16 Excellent Benefits of Laurel for Health

The Benefits of laurel For health they range from fighting bacteria, helping with digestive problems, alleviating respiratory problems, stopping the growth of tumor cells and more that, based on scientific studies, you will know next.

The bay leaf comes from a tree that grows between five and ten meters in height, its growth rate is quite slow and is suitable for sandy, clayey and heavy soils. It can grow in the semi-shade (clear forests) or without shade. This type of plant can tolerate strong winds, but can not be exposed to marine elements.

Laurel benefits

The fresh bay leaves are strongly aromatic, but also quite bitter, although with a proper drying procedure the bittern is significantly reduced and the taste improves.

The high-quality bay leaves are easily recognizable not only for their strong aroma, but also for their bright green color. The greener the color, the better the quality.

This herb is highly resistant to pests and diseases, so it is used as an insect repellent and also protects nearby plants from the presence of these elements.

Laurel became a popular spice in Roman cuisine, and later in Western countries, being used in soups, stews, sauces, pickles and sausages. Several fish dishes benefit greatly from the bay leaves. In contrast to most spices, they can be cooked for a long time without losing much of their aroma.

Laurel Health Benefits

1- Combat the fungi

Researchers from the Federal University of Paraíba in Brazil, carried out a study To demonstrate the effectiveness of laurel oil as a fungus eradicator, especially candida, and at the conclusion of its study could demonstrate its antifungal activity.

2 - Lower cholesterol

Italian scientists carried out a investigation To test the benefits of using laurel at meals, and its results underscore that dietary treatment with bay leaves lowers cholesterol.

In this list You can find other good cholesterol-lowering foods.

3- Stops the growth of tumor cells

A team from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Calabria in Italy study To check whether the essential oils of some spices, including laurel, could be effective in the process of inhibiting tumor cells. Scientists have come to the conclusion that they can slow growth.

In this article You can find other foods to prevent cancer.

4- Combat bacteria

The University of Monastiren in Tunisia carried out a study To investigate the chemical composition and antibacterial effectiveness of laurel essential oils.

The results suggest that laurel is able to inhibit bacteria quite effectively, so it could have, for example, a promising role in the prevention of oral diseases.

5- Help with digestive problems

Bay leaves have been used in folk medicine to treat diarrhea, but their effectiveness has not been proven, until researchers at the Hashemite University in Jordan performed a study In which they demonstrated their effectiveness in the treatment of diseases of the digestive tract.

6- Treatment for dermatitis

Apparently the laurel had traditionally been used to treat conditions on the skin, although without any scientific basis. In 2013, researchers from Seoul National University study That bay leaves may be effective in the treatment of dermatitis.

7- Powerful gastric protector

A study Conducted at the University of Bologna in Italy, evaluated the effectiveness of gastric protection of laurel leaves and obtained positive results, because thanks to the application of extracts of this herb, gastric damage was significantly reduced.

8- Benefits in treatments of diabetes type 2

Previously it had been shown that the bay leaves improved the function of the insulin but had not yet carried out an investigation in humans, until the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in the United States, study To determine if bay leaves may be important in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The results of the study revealed that laurel leaves reduced glucose in people with type 2 diabetes, however they suggest additional research to confirm these findings.

9- Relief for respiratory problems

A study was carried out at the University of Okayama, Japan, to verify the effectiveness of laurel essential oil in some respiratory problems, resulting in the relief of respiratory conditions by applying it as a balm and rubbing it in the chest.

In addition, thanks to the antibacterial qualities already mentioned, it seems that the inhalation of laurel vapors can loosen the phlegm and eliminate the dangerous bacteria that are trapped in the respiratory tract.

10- May have anticonvulsive effect

The essential oil of laurel leaf has traditionally been used as an antiepileptic remedy in traditional Iranian medicine.

For this reason, the University of Tehran evaluated the anticonvulsive activity of this species through a study Which concluded that it does protect against seizures that were induced by electroshock. Despite these positive indicators, additional studies are required.

11- Useful for the treatment of pancreatitis

In the Department of Medical Sciences of the University of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, the properties of laurel essential oil were studied for the treatment of pancreatitis, yielding very promising results.

12- Helps improve testicular functions

Due to the properties that this species possesses, several researchers in Nigeria They studied The benefits of laurel to help improve testicular function and suggest that it is useful for this type of treatments.

13- Effective mosquito repellent

A study Made in 2005 identified the insecticidal activity of several essential spices, among them laurel, proving to be effective as a repellent against mosquito bites.

14- Improves the conditions of patients with Alzheimer's

In order to present an alternative and natural approach, studies In Italy and Germany that sought to measure the performance of laurel leaves in Alzheimer's patients . The results allowed to observe the potent efficacy of the extracts of these leaves in the reduction of the neurodegeneration caused by this disease.

15- It is antidepressant

Laurel has been used in traditional Mexican medicine to alleviate diseases related to the central nervous system, for that reason several universities in the same country carried out a study In which they could verify that the essential oil of laurel has Antidepressant properties .

16- Rich source of vitamins and minerals

Vitamin C

Fresh bay leaves provide 46.5 mg or 77.5% of the daily requirements per 100 grams of vitamin C . Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant, immune stimulant, aids healing and is antiviral.

Folic acid

They contain approximately 180 mg or 45% of the daily recommended values ​​per 100 grams. Folic acid is used to treat anemia, Stroke , Decrease heart disease, improve fertility, among others.

Vitamin A

Laurel contains 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 grams of Vitamin A , A natural antioxidant that improves night vision. In addition it is important for the maintenance of the mucosa and the health of the skin.

Laurel is a rich source of other vitamins such as pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine and niacin. This group of B vitamins, aid in the regulation of metabolism and the good function of the nervous system .

This noble spice also contains minerals such as manganese, potassium, iron, copper, calcium, zinc, selenium and zinc.

Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential in the production of red blood cells.


Bay leaves are usually very safe when given in the short term, but if used for very long periods can be unsafe.

If the entire leaf is consumed, there is a risk that it will be lodged in the throat, having difficulty passing to the digestive tract, or causing intestinal ailments.

Overuse of this herb could interfere with blood sugar control, so you should have medical supervision if you have diabetes and use laurel leaf as a medicine.

It is recommended to stop using the bay leaf at least two weeks before scheduled surgery.

Caution should be exercised when obtaining bay leaves, since the leaves are usually toxic to humans, if used accidentally.

Nutritional information

One serving of (100 grams) bay contains:

  • 313 kilocalories of energy (15.5 percent VD)
  • 74.97 grams of carbohydrates (57 percent VD)
  • 7.61 grams of protein (13 percent DV)
  • 8.36 grams of total fat (29 percent VD)
  • 26.3 grams of dietary fiber (69 percent VD)
  • 180 micrograms of folates (45 percent VD)
  • 2,005 milligrams of niacin (12.5 percent DV)
  • 1,740 milligrams of pyridoxine (133 percent DV)
  • 0.421 milligrams of riboflavin (32 percent DV)
  • 6185 IU of vitamin A (206 percent DV)
  • 46.5 milligrams of vitamin C (77.5 percent DV)
  • 23 milligrams of sodium (1.5 percent VD)
  • 529 milligrams of potassium (11 percent VD)
  • 834 milligrams of calcium (83 percent VD)
  • 0.416 milligrams of copper (46 percent VD)
  • 43 milligrams of iron (537 percent VD)
  • 120 milligrams of magnesium (30 percent VD)
  • 8.167 milligrams of manganese (355 percent VD)
  • 113 milligrams of phosphorus (16 percent VD)
  • 2.8 micrograms of selenium (5 percent DV)
  • 3.70 milligrams of zinc (33 percent VD)

Fun facts

  1. Laurel is used to season foods from the time of the ancient Greeks.
  2. Caution should be exercised when obtaining bay leaves, since the leaves are usually toxic to humans, if used accidentally.
  3. In ancient Greece and Rome this grass was used for the crowns of the winners. The champions of the Olympic Games wore laurel garlands.
  4. The word"high school"comes from"bay berries"and means successful completion of studies.
  5. One way to identify the laurel is to rub the leaf and smell the characteristic sweet aromatic hue.
  6. Although native to the rocky shores of the Mediterranean, laurel is surprisingly easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest.
  7. The bay leaf is one of the oldest spices of mankind used to add flavor and aroma to food.
  8. Turkey is one of the leading exporters of bay leaves along with countries like France, Belgium, and Italy.
  9. Some people from the Elizabethan era believed that fixing laurel leaves to the pillow on the eve of Valentine's Day helped them to see their future spouse in their dreams.
  10. In legends, laurel is considered as the tree of the sun god, under the celestial sign of Leo.


Soup of beet and bay

It is an easy recipe to prepare and can be a special entry for your meals.


  • 4 large beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 bay leaves chopped in half
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon basil Dry
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch of dried tarragon


  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  • Wrap the beets in foil.
  • Bake the beets for about 1 hour, until soft.
  • Let cool and then remove the skin and cut into small pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and place the onion, garlic and garlic until the first one is translucent, for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the vegetable broth, and mix with the beets, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, cumin and tarragon.
  • Bring soup to boiling point and then reduce to low heat. Cook until the flavors are well mixed (20-25 minutes).
  • Put the mixture into the blender and add the liquid necessary to make the mash. Once done, add to the mixture again.

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