Laurel (Bay Tree)

Scientific name: Laurus nobilis

Common names: Bay Laurel, Sweet Bay, Indian Bay

Ayurvedic names: Energy balancer

Chinese names:  Yue gui, Yueh kuei, Yue gui ye

Bangladesh names: Tej pata

Arabic names:    الغار (ghar) 

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known: 150 known species

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts, roots


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Actions: aromatic, astrigent, carminative, digestive

Known Constituents:. – Isalin ang pahinang ito Lumaktaw sa Constituents‎: Constituents—A greenish-yellow volatile oil is yielded by … the former, known as Oil of Bays, includes laurostearine, the ether …

Constituents Explained:    volatile oil (up to 4% with cinnamaldehyde 65-70% and eugenol 4-10%)     tannins (condensed) mucilage gum sugars coumarins

Description: Isalin ang pahinang ito Description of bay laurel, its habitat, medicinal uses, and other useful tips. … The herb known as the bay laurel or the sweet bay is native to Asia Minor and the …. oil – the main components are two forms of compounds called sesquiterpenoids, …

Traditional Use:

Used as an astringent and for stones in the kidneys and bladders.1  A tea from the berries has been used for bites and stings, and for suppressed menstruation.1

Clinical Studies:

Bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) have been shown to improve insulin function in vitro but the effects on people have not been determined. A study determined if bay leaves may be important in the prevention and/or alleviation of type 2 diabetes.

Forty people with type 2 diabetes were divided into 4 groups and given capsules containing 1, 2 or 3 g of ground bay leaves per day for 30 days or a placebo followed by a 10 day washout period. 

All three levels of bay leaves reduced serum glucose with significant decreases ranging from 21 to 26% after 30 d. Total cholesterol decreased, 20 to 24%, after 30 days with larger decreases in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of 32 to 40%. 

High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased 29 and 20% in the groups receiving 1 and 2 g of bay leaves, respectively. Triglycerides also decreased 34 and 25% in groups consuming 1 and 2 g of bay leaves, respectively, after 30 d. 

There were no significant changes in the placebo group. In summary, this study demonstrates that consumption of bay leaves, 1 to 3 g/d for 30 days, decreases risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and suggests that bay leaves may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.


Khan A, Zaman G, Anderson RA. “Bay Leaves Improve Glucose And Lipid Profile Of People With Type 2 Diabetes.” 2009 January


Herb Name: Bay

Others names: Sweet bay, Bay laurel

Latin name: Laurus nobilis

Family: Lauraceae

Common part used: Leaves, Oil, Fruit

Description: Bay is a rather large shrub with thick foliage, dark purple berries, and clusters of tiny yellowish flowers.

Properties: Bay is an herb that is used in herbal medicine to treat digestive problems, flatulence, bruises, dandruff, ulcers and scabies. It is also used to increase hair growth. This bitter and spicy herb is a stimulant and local antiseptic.

Contents: The leaves contain aporphine alkaloids, isoquinoline alkaloids, flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, and lignan glycosides. The essential oil of Bay contains 1,8-cineole, linalool, eugenol, costunolide and deacetyllaurenbiolide.

Internal use: Internally, herbalists use this herb to promote digestion, stimulate appetite, to relieve colic and flatulence. An infusion of leaves can improve digestion, if taken regularly with meals. 

External use: Externally, Bay is used for boosting hair growth, treating dandruff, bruises, rheumatism, sprains, atonic ulcers, and scabies.

Essential oil and aromatherapy use: The essential oil of Bay is beneficial for helping with arthritic and rheumatic pain, as well as it helps to tone the skin. It promotes hair growth, treats dandruff, helps with dispersing bruises, reduces inflammation, and aids in preventing scarring. Bay essential oil can be used diluted for sprained limbs. The oil has the following effects: analgesic, antiseptic, aperitif, anti-spasmodic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic.

Safety precautions: Bay essential oil should only be used in moderate doses. The oil should not be used in baths, as it can cause irritation to the mucus membranes’.