Bay Leaf (Tejpatta) Benefits or Uses for Skin, Hair & Health
Bay leaf is popularly called “Tejpatta” in Hindi, “Biinji Ilai” in Tamil, “Tej Patha” in Bengali, “Karuva Ela” in Malayalam, “Masala Aku” in Tamil, “Paththa” in Kannada, “Tamal Patra” in Marathi, “Tamal Patr” in Gujarati, and “Tezpatta” in Punjabi. It is a well known aromatic leaf which is derived from the evergreen bay laurel tree. This tree is native to the Mediterranean. Bay leaves are widely used for cooking purposes and preparing perfumes. The Indian bay leaf can be identified as a three veined leaf. It is elliptical in shape and is pointed towards the end. It is also really smooth and tough.
Bay leaves have a sharp and bitter flavor. They are pungent, and their taste and fragrance can be compared to the similar to the cinnamon bark. However, they are slightly milder than the bark. The leaves are used in fresh, powdered, or dried form. Bay leaf oil is extracted from the bay leaves. This oil is known to have medicinal properties, and has the capability to treat several ailments.
Bay leaves cannot be eaten directly as it is. This is mainly due to their bitter taste. They are used to impart a flavor to a variety of dishes all around the globe. Bay leaf can be used for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian styles. Indian, Bhutanese, and Nepalese cuisines widely use Bay leaves in various preparations. Bay leaf is a necessary spice in several Moghulai dishes, especially korma and biryani. Bay leaves are roasted and ground to add as an essential component in the Indian mixture of spices known as “Garam Masala”. Myrcene is a component of essential oils extracted from bay leaves. It is used in perfumery. It can also be used to repel moths, flies, mice, and so on. Other than the culinary uses, bay leaves also have medicinal properties. They are well known for their diuretic, anti fungal, anti bacterial, astringent, and anti inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Bay Leaves for Skin:
Herbal practitioners use bay leaves to treat insect sting, snakebites, and relieving cuts and bruises. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties cure skin infections.
Relieves Stressed Skin:
Bay leaves de-stress the skin and prevent wrinkles and skin outbreaks. Boil 5 dried bay leaves with 2 cups of water and let it boil for 2 minutes. Cover your head and inhale the steam. It is highly effective for your skin.
Benefits of Bay Leaves for Hair:
Treats Dandruff and Hair Loss:
To treat dandruff, make a rinse from infused bay leaves. Bay leaf tea helps control hair loss. Bay lea oil acts like a tonic to combat hair loss and dandruff.
Treats Head Lice:
Boil 50 grams of crushed bay leaves in 400 ml of water till 100 ml is left. Strain the water and apply on the roots of your hair. Let it remain for about 3 to 4 hours before you wash it off. This gives relief from head lice. You could also add bhringraj to the bay leaves before boiling to get black, healthy, and lustrous hair.
Health and Medicinal Benefits of Bay Leaves:
The plant derived components, vitamins, and minerals contained in bay leaves offer several benefits. The leaves were widely used by the Roman and Greeks. They believed that bay leaf symbolizes peace, wisdom, and protection. Here are the common health benefits:
The caffeic acid, euganol, catechins, and quercetin, all contain chemo-protective properties which fight against different types of cancer. Parthenolide is a phytonutrient which specifically restrains the proliferation of cervical cancer cells.
Benefits during Periconception Period:
Bay leaves help considerably during the periconception period due to their high folic acid content. They prevent birth defects in the child, and also induce pregnancy.
Brush your teeth powdered bay leaves once in 3 days to make them sparkling white.
Bay leaf contains powerful phytonutrients that protect the body from cardiovascular diseases like strokes and heart attacks. Rutin, caffeic acid, salicylates, and phytonutrients boost heart health. Boil 3 grams of bay leaves and wild rose flowers in 300 ml water till 75 ml remains. Drink this concoction for relief from heart disease and anxiety.
Bay leaves promote digestion and solve problems like flatulence and heartburn. A concoction of bay leaf tea and hot water treats disorders like acid reflux, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. The enzymes in bay leaves enable the breakdown of proteins. This makes it an excellent spice for non-vegetarian preparations. For indigestion, boil 5 grams of bay leaves and a piece of ginger in 200 ml of water till only ¼ of the water remains. Consume this with honey twice a day for relief. It also acts as an appetite stimulant.
Mix a few drops of the bay leave extract with water and consume before bedtime to induce proper sleep.
Treat Cold and Infection:
Bay leaves provide relief from cold, flu, and infections. Boil water and add 2 to 3 bay leaves. Let it steam for 10 minutes and then soak a cloth in this water. Place it on the chest for relief from the above symptoms. If you have repeated sneezing, boil bay leaves in 200 ml water and make it 50 ml. Strain and drink it for relief.
The oil extracted from bay leaves has anti inflammatory properties that provide relief from strains, sprains, rheumatism, arthritis, and also general pains and aches. Massage with bay leaf oil to get relief from migraines and headaches. It boosts circulation. Make a poultice of ground bay leaves and castor leaves, and tie it around joints to reduce swelling and pain. For severe headache, apply a paste of bay leaves on your forehead.
Lauric acid in bay leaves helps repel insects. Make a paste of crushed leaves and little oil and apply topically for relief from bites and stings.
To treat Diabetes:
Bay leaves have the capability to treat type 2 diabetes. They reduce the levels of glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol. Powder and consume the leaf for 30 days to get maximum benefits. It causes the sugar levels to drop and also regulates the functioning of the heart. The antioxidants in bay leaf help the body process insulin more effectively.
Treats Menstrual Problems:
Bay leaves induce normal and regular menstruation when taken orally. They also cure vaginal discharge.
Crush 2 to 3 fresh or dry bay leaves and boil in 200 ml water to make it half. Strain and drink for relief from nosebleed.
Treat Kidney Problems:
Boil 5 grams bay leaves in 200 ml water till 50 ml remains. Strain and drink the concoction twice daily to control kidney stones. It also helps fight kidney infections.