves or bay leaf powder.
- You can also use bay leaves as an insecticide and especially to keep moths away.
Preliminary studies indicate that bay herb may also help fight againsts MRSA virus, lower LDL level and reduce the risk of diabetes type 2.
Bay essential oil can be used alone or blended with bergamot oil, clary sage oil, frankincense, patchouli and ylang ylang oils.
If you want to add the flavor and aroma of bay leaf to your cooking, add a drop of bay oil. It is equivalent to about 3 bay leaves. You can make bay leaf tea using between 1g to 3g of the dried or fresh leaves per day. What you need to do is add the leaves in a cup of hot water and let it steep for 15 minutes.
Always dilute pure bay essential oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or grapeseed oil before applying to your skin to avoid skin irritation and allergic reaction.