Know Your Ingredient – BAY LEAF

bay leaves

General Description
An herb from the evergreen bay laurel tree that has aromatic leaves. This is considered one of the well-recognized leaf-spices used since the earliest times. It has dark green leaves and flower buds.

Nutrients and Health Benefits
Bay leaves have several compounds, vitamins and minerals which are essential for optimum health. They are rich sources of vitamin C which is known to boost our immune system. Its fresh leaves are also good sources of folic acid which are necessary in DNA synthesis. Furthermore, bay leaves are very good in vitamin A that maintains our skin health.

Medical Use
Medically, bay leaves have astringent, appetite-stimulant, and diuretic effects. They are also known to soothe stomach ulcers and are used to treat colic pain and flatulence. Aside from that, its leaf has also an insect repellent property, and can also aid in the treatment of arthritis, bronchitis, and muscle pain.

Culinary Use
Bay leaves are commonly used as spices along with sage, savory, celery and basil. The leaves can be dried and be made into an herbal tea. It’s also a main ingredient in making sauces like bread sauce, béchamel, and tomato sauce. It’s also used to flavor sweets like custards, creams, and sweet breads.

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