The Indian Bay Leaf (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) or “tej patta” is an endemic spice in most Indian cuisines ranging from the scrumptious and spicy biryani to the sweet fillings of a kheer.
It is called 'Sla tyrpad' in our local Khasi language.
Indian bay leaf is just as common in dal tadka and even in masala chai! It has a permanent place in Indian spice cabinets and the typical housewife uses it more often than not for that magical and aromatic finish to her culinary labours. But if you thought that the Indian Bay Leaf is only meant for cooking, you are in for a pleasant surprise!
The leaves have been used since time immemorial to help control diabetes, bad cholesterol, indigestion and even the common cold!
Indian Bay leaf is a super spice. Why?
Here Are the Top 5 Benefits of Bay Leaf
1. Improves insulin function in Type 2 Diabetics:
A Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition study found that bay leaves helped lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics. An active component present in Indian bay leaves called Polyphenol helps improve insulin function and in turn, controls blood sugar level.
2. Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases:
Another study has posited that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is significantly higher in people with Type 2 diabetics. The study also states that diet plays an important role and that spices, including bay leaves, have a direct bearing on the incidence and severity of these diseases.
3. Aids in digestion:
The Indian Bay Leaf is also a good measure against digestive disorders like heartburn, flatulence, acid reflux and constipation. Bay leaf contains enzymes thus helping break down proteins, which makes it an ideal spice in high protein dishes.
4. Relieves common cold:
Come winter and masala chai becomes the norm, be it at home or at a street tea stall. But other than the fact that the chai is a relishing delight in itself, one other reason is that the bay leaf in it helps in relieving common cold. Add ginger to that and you have your very own homemade remedy for common cold. In Meghalaya and other Northeastern states, we add bay leaf to masala chai. Have you tried adding it too?
5. Prevents food poisoning bacteria:
Bay leaf extract was tested on common pathogens like Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus and vibrio parahaemolyticus, all of which have been found to cause food poisoning. It was found that the alcohol content from the extract inhibits the growth of food poisoning bacteria.
The next time you have a cold or indigestion, you can also try bay leaves as a tea or in your cooking.
We have created an infographic on the same below.
At Zizira, we partner directly with farmers from Meghalaya to bring these rich produce to customers all over India and beyond. You now have a choice to enjoy the nutrient rich food from these hills where the land is pristine and where most farmers still practise traditional methods of farming.
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