Marvelous Health Benefits of Bay leaf (Tej Patta)

Bay leaf (Tej Patta)

Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf from the evergreen bay laurel tree, native to the Mediterranean. It is most widely used in cooking and preparing perfumes. The Indian bay leaf is basically a three veined leaf which is elliptical, pointed, smooth and tough.

These leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter flavor. Their taste and fragrance are somewhat similar to the cinnamon bark but slightly milder. They are used in fresh, dried or powdered form. The oil extracted from bay leaves, called bay leaf oil has medicinal properties and is used to treat several ailments.

Due to their bitter taste, bay leaves cannot be eaten directly but are often used to impart flavor to a variety of dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Bay leaf is extensively used in Indian, Nepalese and Bhutanese cuisines. It is an important spice in Moghulai dishes, particularly biryani and korma. Roasted and ground bay leaves are added to the Indian mixture of spices called “Garam Masala”. Myrcene, which is a component of essential oils extracted from bay leaves, is used in perfumery. They also have the property of repelling flies, moths, mice etc. Apart from their culinary uses, they have medicinal properties and are known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and astringent qualities.

Nutritional Value of Bay Leaf:

The various benefits of bay leaf can be attributed to its rich nutritional value. These leaves are exceptionally rich in vitamins as well as copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and manganese. They also contain essential phytochemicals and volatile oils.

Bay Leaf Nutrition Facts, Amount: 100 g

Weight: 100 g

Basic Components
Proteins7.6 g
Water5.4 g
Ash3.6 g
Total Calories313
Calories From Carbohydrates225
Calories From Fats70
Calories From Proteins19
Total Carbohydrates75 g
Dietary Fiber26 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Total Fat8.4 g
Saturated Fat2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat2.3 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids1.1 g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids1.2 g
Vitamin A6185 IU
Vitamin C47 mg
Thiamin9 mcg
Riboflavin421 mcg
Niacin2 mg
Vitamin B61.7 mg
Folate180 mcg
Calcium834 mg
Iron43 mg
Magnesium120 mg
Phosphorus113 mg
Potassium529 mg
Sodium23 mg
Zinc3.7 mg
Copper416 mcg
Manganese8.2 mg
Selenium2.8 mcg

Health Benefits of Bay Leaf

Bay leaf greatly helps in digestion. It is used as a natural remedy in a wide range of digestive disorders. Not only does it help in settling the stomach but also reduces the severity of problems, like celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome. It effectively reduces flatulence and other gas related problems. It contains enzymes which break down proteins and help in digesting meat dishes.
Bay leaf, when applied to the chest in the form of bay leaf compress, provides great relief to respiratory and chest troubles, such as coughs, flu, bronchitis, and chest infections. Further, it also helps in inducing sweat and reducing fever.

Washing the scalp with cold water, with bay leaves steeped in it, after shampooing effectively treats dandruff. Alternatively, you can add ten to fifteen drops of bay leaf essential oil to your shampoo to get rid of dandruff.

Bay leaf contains Parthenolide, a phytonutrient which has anti-inflammatory properties. As such, massaging with bay leaf essential oil helps in relieving joint and muscle pains, including arthritis pain.

Bay leaf contains the phytonutrients, caffeic acid and rutin, as well as salicylates. These phytonutrients protect the heart and lower the risk of strokes and heart attack.

Bay leaf is a good source of Linalool, a compound which is also found in herbs, such as thyme and basil. This compound has long been used as a relaxing fragrance in aromatherapy. Studies reveal that this calming aroma has protective effects on the immune system like shielding the body from negative effects of stress.

Bay leaf helps in regulating blood sugar levels. The compounds present in bay leaves facilitate the quick processing of insulin, thereby preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

The various phytonutrients, caffeic acid, catechins, eugenol, parthenolide and quercetin, present in bay leaves help in protecting the body from many different kinds of cancer.

Consuming bay leaves at bedtime helps to induce proper sleep. For this purpose, mix a few drops of the bay leaf extract with water and consume it.

In case of nosebleed, crush 2 to 3 fresh or dry bay leaves. Boil them in 200 ml water till 100 ml remains. Strain and drink this concoction for relief.

Clean Teeth. To get sparkling white teeth, brush them with powdered bay leaves once in 3 days.

Bay leaves are a great insect repellent as they contain lauric acid. A dish of bay leaves will ward off insects. A paste made from crushed leaves and little oil relieves stings and bites when applied topically.
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