Laurel therapeutic properties

Therapeutic properties of laurel: the plant

The laurel plant (Laurus nobilis in Latin) is an aromatic plant, known to all of us in the kitchen and widely distributed in the Mediterranean climate. It is an evergreen and perennial plant, which looks like a shrub if not pruned, but which can become a real tree up to 10 meters high! Wild in warmer climates such as southern Italy, and the entire Mediterranean coast, it can be easily cultivated even in more rigid areas such as northern Italy, or the Atlantic areas of Spain and France, thanks to its adaptability to all climates. Much appreciated not only on a culinary level but also on a herbalist level, the laurel is also a symbol of victory, wisdom and power; in fact, Greek mythology associates it with the god Apollo, making Laurel the plant consecrated to him.

Therapeutic properties of laurel

Not everyone knows them, but laurel is one of the plants that possesses greater therapeutic qualities. Bay leaves have a high content of essential oils which have antiseptic, digestive and anti-cancer properties. Fresh bay leaves contain every 100g. 180mg of ascorbic acid, the famous vitamin C, which as we all know fights free radicals and stimulates the immune system. Also rich in vitamin A which helps maintain vision and bones, bay leaves also contain a significant amount of folic acid, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium. In herbal medicine, laurel is widely used for its astringent and diuretic properties, and is considered very useful in cases of lack of appetite. Used to regulate blood pressure, in the form of the bay leaf tea is great for relieving stomach aches and pains caused by colitis. In addition, lauric acid has exceptional skin properties as an insect repellent, and to treat arthritis and muscle pain.

Bay leaf infusion

In case of stomach acid, slow digestion or pain caused by colitis, an excellent remedy is the infusion of bay leaf. Easy to prepare, it will be an excellent alternative to chemical medicines for those suffering from these problems. Get some fresh bay leaves and a lemon, both organic if possible. Bring the water to a boil, and once it reaches the temperature pour it into a cup with three bay leaves. Cover the cup with a saucer to ensure that the volatile substances do not disperse with evaporation. Leave to infuse for at least ten minutes. After this time add the lemon zest and leave to rest covered for another 5 minutes. Then filter the still hot infusion and add honey if you don’t like the slightly bitter taste. Even if you don’t suffer from stomach problems, you can have a bay leaf tea simply to aid digestion after a big lunch or dinner. In this case, use only two leaves.

Laurel therapeutic properties: Therapeutic properties of laurel: berries

Not only the leaves contain the essential active ingredients that can be assimilated through infusion. In fact, even the berries have the therapeutic properties of laurel. If you have laurel berries, crush them in a mortar, until they are reduced to a powder, and store them in an airtight glass jar. Half a teaspoon of powder with a tablespoon of honey is an excellent remedy for coughs, colds, fever and flu. With the berries you can also create an oil for external use, to spread on the chest in case of chronic bronchitis, or to use in a few drops in a hot bath in case of headache of nervous origin. In an airtight glass jar, pour 50g. of laurel powder and 250 ml. of extra virgin olive oil Place the jar near a heat source, and leave to macerate for at least 30 days, taking care to shake it every day. So far, no contraindications have been found in using laurel.

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