15 Surprising Benefits of Bay Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

The health benefits of Bay essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-neuralgic, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, aperitif, astringent, cholagogic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, insecticide, sedative, stomachic, sudorific, and a tonic substance.

The bay tree is native to the Mediterranean region from where it is believed to have spread to other parts of the world. Bay held an important place in Ancient Rome and Greece as well, in their religion, culture, and in their medicines.

This oil is extracted by steam distillation of fresh leaves of the bay tree, whose scientific name is Laurus nobilis. The main constituents of bay essential oil are alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, beta pinene, chavicol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, myrcene, and neral.

Health Benefits of Bay Essential Oil

The benefits of the bay essential oil include:

Antiseptic

Wounds should not be ignored, even if they look mild, more so when they are from iron objects, rusty or otherwise, or from dirty or unclean objects. Wounds are very much prone to septic or tetanus, which can result in severe convulsions, cramps, breathlessness, pain, hydrophobia, and even insanity. The antiseptic property of this oil can protect wounds against such infections and inhibits bacterial growth while helping to avoid those painful situations.

Antibiotic

This oil is also known for its antibiotic properties. That means that it can inhibit any sort of biotic growth (growth of microbes, bacteria, or fungi) in the body, effectively safeguarding you against those infections.

Anti-neuralgic

Neuralgia can be very painful and may also leave almost the entire oral zone, including the throat, ears, tonsils, base of the nose, larynx, pharynx, and the surrounding areas suffering from severe pain. It is caused due to compression of the glossopharyngeal or the ninth cranial nerve by the surrounding blood vessels, which tends to swell when excited or stimulated as a result of chewing, eating, laughing, shouting, or any other excitement or movement in that region.

The essential oil of bay has analgesic and astringent properties, which can provide relief from the pain of neuralgia in its own way. Being an analgesic, it reduces the feeling of pain in the affected area. Then, as an astringent, it induces contraction in the blood vessels, thus relieving the pressure on the cranial nerve, giving immediate relief from the pain.

Anti-spasmodic

Cramps, coughs, aches, diarrhea, nervous afflictions, and convulsions can be some of the ailments caused by spasm, which is an excessive contraction in the respiratory tracts, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs. Not only does it cause the ailments discussed above, but sometimes it can also become fatal if it is overly excessive. For example, excessive spasms in the respiratory system can leave someone breathless or literally choke them to death. The essential oil of the bay might give relief from spasms by relaxing the contractions and helping to avoid the related dangers or ailments.

Bottles of bay essential oil with bay leaves placed around on a grey table

Bay laurel essential oil is excellent for use on the hair as a stimulant and a tonic. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Analgesic

An analgesic, like the essential oil of bay, can reduce pain and can be particularly effective in pains resulting from coughs and colds, viral infections, influenza, and sprains. Again, it can be better than the analgesic pills available on the market, which have significant adverse side effects.

Boosts Appetite

Loss of appetite is a very common problem with people who lead a metropolitan way of life. With the excessive pressure of work in the office as well as at home, a never-ending search for money, and almost no time to relax or exercise, it is bound to happen! This loss of appetite can eventually induce acute deficiencies in those people. Therefore, an appetizer or an aperitif can be a helping hand in these cases. The herbal aperitif like the essential oil of bay can help them to want and have a sumptuous lunch or dinner.

Astringent

We have already read that astringency can be beneficial in treating painful conditions like neuralgia. However, it is not its sole benefit. An astringent’s main function is to induce contractions in muscles and tissues. This contraction helps in many ways. It might strengthen the grip of gums on teeth, pulls up the sagging skin and muscles, strengthens the hold of the scalp on hair roots, thereby preventing loss of hair, and finally, it may induce contractions in the blood vessels which can help to stop hemorrhaging.

Promotes Discharge of Bile

Bay oil might promote the discharge of bile into the stomach, thereby helping to maintain the acid and base balance in it. This bile is used to break down the complex food molecules and to neutralize the excess acids discharged into the stomach, which is very important, since this excess acid can wear down the inner lining of the stomach, causing ulcers.

Regulates Menstruation

This property of bay essential oil can be effective in turning on obstructed menses and making them more regular. It might also ease the pain and other troubles associated with menstrual periods.

Fights Infections

Since certain components of the bay oil are capable of fighting infections that cause cough, cold, and fever, this oil can also help reduce fevers. Its sudorific property also contributes to this, since perspiration can help to bring down body temperature.

Kills Insects

Being lethal to insects and animals is yet another beneficial property of this oil, which can help to drive away insects. Therefore, it can be used in fumigants, sprays, vaporizers, and in various other ways to keep away insects.

Sedative

This oil sedates nervous afflictions and disturbances and might help to provide relief from conditions like epilepsy, hysteria, convulsions, anxiety, stress, depression, anger, etc.

Keeps Stomach Healthy

The stomach is the root of good health and can be the cause of all health problems as well. Any malfunctioning by the stomach can result in an ailment. As long as it is functioning well, then your total health might remain fine. This is exactly what bay oil does. It can keep the stomach functioning fine and maintains it in very good health, keeping it safe from infections, ulcers, and acidity.

Sudorific

Bay essential oil might promote perspiration and facilitates the removal of toxins, excess salt, water, and fat from the body through sweat. This makes the body lighter and protects it from ailments that can be caused due to the accumulation of toxins, salt, and water in the body. Perspiration might also bring down body temperature in the case of fever.

Tonic

This property of essential oil of bay can be beneficial for the whole body. It might improve the metabolic functions such as the decomposition of food and the absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach, and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier. It can also take care of proper excretion, regulate the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes, and can also tone up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active. Finally, it can boost the immune system, thereby protecting you from infections.

Other Benefits

The essential oil of bay can be equally effective in symptoms like rheumatism, neuralgia, muscular pain, circulation problems, cold, flu, dental infection, diarrhea, skin infections, and promoting the growth of hair, and general health of the scalp.

Word of Caution: Due to the presence of a high concentration of eugenol, this oil can cause irritations in the skin and mucus membrane. It should be avoided during pregnancy.

Blending: Bay essential oil can be blended with a whole range of essential oils, including the essential oils of Cedar Wood, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, and Ylang-Ylang.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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