While the burning bay leaf manifestation trend is quite fascinating as a way to increase success, especially in the prosperity department which we will later discuss, there are other amazing yet unusual uses of bay leaves when prepared as a tea. This is thanks to several unique compounds and their health properties.
There are different types of bay species growing worldwide, all from either the laurel or myrtle family. Being from the Western U.S., we are very familiar with the wild California Bay Umbellularia californica.
However, Laurus nobilis or "bay laurel" is the one most utilized commercially and a common staple found in many kitchen spice racks. This is the type we are referring to here on this page for use as a boiled bay leaf infusion.
Bay leaf tea can be made by simply boiling 3-6 whole bay leaves in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes and then steeping for 10 minutes. Here are three benefits that can come from consuming this potent liquid.
There are over 50 phytochemical constituents in bay leaves and their essential oil content with some of the major ones being eucalyptol, eugenol, linalool, myrcene and sabinene. (Source)
Many of these are powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial
(*) substances that can be soothing to a sore throat and the pain and swelling that may accompany it.
Often times a sore throat may be the first sign of a cold. As an herbal tea, the leaves are known to induce sweating which can sometimes offer the immune support needed to ward off disease-causing microbes.
What about making a bay leaf and clove tea? Another one of the herbs and spices known for its benefits to a sore throat is cloves. So, adding a few clove buds to your tea decoction or a DIY throat spray could also be a healthful herbal combination.
Bay leaves and tea preparations contain the potent minty aromatic compound known as EUCALYPTOL, also found in eucalyptus, camphor and ginger. Herbs containing eucalyptol (also called cineole) have been utilized in traditional folk medicine as a cough suppressant
to ease breathing.
Bay leaf tea also has strong therapeutics as a mucus dissolver for breaking up congestion and helping to clear the sinuses and lungs.
Another way to use dried or fresh bay leaves for such purposes is as an herbal respiratory steam. This is achieved by placing the leaves in a hot bowl of water, draping a towel around it and positioning the head over the steaming aroma. Breathe in the vapor for 5 minutes.
This activity also simultaneously cleanses the skin as a moisturizing facial steam that opens the pores. As Culpeper writes: "if bathed with the decoction and bay leaves. It takes away wheals and pimples."
Likewise, as a household cough remedy, a drop or two of bay laurel essential oil in the steaming liquid might also be of benefit or used in a diffuser or room vaporizer.
It has been shown to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria sometimes involved in respiratory tract infections.
Bay leaves also contain EUGENOL (*), an antimicrobial substance present in other spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and allspice. The eugenol content may also account for bay leaf essential oil's potential as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. (*)
Boiled bay leaf tea can be consumed for these benefits or used for things like herbal foot soaks to relieve aching feet as well as fungal issues.
The essential oil of bay laurel likewise comes in handy in homemade herbal salves for its wound healing support.
Once viewed as a noble herb, garlands of fresh leaves were used to crown Olympians and war heroes. This is because of the bay laurel's storied medieval past association with success and victory.
It has had particular use in many manifestation rituals for increasing monetary prosperity. These ceremonies may include burning bay leaf and/or placing a leaf in your wallet or under your pillow.
Bay leaf manifestation rituals also have a bit to do with the "Law of Attraction" and the act of intentionally visualizing (but more importantly "feeling") greater financial freedom in one's life.
Bay leaves are likewise linked to warding off evil or negative energy. According to Culpeper, "nor witch nor devil shall hurt a man where bay tree is".