The tree grows all over the Mediterranean, India and Turkey being the main
producers. Because of its poor resistance to freezes, laurel cannot be grown
outdoors in more Northern regions (except some fortunate parts of Britain).
Contrary to some other originally Mediterranean plants, the common
cultivation in medieval monasteries has not lead to more hardy breeds.
The bay tree is an evergreen, reaching 7.5 to 9 meters (25- 30 feet),
sprouting thick glossy leaves. When in season the Bay produces yellow tinged
flowers and rich black berries. Fresh bay leaves are very strongly aromatic
but also quite bitter. An essential oil is a concentrated, aromatic,
volatile liquid composed of small oil-like molecules. The bay oil has a
fresh-spicy top note, with a rich sweet-balsamic undertone, faintly
sweet-balsamic dry out. Oil is relaxing and warming.
Herbaceous, round, green aroma, smelling of the
woods and slightly minty
fresh or dried leaves are extracted.
Bay leaf oil has various chemical compounds that include cineol, eugenol,
acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and
Bay leaf oil Therapeutic Effects:
The therapeutic properties of Bay leaf oil include analgesic,
anticonvulsant, anti neuralgic, expectorant, anti rheumatic, antiseptic,
astrigent, stimulant and tonic(for hair) that control dandruff and promote
hair growth. It also helps in eradicating problems like aching muscles,
calming, toning, nervous, tension and stress, pain, treat muscular aches,
neuralgia, rheumatism and poor circulation.
Bay leaves are used to make perfumes to add fragrance to skin care
products. Bay essential oil has a strong, spicy, and pungent aroma. Most
popular use is in a liniment or massage oil to stimulant lymph and blood
circulation. Oil produces a heat sensation which alleviates muscle tension
when rubbed on the body. Oil also improves memory and helps relieve
headaches as well as sinus and lung congestion and useful for treating high
blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial and fungal infections and gastric
Flavor industry :
Bay leaves consist of mainly eugenol
content, mostly used in flavouring agents in souffles, pies, tarts. It is
also used as carrier oils for preservatives, mouth freshners, mouth wash,
flavouring agents for spices and condiments.