This is the fifth chapter of 10 herbs from Graeco-Arabic Medicine series.
What is bay leaf?
Sweet bay is an herb. You may have heard of it because the Greeks crowned their heroes with wreathes made of sweet bay leaves.
What is sweet bay used for?
People use sweet bay to treat cancer and gas, stimulate bile flow, and cause sweating.
Bay leaves are applied to the scalp for dandruff or to the skin for muscle and joint pain.
The fruit and fatty oils of sweet bay are applied to the skin to treat boils caused by infected hair follicles.
Does sweet bay work?
Limited research shows that sweet bay can be used to treat diabetes by lowering pre-meal blood sugar levels.
How do you take sweet bay?
Bay leaves are commonly added in dishes as a flavoring. The fruits are made into oil and applied to the skin.
What are the side effects?
Sweet bay is likely safe for most people when taken as food. Taking ground bay leaf for medicine is possibly safe in a short-term, while eating the whole leaf is likely unsafe. The leaf can’t be digested and will remain intact while passing through the digestive system.
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