Bay laurel essential oil, laurus nobilus, is used as a fragrance component in detergents, cosmetics, toiletries, and perfumes, especially aftershaves.Bay laurel essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and branchlets, and small amounts from the berries. Traditionally, it was used to treat hysteria, indigestion, colic, and to promote menstruation and for fever. . A ‘fixed’ oil of bay, expressed from the berries is still used for sprains, bruises, earaches. etc. Extensively used in processed food, alcoholic and soft drinks.
Bay laurel is native to the Mediterranean region, the evergreen tree growing to 20 meters high with dark green, glossy leaves and black berries is often cultivated as an ornamental shrub. It is little used internally these day, due to its narcotic properties. The Greek word for laurel is dhafni, named for the myth of the nymph Daphne, who was changed into a laurel tree by Gaea, who transformed her to avoid Apollo’s attempted rape. Apollo made the tree sacred and thus it became a symbol of honor. Triumphant athletes of ancient Greece were awarded laurel garlands and was given to winners at Olympic games since 776 BC. Today, grand-prix winners are bedecked with laurel wreaths. It was also believed that the laurel provided safety from the deities responsible for thunder and lightning. The Emperor Tiberius always wore a laurel wreath during thunderstorms.
Bay essential oil, laurus nobilus, blends well with following essential oils: clary sage, juniperberry, rosemary, cypress, lavender, pine, and other citrus and spice oils.
Bay oil cautions - Use in moderation, as it can be a narcotic. Do not use if pregnant. Relatively non-toxic and non-irritant, but it can cause dermatitis. Always dilute before using.
Bay oil properties - Antirheumatic, antiseptic, bactericidal, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, fungicidal, hypotensive, sedative, stomachic.