Benefits of Laurel plant
Laurel has been known as a medicinal herb from Antiquity, when its leaves were associated with Vishnu, the Hindu god. The Greeks considered that laurel increases psychic abilities.
Description of Laurel plantLaurel is a shrub that is found in areas with subtropical climate. It usually reaches heights between 5 to 10 meters, or if it is grown indoors it grows up to 1-2 meters tall. It is not a very finicky herb and it can stand the light as well as dark, and is also pretty immune to sudden weather changes. The leaves which last over a period of 2 to 3 years are initially soft, and then they get rougher; they contain highly fragrant etheric oils. The leaves are oval-shaped.
Once picked, laurel leaves have to be dried slowly, shaded from sunlight because in this way they can retain their fragrant oil. They give off a strong smell. Even after they are picked, they retain their pleasant smell and can be used at any time. Laurel leaves can be bought dry or green and also under the form of powder (crushed leaves), but when in powder shape, they lose their smell quicker.
Laurel flowers are small, of a whitish-green color, and the fruits (once they are fully grown) are black and bear a look similar to that of olives.
Proprieties and benefits of LaurelLaurel leaves contain volatile oil rich in oxides (cineol) and phenol, methyl, ethers (estragol, engenol), pectins, tannins, resins, a bitter substance (lactone), and essential oils. The herb has carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, detoxicating, and antiviral properties. It is also an efficient digestive stimulant.
TreatmentsAs far as its medicinal qualities are concerned, laurel is a legendary herb. It is used in therapeutics, for treating anorexia, the flu and common cold, as well as illnesses concerning the nervous system, digestive problems, intestinal infections, inflammations of the mouth, chronic rheumatism, spasms, and stomach atony.
Against sinusitis, laurel decocts or infusions are recommended. Owing to the high quantity of oil they contain, laurel leaves are recommended in various forms of flu because they can clean the sinuses and reduce the nasal secretion.
Against hangovers, intoxications or poisoning, it is recommended to boil 20-30 laurel leaves in a cup of water and left to infuse for 20 minutes. The resulting infusion is drunk immediately and is an excellent antitoxic vomitory.
For treating digestive problems, 1-2 laurel leaves are cooked with the meal or a 1-month treatment is followed consisting of chewing 3 laurel leaves a day on an empty stomach, one before each primary meal.
Gum infections, hoarseness, and loss of voice can be treated through gargling with water containing 10 boiled laurel leaves.
Flu or bronchitis are treated through macerating 4 laurel leaves and an orange peel in a liter of water. The resulting mixture is then consumed on an empty stomach. It reduces fever, eliminates headaches and energizes the body. Laurel fumigations are efficient not only for cold states but also for chasing away bugs.
Laurel is known for its psychic spiritual effects. It wakens the mind and the senses, increases subtle perception offers a state of dynamism, expansion and can also put the mind in a state of detachment, clarity and measure.
Laurel infusionLaurel infusion is made from 10 laurel leaves put in a cup of boiling water. After it cools down a bit it is digested 3 times a day against hoarseness.
Laurel teaLaurel tea is made from 2 spoonfuls of finely cut laurel leaves which are boiled in 250ml water for about 10 minutes. It is then consumed in small amounts in the same day.
Macerated laurelMacerated laurel is obtained from 4 laurel leaves and an orange peal macerated in 1 liter of water for 4 hours. The mixture is then consumed on an empty stomach in small amounts.
Laurel is known to be a spice not only for classic types of foods, but also for the more modern ones, because it is a fragrant herb that gives a different taste to meals. It is particularly used in foods containing rice or vegetables. It can be added to soups or pickle jars. Laurel leaves are used in some desserts for their aroma; before consumption they are discarded. Because it has a bitter taste, laurel leaves must not be left in the cooked food for more than 10-20 minutes, as for pickle jars, only 1-2 leaves are left inside the jar.