Bay leaf and bay leaf oil is likely safe for most people in food amounts. Ground bay leaf is possibly safe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, short-term. But, if you cook with whole bay leaf, be sure to remove it before eating the food. Taking the whole, intact leaf by mouth is likely unsafe. The leaf cannot be digested, so it remains intact while passing through the digestive system. This means it can become lodged in the throat or pierce the lining of the intestines.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking bay leaf if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Bay leaf might interfere with blood sugar control. Monitor blood sugar closely if you have diabetes and use bay leaf as a medicine.
Surgery: Bay leaf might slow down the central nervous system (CNS). There is a concern that it might slow down the CNS too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using bay leaf as a medicine at least 2 weeks prior to a scheduled surgery.