What is Bay Laurel?
Bay Laurel goes by numerous other names, including true bay, sweet bay, Grecian laurel and Mediterranean bay. A fatty oil produced from the berries is used mainly for making soap.
The oil used in aromatherapy is steam distilled from the leaves. Both the leaves and the berries have a long tradition of being used medicinally for fevers, menstruation, hysteria, indigestion, and appetite loss.
Due to its narcotic qualities and toxicity, Bay Laurel is rarely used internally anymore.
In ancient Greece and Rome, crowns were made out of Bay Leaves to honor scholars, warriors, and sportsmen. This tradition is where the name "Poet Laureate" comes from. Baccalaureate, or bachelor’s degree, also comes from this.
Today, bay leaves are widely used as a culinary herb. Bay Laurel should not be confused with other species called Bay, such as California Bay (Umbellularia california), and the poisonous cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus).
Bay Laurel is also not the same as West Indian Bay (Pimenta Racemosa) or "bay West Indies". They are completely different oils with different biological qualities. Bay rum comes from the West Indian variety.
The principal constituents of Bay Laurel include 30-50 percent of 1,8 cineol (eucalyptol), pinene, linalool, and terpineol acetate. It is suitable for a number of therapeutic uses and is useful for the digestive, genito-urinary, immune and respiratory systems.
The high cineole content of this oil makes it blend well with citrus oils like bergamot and lemon, spice oils like clove bud and black pepper, and other "woodsy" oils like cypress and pine.
Bay Laurel Essential Oil Uses
Bay Laurel essential oil has trace amounts of methyl eugenol, which lends to its narcotic qualities. It should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding and should always be used in moderation by others.
When buying this oil, you may find it under other names such as bay leaf oil or laurel oil. Be sure to look for the botanical name "Laurus nobilis" to make sure it is the correct one you’re looking for.
It is generally a non-irritant but may cause dermatitis in those prone to allergic reactions. A skin patch test should always be performed, and this oil should always be diluted before using.
Essential oil waters make excellent facial sprays. The type of skin you have determines what oil you should use. Bay Laurel is good for normal to blemished skin.
If you cannot find the floral water, you can still make your own spray. Combine one teaspoon of glycerin or aloe vera juice with four ounces of quality water (not from the tap). To this, add two drops each of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis).
Shake this well. Leave it for at least 24 hours, shaking it whenever you think of it. After the appropriate time has passed, shake it one last time and strain it through a coffee filter to remove any oil globules left.
Lymphatic Shower Massage
Bay Laurel is a circulatory oil that acts as a general tonic and assists in lymph movement. Massaging with oils while in the shower can help them absorb into your pores.
Add a couple (no more than five) drops of oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil like fractionated coconut or sweet almond. Mix well, then apply to the lymph node areas on the body, such as the knees and armpits.
For Hair Growth
There are numerous oils that can help with hair loss. Bay Laurel is one of them. It is known as being revitalizing and stimulating for hair. If you are struggling with thinning hair, try this blend (using five drops of each oil):
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Mix these together and keep in a dark amber bottle. To use, add 20 drops of this to one cup of water in a spray bottle. Shaking well before using, spray this on the trouble spots once a day.
Use sparingly. You do not need to use too much; a couple spritzes will do.
For an added kick, combine two teaspoons of argan oil with one teaspoon of jojoba and 5 drops of your hair loss blend. Make sure to combine it well.
Twice a month, massage about half a teaspoon of this into the scalp. Leave on overnight.
Be patient. The hair will not grow overnight. It will likely be 4-5 months before you see any growth.
Make sure you are not using a detergent-based shampoo during this time. Look for a gentle, hypoallergenic one.
Numerous oils can be used in the kitchen. If you want to start cooking with essential oils, know that not all can be ingredients in food. Those that can should be used in extremely small quantities.
They are potent, and less is more!
The following recipe is based on one from Valerie Worwood. It is a great marinade that is enough for two pounds of beef:
- 1 cup Red wine (dry; can substitute non-alcoholic cooking wine or chicken broth if desired)
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Clove buds, whole
- 1 drop Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) essential oil
- 1 drop Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil
- 1 drop Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
- 1 drop Thyme Thymus vulgaris) essential oil
- ½ teaspoon Peppercorn, coarsely ground
- Sea salt, coarsely ground (to taste)
Add the essential oils to the olive oil and blend well. Take 1-2 teaspoons of this mix and rub generously all over the meat. The rest of the oil can be saved to use another time.
Add the onion, garlic, cloves, pepper, and salt to the red wine. Place the meat and your red wine mix in a Ziploc bag or large bowl and place in the refrigerator.
Let marinate for at least eight hours or overnight. Be sure to turn once halfway through so all of the meat is covered.
Grill or cook the meat however you prefer, reserving the marinade to baste with or to make a sauce.
Bay Laurel Essential Oil Benefits
Fights Colds and Flu
Bay Laurel is an antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral expectorant. Diffusing the oil in times of sickness in the home can help during the cold and flu season.
Helps Nervousness, Stress, and Mood Swings
Diffusing essential oils helps balance emotions, and certain oils work better than others depending on the issue and mental state. For mood swings or times of stress, try diffusing a mix of the following:
- Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
- Eucalyptus Lemon (Eucalyptus citriodora)
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Alternatively, you can create a body oil of the above blend. Use a total of 15-20 drops in an ounce (approximately 30 mL) of body oil.
Bay Laurel is often used in folk medicine for relieving diarrhea. Science is trying to determine the validity of this method. 
Extract of the Laurus nobilis leaf was found to aid in reducing castor-oil induced diarrhea in rats. This helps prove its effectiveness as a stomachic.
Do not take the oil internally. Instead, you can add five drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage a little over the abdomen up to three times a day.
Other oils that are good for diarrhea are Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Chamomile Roman (Anthemis nobilis), Eucalyptus radiata, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Lemon (Citrus limon), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and Thyme linalol.
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Bay Laurel Essential Oil Research, Facts, and Studies
There are currently 64 studies about Bay Laurel essential oil on PubMed and more than 200 on Laurus nobilis. Some of the promising research is examined below.
In a study performed in 2017, researchers found that Bay Laurel oil had significant antimicrobial effects on the five bacteria strains tested. In some cases, the oils were on par with or exceeded that of tetracyclines. 
Researchers set out in 2016 to determine the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of White Wormwood (Artemisia herba-albo A.), Rose-scented Geranium (Pelargonium capitatum x radens), and Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) oils.
Out of the three, they found that Bay Laurel showed the highest antioxidant activities. 
Cancer is a disease that affects us all in one way or another. Researchers are increasingly looking towards nature to help in fighting this disease.
A cervical cancer study from 2012 showed that Bay Laurel oil was effective in prohibiting proliferation of cervical epithelial carcinoma (HeLa) cells.  Unfortunately, it also showed a higher toxicity than that of other plants in the study.
Protecting Cherry Tomatoes
Gardeners will appreciate that oil from Chinese-grown Laurus nobilis was shown effective in protecting cherry tomatoes from the fungus responsible for leaf rot, Alternaria alternata. It completely inhibited the growth, which shows promise for using the oil as a natural fungicide.
Bay Laurel is a helpful oil for the skin, circulatory system, and for moodiness. It is also a beneficial oil for hair loss.
To get its therapeutic effects, you should make sure they are using the variety Laurus nobilis instead of its like-sounding counterparts, some of which are poisonous.
The oil has shown promise in cancer research and demonstrates high efficacy against problems in humans such as diarrhea and candida. It may also prove to be an effective natural fungicide in the farming industry, especially for fruits that fall victim of certain fungi.
The oil should not be used by anyone pregnant or nursing. Everyone else should take care not to use the oil internally, undiluted, or frequently due to its narcotic effects and possible dermal reactions.
DISCLAIMER: Momprepares.com is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. For safe use, please contact your medical practictioner or health care provider. Momprepares.com, its parent company, and subsidiaries does not assume liability for any actions taken after visiting these pages and does not assume liability if one misuses essential oils. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.