The spice contains many notable plant-derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
This spice has many volatile active components such as α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, α-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, antioxidant, digestive and thought to have anti-cancer
Furthermore, its leaves and herb parts are very good in folic acid, containing about 180 mg or 45% of daily-recommended values per 100 g. Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during the peri-conception period, they can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
Laurel’s leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, containing 6185 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g. Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant and is essential for healthy visual sight. It is also required for maintaining mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancer.
The spice is indeed a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.
This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes.
Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaves and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic, and appetite stimulant properties.
Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%). Furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, α- and β-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and terpineol are also found.
Infusion of leaves is reputed to soothe the stomach and relieve flatulence and colic pain.
The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
Bayextracts are used to soothe the stomach ulcers and relieve flatulence.
The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis and flu symptoms.