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Laurel

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  • Botanical: Laurus nobilis
  • Family: Lauraceae
  • Hits: 2037
Laurel

Botanical

Laurus nobilis

Family

Lauraceae

Known as

Bay Laurel, Sweet Bay, True Laurel, Grecian Laurel, Lorbeer

Old Use

culinary; ritual; medicinal

Collection Times

autumn

Parts Used

leaves

Aroma

balsamic, forest, spicy

Medicinal

antiseptic, anxiety, anorexia, bronchitis, bronchitis, bruises, cancer, coughs, cramps, cramps stomach, digestion, earache, flatulence, laxative, infections intestinal, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, nausea, pre-mestrual, stomach pain, sleep, vomiting, wounds

Hormone & Sexual Organs

amenorrhea, cramps, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, uterine cramps

Infection & Inflammation

earache, fever, infections, mouth sores

Mind & Nerves

anorexia, colic, loss of appetite

Respiratory System

asthma, bronchitis, colds, cough

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, cancer, cancer prevention, cystitis, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, gastrointestinal, laxative, intestinal parasites, intestinal inflammation, nausea, stomach cramps, tapeworms, ulcers, emetic

Skin & Hair

bruises

Properties

abortifacient, antibacterial, antiseptic, antirheumatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, parasiticide, stimulant, stomachic

Note

top

Extraction

steam distillation

Description

The laurel can vary greatly in size and height, sometimes reaching 10–18 metres (33–59 ft) tall. Laurus is a genus of evergreen trees belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. 

The smooth bark may be olive-green or of a reddish hue. The luxurious, evergreen leaves are alternate, with short stalks, lanceolate, 3 to 4 inches long, the margin smooth and wavy. They are thick, smooth, and of a shining, dark green colour. The flowers are small, yellow and unisexual, and grow in small clusters.

Properties & Uses

The bay tree has a long history of folk use in the treatment of many ailments, particularly as an aid to digestion and in the treatment of bronchitis and influenza. It has also been used to treat various types of cancer. The fruits and leaves are not usually administered internally, other than as a stimulant in veterinary practice, but were formerly employed in the treatment of hysteria, amenorrhoea, flatulent colic etc. Another report says that the leaves are used mainly to treat upper respiratory tract disorders and to ease arthritic aches and pains. It is settling to the stomach and has a tonic effect, stimulating the appetite and the secretion of digestive juices. The leaves are antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emetic in large doses, emmenagogue, narcotic, parasiticide, stimulant and stomachic. The fruit is antiseptic, aromatic, digestive, narcotic and stimulant. An infusion has been used to improve the appetite and as an emmenagogue. The fruit has also been used in making carminative medicines and was used in the past to promote abortion. A fixed oil from the fruit is used externally to treat sprains, bruises etc, and is sometimes used as ear drops to relieve pain. The essential oil from the leaves has narcotic, antibacterial and fungicidal properties. 

Other Uses

An essential oil from the fruit is used in soap making. The plant is highly resistant to pests and diseases, it is said to protect neighbouring plants from insect and health problems. The leaves are highly aromatic and can be used as an insect repellent, the dried leaves protect stored grain, beans etc from weevils. It is also used as a strewing herb because of its aromatic smell and antiseptic properties. Very tolerant of clipping, it can be grown as a screen or hedge in areas suited to its outdoor cultivation. Wood - sweetly-scented, does not wear quickly. Used for marqueterie work, walking sticks and friction sticks for making fires.

Cautions

Use well diluted. Avoid use during pregnancy.

Distribution

The bay has real, coming from Asia, spread throughout the Mediterranean. There it can be high as a tree up to 10 meters. Since it is hardy only conditionally, he survived only in the Rhineland, on Lake Constance and other milder areas of Germany all year round with winter protection planted outdoors, in rougher areas can be kept only as a container plant. When planted outdoors plant it thrives even in Southern Ireland, where he is fully hardy. Even on Helgoland find some great already planted specimens that grow successfully since the eighties of the last century without winter protection.

Constituents

laurostearine, the ether of lauric acid, cineol, eugenol, geraniol, pinene

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.