Improve your health by drinking bay leaf tea
Bay leaves come from the bay laurel tree and there are different varieties like California bay leaf commonly known as California laurel or pepperwood which is very similar to the Mediterranean bay but with a stronger flavor.
The Indian bay leaf is commonly known as malabathrum, West Indian bay leaf which is a leaf of the West Indian bay tree. There is also a Mexican bay leaf.
Each variety of these bay leaves has a slightly different taste. Bay leaves can be used fresh, grounded, dry, or whole.
In its ground form bay leaf is used for cooking. Crushed bay leaf has a more pleasant, sweet smell so most people use the crushed bay leaf in a tea infuser.
Bay leaves add flavor to popular dishes like soups, stews, and other savory dishes. If you’ve never tried bay leaf before it has a similar flavor to thyme or oregano. If you are more into savory flavors than sweet ones, bay leaf tea is a right choice for you.
Good To Know
The main use of bay leaves is that they can enhance the taste of your meals without adding sodium.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. For more information, please see our disclosure.
Benefits of Consuming Bay Leaf Tea
Bay leaves are full of antioxidants, and they are a good source of minerals and dietary fiber. Bay leaf tea is used to treat stomachaches, clear up mucus in the lungs, cold, and sore throats.
Other major benefits of bay leaf tea are:
Good for your heart
Rich with potassium, antioxidants, and iron, bay leaf tea is a great choice if we want to keep our hearts healthy. Why these components are so important?
Potassium helps with cardiac rhythm as well as lowering blood pressure. Antioxidants protect us against free radicals and they’ve been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease. Iron protects against heart disease and strokes.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, scientists found out that bay leaves improve glucose and lipid profiles of people with type 2 diabetes.
They found that consuming one to three grams of bay leaves daily lowers cholesterol levels by 26 percent.
Caffeic acid and rutin are also important compounds found in bay leaves that enhance heart health. Caffeic acid eliminates the “bad” cholesterol from the cardiovascular system, and rutin strengthens capillary walls in the heart and the body’s extremities.
Some of the proteins in our modern diet can be difficult to digest, but the enzymes found in the bay leaves can help facilitate efficient digestion and nutrient intake.
Bay leaves have a very strong effect on the gastrointestinal system, by stimulating urination which helps to decrease toxicity in the body. And the other one is stimulating vomiting (as an emetic) when something toxic has been consumed.
Good To Remember
To stimulate and support the digestive system it is recommended to drink bay leaf tea before eating. Steep one tablespoon into eight ounces of water and consume 30 minutes before eating.
Furthermore, if you suffer from gas and bloating on a regular basis, trying bay leaf tea as a natural remedy can be really helpful.
It Is Good for The Immune System
Regular consumption of bay leaf tea can provide good amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, antioxidants, and B-vitamins. These compounds are great if your immune system needs a boost.
A high presence of Vitamin A is vital for healthy visual sight and for the maintenance of mucus membranes and skin health.
Bay leaf tea also contains antibacterial properties which are helpful to prevent sickness as well.
Reduce Anxiety and Stress
One of the least commonly known benefits of bay leaf tea is its natural soothing quality. Linalool (compound, commonly found as a major component of essential oils of several aromatic species, many of which are used traditionally as sedatives) associated with thyme and basil is also found in bay leaves.
This compound lowers the level of stress hormones in the body, especially when used in aromatherapy. Execs stress hormones can be dangerous for long-term health, so using bay leaves can help you calm down and remain relaxed.
Helps To Treat Respiratory Conditions
The essential oil of bay leaves is extracted and then mixed into a salve. By applying to the chest helps to alleviate various respiratory conditions. This can be done with a poultice made of the leaves, spread on the chest, and allowed to remain overnight.
Vaporous has a similar effect to aromatherapy and inhaling it helps to close up phlegm and eliminate harmful bacteria that may be traped in the respiratory tracts. This is the result of its natural antibacterial quality.
Side Effects of Bay Leaf Tea
Consuming bay leaf tea in moderation is beneficial for your health. Everything that is too much is bad for you. There are not many studies for the side effects of bay leaf tea but according to studies conducted on bay leaves as a herb or spice we can conclude that:
May Interact With Blood Sugar Control
If you are on medications for high blood sugar we recommend consulting with your doctor before taking bay leaf. Even it has a beneficial role in glucose metabolism, this beneficial property may also make it interact with blood sugar medications. There isn’t any specific research on this topic, so it is better to take precautions.
Possible Issues During Surgery
Bay leaf may slow down the central nervous system. There are some concerns, not study backed up that it may slow down the central nervous system when combined with anesthesia and other medications used during surgery.
So it is better not to consume bay leaf at least two weeks before surgery.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There are limited researches on the safety of taking bay leaf during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is recommended to consult your doctor before including it in your diet.
How To Prepare the Bay Leaf Tea
One of the best ways to use the health benefits of bay leaves is to prepare tea from them. Preparing bay leaf tea is like preparing any other tea. You will need just water and bay leaves.
We recommend using these organic whole bay leaves, and you can use them not just for tea but for soups, stews, braises, and pates.
To prepare the tea you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 cups of water
Directions: Add the bay leaves to a pot and pour water into it. Let it boil for at least four minutes at high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the tea to steep for a little while (3-4 minutes), strain, and drink.
The taste of this bay leaf tea usually ranges from a pungent, sharp taste to a bitter taste with a nice smell. If you like you can add little milk and sugar that can bring out a more floral taste.
If you are too busy with boiling and waiting, try these organic bay leaf tea bags and get all the benefits from this tea no matter if you are at home or at work.
Bonus Tips for Using Bay Leaves
Is it safe to swallow a bay leaf?
Bay leaves don’t contain toxins, so swallowing them is not toxic. But the danger comes from that the leaves are stiff even after cooking. So they may scrape the digestive tract and cause choking.
Is burning a bay leaf good for relaxation?
Burning a bay leaf is believed to have a calming effect. The smoke contains ingredients like linalool, which help reduce anxiety. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
Does bay leaf help you sleep?
Studies in this question are insufficient but it is believed that leaves possess soothing properties that may aid sleep. They may have sedative effects on the central nervous system.
Does bay leaf keep fleas away?
There are some studies that claim that the pungent odor of bay leaves may keep fleas away. Bay leaves don’t kill the bugs but they produce a scent that cockroaches find irritating or offensive, similar to how some repellents work on mosquitoes.
Final thoughts on the benefits and side effects of consuming bay leaf tea
If you are looking for a new tea flavor with potential health benefits, a bay leaf tea is a perfect choice for you.
We know that more research should be done on the health benefits of consuming bay leaf tea, but from what we know till now for the bay leaves it is sure that consuming this tea is beneficial for your heart health, digestive system and vitamin presence are making bay leaf great immune booster.
If you haven’t tried it is time t prepare it and enjoy its special taste and flavor. Enjoy!