The pristine hills of Meghalaya is home to many herbs and spices that are naturally grown and rich in nutrients. One of the spices that are available in plenty in this region and grow in the wild is the Indian Bay leaves. It is known as 'sla tyrpad' in the local Khasi language.
'Bay leaf' commonly known as 'Tej Patta' is a popular spice in the Indian household.
Obtained from the Tej Pat tree, Cinnamomum tamala, it is widely used as a flavour enhancer in dishes, for perfumery purposes and for aromatherapy.
Indian Bay leaf spice is a three-veined leaf, with a smooth leathery texture and is deep green in colour. Bay leaf has been used as a natural home remedy for various ailments in ancient India.
Of late, there is a growing interest in using age-old remedies for treating minor illnesses.
Now, I would like to share some DIY Bay leaves natural remedies.
Nutritional Profile of Bay leaf:
It also contains traces of fats. Source
5 Useful Natural Health Remedies Using Bay Leaf
Here are 5 useful natural remedies using Bay leaf:
1. Bay leaf for aromatherapy:
The pungent aroma of Bay leaf spice has a considerable calming effect on the mind and helps in relaxing the body. It also eases respiratory ailments as it aids in releasing the respiratory airways. The herbal fragrance of bay leaf purifies the ambience and can be used as an incense. It also acts as a natural insect repellent and keeps roaches away in your homes.
How to do it: Simply take 3-4 pieces of sundried bay leaves and burn them in a bowl. Let the natural aroma infuse and spread around the room.
2. Bay leaf as a tonic for healthy hair:
If you want to get rid of dry, damaged and brittle hair, you can try this formula of using Bay leaf with cloves as a natural hair tonic. Bay leaf spice contains antioxidants which strengthen the hair, treats dryness and dandruff. While cloves have anti-septic properties and keep your hair healthy and aids in hair growth. Try it!
Here is a hair tonic recipe:
Requirements: 24 pieces of cloves, 5-6 pieces of bay leaves, vessel, bowl, and water.
- Take a vessel. Fill it freshly drawn water and bring it to a boil.
- Once heated add 24 pieces of cloves and cover the vessel with lid. Let it boil for more than 10 minutes, until the water turns pale yellow.
- Next, add 5-6 pieces of bay leaf and stir it for 5 minutes. Let it boil for 10 more minutes.
- Turn off the flame and let it cool for a while. Once cooled, strain out the water into a bowl. You can apply this directly on your hair scalp and massage it. Leave it overnight and rinse your hair thoroughly.
3. Bay leaf infused healthy oil:
Bay leaf infused oil has a sweet fragrance which is not overpowering. It tastes slightly peppery with medium bitterness. You can use it for cooking and as a massage oil.
Here is a DIY recipe for Bay leaf infused oil:
Requirements: 30 pieces of fresh bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of perilla oil, sterilized polycarbonate containers, vessel, and water.
- Take fresh Bay leaves, wash it properly and put them to dry. Once dried, take 15 pieces of Bay leaves and it put in a polycarbonate container. Add a tablespoon of cold pressed perilla oil and seal the container tightly.
- Now take a vessel and fill it with water. Put the sealed container in the vessel. Heat the water and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, allow it to cool slightly and strain the contents and discard the used Bay leaves. Refill the container with 15 pieces of fresh Bay leaves again. Add the strained oil and seal it tightly. Repeat the above process again.
- After 2 more hours, cool the contents and strain, using a sieve if you must. Then pour the oil into a new clean container. Store it in a cool dark place and use when necessary.
4. Ground Bay leaf for healthy skin and teeth:
Bay leaf is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. It also acts as a natural astringent for skin. You can take dried Bay leaves and grind them into a fine powdered.
How to prepare?
Add 1 tablespoon of water to 1 and a half tablespoon of Bay leaf powder and form a paste. You can then apply it on your skin to heal cuts, bruises, and insect bites. You can also sprinkle a pinch of Bay leaf powder on your toothpaste before brushing. It helps keep your teeth healthy and clean.
5. Bay leaf as a natural remedy for a nosebleed:
As treatment and relief for nosebleed, you can use sun-dried Bay leaf.
How to prepare?
Take 3 pieces of dried Bay leaves and crush them roughly. Put them in a vessel and add 2 cups of water to it. Bring the water to boil and simmer in for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Strain the contents and drink this concoction for relief.
The distinct flavour and aroma of Bay leaf are what makes it much sought after as an ingredient for culinary use and aromatherapy. It is slightly bitter to taste and cannot be eaten directly. Instead, it is used to enhance the flavour of curries, soups, and stews.
You can use it in fresh, dry or powdered form.