Bay leaves: 20 uses and benefits for health, hair and beauty

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Elia Tabuenca García

Bay leaves are commonly used in cooking as an aromatic herb, in fact they are excellent natural remedies that are useful not only for treating some health problems but also for taking care of skin and hair. 

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How to use bay leaves not only in cooking to optimize their benefits and as natural remedies

Le bay leaves they are commonly used in cooking such as aromatic herb, in reality they are excellent natural remedies that are useful not only for treating some health problems but also for taking care of skin and hair.

Laurel is a plant rich in nutrients, the leaves contain large doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and copper. These and other active ingredients present in its leaves give it important properties for our health and body care.

It is no coincidence that the Romans considered this plant sacred and that the laurel wreath symbolizes wisdom and virtue and that graduation derives from the word Laurus Nabilis, the Latin term for laurel. Furthermore, in the language of flowers, laurel refers to the concepts of immortality and eternal glory.

So let's discover all the "tangible" benefits that bay leaves used in cooking can offer us but also in the form of infusion, oleolite or essential oil.


Benefits of bay leaves

Bay leaves for health

Laurel can be a good natural remedy in case of:

blood glucose and diabetes

The leaves of this plant have been shown to be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes to lower the level of glucose in the blood but also cholesterol and triglycerides. The antioxidants contained in bay leaves help our body produce insulin efficiently. If you want to keep blood sugar at bay in this way (always after hearing the opinion of your doctor) it is advisable to take laurel powder for 30 days or boil a few bay leaves in 3 glasses of water, boiling it until it is not reduced to a single cup. Filter, allow to cool and drink immediately before meals twice a day.

Wellness of the heart

Some active ingredients contained in bay leaves can improve heart performance and help prevent strokes and heart attacks. The flavonoids of which the plant is rich then help to normalize the pressure in hypertensive patients. These properties can be exploited by boiling 10 pieces of bay leaves in 3 glasses of water for a few minutes. Filter and drink the warm infusion once a day.


The oil extracted from bay leaves contains active ingredients that can relieve pain resulting from fatigue, sprains, arthritis or rheumatism. This oil can also be beneficial in case of migraines and headaches. To exploit this potential, you can make compresses with the infusion of laurel on the painful areas or massage them with small quantities of laurel oleolite or essential oil of laurel previously diluted in carrier oil.

Flu, cough and cold

Bay leaves are proven to be effective in fighting flu symptoms. At the first symptoms of cough and cold or other respiratory problems, just boil 2-3 pieces of bay leaves for 10 minutes and soak a cotton cloth with which to then make compresses on the chest in order to relieve the symptoms. Of course, it is also possible to drink the infusion slightly sweetened with honey.

Kidney health

The infusion of bay leaves is able to promote the well-being of the kidneys even in case of infections and the presence of stones. It should be prepared by boiling 5 grams of bay leaves in 200 ml of water for a few minutes. After filtering and letting it cool, you can drink it a couple of times a day.

Against constipation and diarrhea

Using bay leaves in food and drink daily can help keep the digestive system healthy. The vitamins and mineral salts present in the plant facilitate digestion and regulate the intestine both in case of constipation and diarrhea.

Menstrual disturbances

The infusion of laurel taken with a certain constancy can be beneficial in the treatment of menstrual disorders, it can in fact regulate the cycle on the one hand, and on the other reduce the annoying symptoms including pain and cramps.

Support the immune system

Using fresh or dried bay leaves in cooking, as well as drinking the infusion helps us to support our immune defenses. The natural substances contained in bay leaves in fact promote health and well-being as they stimulate the body's immunity.

Dental care

Bay leaves are beneficial for keeping our teeth healthy and white. The powder can be mixed finely with water to form a paste that can be used as a whitening toothpaste. Alternatively, the laurel infusion can be used as a mouthwash in case of halitosis.

Have a good night's sleep

Regular consumption of bay leaves at bedtime promotes a good night's rest. This plant has a calming effect on the nervous system, so you can try drinking a bay leaf infusion just before going to sleep every day.

Preventing Cancer

As part of a balanced diet and a correct lifestyle, bay leaves can be an ally in cancer prevention. They are in fact rich in antioxidants but also in other organic compounds and phytonutrients with anti-carcinogenic power.

Bay leaves for skin and hair

Dry and stressed skin

The active ingredients contained in bay leaves help dry and stressed skin avoiding the appearance of wrinkles. For example, you can use the infusion made with this plant to make a sort of homemade facial cleansing. It is necessary to boil 5 dried bay leaves with 2 cups of water for a few minutes then pour the infusion into a large bowl and cover the head with a towel. In this way the beneficial aromas of laurel will not only be inhaled but will also be absorbed by the skin.

Small wounds and skin inflammations

Thanks to the healing and anti-inflammatory power of bay leaves, these can also be used to heal small wounds or cuts first (among other things, laurel is also a disinfectant) or in the treatment of some skin problems such as redness, irritation, hives. , insect bites, etc.


The laurel oil wisely used can also prove useful in the treatment of acne given its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial power but also thanks to its rebalancing effect on sebum production. For this purpose it should be used in very small doses and always diluted in carrier oil first.


A relaxing bath, not only for the mind but also for the body and skin, can be made using bay leaves with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fatigue properties on muscles and joints. Finely crush 10/20 bay leaves reducing them to powder and mix in the bath water in which to immerse for at least 20 minutes.

Straight hair

Laurel can also be used to achieve silky smooth hair. Just boil a few leaves in water for about 20 minutes, strain, let them cool and then use to make a hair pack before using the shampoo.

Dandruff and hair loss

A final rinse of bay leaf infusion can prove to be an effective dandruff treatment. Laurel tea is also considered a good remedy for curbing hair loss as it improves scalp health by stimulating regrowth. Also in this case it should be used consistently after washing your hair as usual.

Highlighter for hair

An infusion of bay leaves can be used to further darken and give brown highlights to your hair. Just apply it every time you wash your hair leaving it on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

Head lice treatment

The potential of bay leaves can also be experienced in treating head lice. In this case it is necessary to boil about 50 grams of chopped bay leaves in 400 ml of water until it reduces to about 100 ml. Then filter and apply the infusion well from the roots to the tips of the hair, leave it to act for about 3 hours before rinsing.

Other uses of bay leaves

Insect repellent

Bay leaves are natural insect repellents as they give off an unwelcome aroma to small birds of various kinds. You can spread laurel essential oil in the rooms or apply a few drops directly on cotton balls or objects in the critical points where insects enter (windowsills, balconies, windows, etc.).

On the laurel you might also be interested in:

  • Laurel: the extraordinary benefits and how to prepare the infusion with a thousand properties

  • Laurel: all properties, uses and benefits

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