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Bay Leaves (Laurus nobilis) - Properties, Benefits, Parts used & Dosage

Bay leaves (Laurus nobilis)

The botanical name of Bay leaf is (Cinnamomumtamala). It is a small Mediterranean aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, smooth, and hairless leaves. This herb is having a distinctive flavor and fragrance. It is easily found in the kitchen and commonly used in cooking. The dry leaves have full flavor but the fresh leaves have very mild and do not develop their full flavor. The leaves of this herb are used in dried form. This herb helps in pacifying the Vata and Kapha Dosha and also helps in increasing the Pitta Dosha.

Bay Leaves Synonyms

  • Laurel leaf
  • Tejapatra
  • Patraka
  • Utkat
  • Tamaalpatra
  • Naalikaa
  • Naalukaa

Regional Names of Bay leaf

  • English name: Lignea, Bay leaf, India Cassia
  • Hindi name: Tejpat
  • Assamese name: Tejpat, Mahpat
  • Guajarati name: TamalaPatra, Develee
  • Bengali name: Tejpatra, Tejpata
  • Kannada name : DalchiniEle,  Tamalapatra
  • Kashmiri name: Dalchini pan, Tajpatra
  • Marathi name: Tamalpatra
  • Oriya name: Tejapatra
  • Punjabi name: Tajapter
  • Urdu name: Tezpat
  • Tamil name: Lavangapatri
  • Telugu name: Akupatri
  • Danish name: IndishLaurbareblad
  • Finnish name: Lauries des Indes
  • German name: IndischesLorburblatt
  • Japanese name: Tamara-nikkei, Tezipatto
  • Hungaraian name: Indiaibaberlevel
  • Burmese name: Thitchabo, Thitkyabo

Classification of Ashoka

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Rosidae
  • Order - Fabales
  • Family – Leguminosae 
  • Subfamily - Caesalpinaceae
  • Genus - Saraca
  • Species - Asoca/ Indica

Classical Categorization of Ashoka

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Laurales
  • Family: Lauraceae
  • Genus: Cinnamomum
  • Species: Cinnamomum Tamala

Description of Bay leaf plant

Bay leaf is commonly known as Tejpatta. Tejpatta is a small growing tree of about 20-30 feet in height. The bark of tejpatta tree is thin, tough, and rough with folds. The branches of the tree are round, evergreen, and bears leaves throughout the year. The leaves are thick, 4-7 inch long and having deep vein-like structure in the upper surface and this has a strong odor. Fruits of this tree are of round shape and of purple color and also have a single seed inside. Flowers are bloom in the month of January and the fruits appear in May-August.

Habitat of Bay leaf

Bay leaf tree originates from Mediteranean region, but it can be found in the world today. It can be found in the tropical and subtropical Himalayas, the Nilgiri hills, the Khasi hills, and also found in the foot of the Sikkim Himalayas. 

Chemical Composition of Bay leaf

Bay leaf contain about 1.3% essential oils, comprises 45% eucalyptol, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 12% other terpenes, 3-4% sesquiterpenes, 3% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyl eugenol, and other Linalool, phellandrene, Geraniol,terpineol and lauric acid.

The most abundant constituents of Laurusnobilis essential oil is 1, 8-cineole which is also named as eucalyptol.

Types of Bay leaf:


Bay leaves come from different plants:

  1. Mediterranean bay leaf: this leaf is a culinary herb often used to flavor stews, soups, etc
  2. California bay leaf: these leaves are longer, skinnier, and have a stronger flavor
  3. Indian bay leaf: Indian bay leaf are shorter and of light medium green color with one large vein down the length of the leaf. This variety is used for medicinal purposes.
  4. Indonesian bay leaf:  these are aromatic leaves used in Indonesian cooking.

Ayurvedic Properties of Bay leaf

Ancient Verse About Bay leaf
(Reference: Bhavaparkasha Nighantu // Kapooradi varga // Shalok no. 68)

Hindi / SanskritEnglish
RasaKatu, MadhuraTastePungent and Sweet
GunaLaghu, Tikshna, PicchilaPhysical PropertyLight, Sharp, Slimy
VeeryaUshnaPotencyHot
VipakaKatuUndergoes pungent taste conversion after digestionPungent

Bay Leaves Effect on Doshas

Due to Laghu and Tikshna properties, it helps in alleviating Kapha Dosha and due to Ushna veerya, it helps in alleviating Vata dosha.

DoshaEffects
Vata-
Pitta+
Kapha-

Bay leaf helps in the elimination of Ama and helps in weak digestive fire.

Action of Bay Leaf on Various Systems

  • Digestive system: This herb is helpful in increasing digestive power thus beneficial in the problems of digestive system
  • Cardiovascular system: It helps in reducing cholesterol and also helps in strengthening the walls of the heart.
  • Respiratory system: it helps in the condition like asthma and bronchitis.
  • Urinary system: it acts as diuretic in nature and helps in production of adequate urine.
  • Reproductive system: It is used in uterine inertia. It also helps in fertilization and overcomes habitual abortion.

Bay Leaf Uses and Benefits

Bay leaf can be used in the form of Powder, paste, whole leaf, decoction. It can be used both external and internal purposes. 

External use:

  • Make the paste of the leaves, apply it on the chest and leave overnight. Inhaling the vapor also shows similar effects and eliminates bacteria that causes bad effects on respiratory tract.
  • To improve the health of hair follicles and eliminate dandruff, soak some bay leaves in the water when leaves become soft and then after shampooing rub them on your scalp.
  • Apply the bay leaf paste on the painful conditions like headache, migraine, etc.

Internal use:

  • Bay leaf shows a very strong effect on the gastrointestinal system. It helps in removing toxins from the stomach. It is also helpful in various conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or even reduces the symptoms of Celiac’s disease.
  • Bay leaf contains anti-bacterial properties.  The essential oil from bay leaves can be apply on chest, it will help to reduce various respiratory condition.
  • Bay leaf helps in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • Bay leaf helps to eliminate low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and beneficial in cardiovascular system.
  • Bay leaves improve insulin receptor function and help to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. It reduces the level of LDL which is known as bad cholesterol and increased levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Bay leaf also has antifungal properties which especially fight against the Candida infection. The leaf prevents the adhesion of candida to the cell walls, thereby stopping its penetration through the membranes.
  • Bay leaves contain phytonutrients, catechins, Linalool, and parthenolide in it which helps to protect our body from the influence of cancer-causing free radicals. Free radicals can convert healthy cells into cancerous cells and Bay leaves may stop this activity because it contains these antioxidants and organic compounds.
  • Bay leaves containLinalool which can help to reduce the stress hormone level in the body, especially when used as an aromatherapy. An increase in stress hormone levels can be dangerous, so bay leaves provide you with calming effect and relaxation even when you are in high-anxiety moments.

Part Used of Bay Leaf

The parts of the bay leaf used in the formation of medicine are –

  • Bay Leaves

Dosage of Bay Leaf

  • Leaves Churna (powder): 1-4 gm
  • Oil- 2-5 drops

Easy ways to utilize Bay Leaf at Home


It can be used at home in many ways as follows:-

  • Cough and cold: Powder the bay leaf and boil it in the water and drink it. It can provide relief from sneezing, running nose, burning sensation and headache.
  • Headache: Make a paste of bay leaf with 10 ml water and then apply it on the forehead.
  • Head lice: Add 5-6 bay leaves in a cup of water and bring it to boil and reduce it to half. Massage this water and wash the hair after an hour.
  • Tooth cleanliness: use the tejpatra powder instead of using toothpaste, use it twice daily it will help in making your teeth shine.
  • Vomiting: take bay leaf powder 2-4gms. It will help to control vomiting.
  • Jaundice: chew 5-6 bay leaves after 2-3 times in a day, it will help in reducing the intensity of the disease.
  • Delivery: provide fumes of bay leaves it will help in easy birth of a child.
  • Uterine cleaning: the decoction of bay leaf will help to get relief in uterine pain
  • Bleeding: In case of bleeding from any part of the bod, give 1 teaspoonful of bay leaf powder with 1 cup of water 2-3 times a day to get immediate effects.

Caution to Be Taken

If you increase the intake of tejpatra it can cause adverse effect on your body like Hyperacidity and oral ulcers.

Ayurvedic Classical formulation of Ashoka

  • AgnimukhChurna
  • TejpatrChurna
  • LavanbhaskarChurna
  • Agnisandipanras
  • Tavakpatraghuduartan tail

Planet Ayurveda's Product which Contain Bay Leaves as an Ingredient

  • Avipattikar Churna
  • Dadimashtak Churna
  • Lavanbhaskar Churna

 

Reference

  • BhavparkashNikhantu of Sri Bhavamisra (C. 1500-1600 A.D.) Commentary By Padmshri Prof. KrishanchanderChunekar  Edited by Late Dr. G.S. Pandey (2015) page no. 218
  • BhaishajyaRatnavali of KavirajGovind Das Sen by prof. Siddhi Nandan Mishra
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Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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