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 Caribbean Islands 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.
However, since we are here to discuss the medicinal importance of this essential oil, we shall now see what treasures it holds for our health.
Health Benefits of Bay Essential Oil
The benefits of bay essential oil include:
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 protects wounds against such infections and inhibits bacterial growth while helping to avoid those painful situations.
This oil is also known for its antibiotic properties. That means that it inhibits any sort of biotic growth (growth of microbes, bacteria, or fungi) in the body, effectively safeguarding you against those infections. There is one more advantage of using this oil as an antibiotic. It is completely safe and has no adverse side effects (unless used in very heavy doses), unlike those antibiotic medicines available on the market that heavily impact the liver, heart, and other internal organs.
Neuralgia is very painful and it leaves 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 help 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.
Cramps, coughs, aches, diarrhea, nervous afflictions, and convulsions are 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 bay gives relief from spasm by relaxing the contractions and helping to avoid the related dangers or ailments.
An analgesic, like the essential oil of bay, reduces pain and is particularly effective in pains resulting from coughs and colds, viral infections, influenza, and sprains. Again, this is better than the analgesic pills available on the market, which cause damage to the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system.
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 eventually induces acute deficiencies in those people. Therefore, an appetizer or an aperitif can be a helping hand in these cases. Nothing is better than an herbal aperitif like the essential oil of bay to help them want and have a sumptuous lunch or dinner.
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 strengthens 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 induces contractions in the blood vessels, thus helping to stop hemorrhaging.
Promotes Discharge of Bile
Bay oil promotes the discharge of bile into the stomach, thereby helping 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.
This property of bay essential oil is effective in turning on obstructed menses and making them more regular. It also eases the pain and other troubles associated with menstrual periods.
Since certain components of the bay oil are capable of fighting infections that cause cough, cold, and fever, this oil helps reduce fevers. Its sudorific property also contributes to this, since perspiration helps bring down body temperature.
Being lethal to insects and animals is yet another beneficial property of this oil, which helps drive away insects. Therefore, it can be used in fumigants, sprays, vaporizers, and in various other ways to keep away insects.
Keeps Stomach Healthy
The stomach is the root of good health and is the cause of all health problems as well. Any malfunctioning by the stomach results in an ailment. As long as it is functioning well, then your total health remains fine. This is exactly what bay oil does. It keeps the stomach functioning fine and maintains it in very good health, keeping it safe from infections, ulcers, and acidity.
Bay essential oil promotes 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 caused due to the accumulation of toxins, salt, and water in the body. Perspiration also brings down body temperature in the case of fever.
This property of essential oil of bay is beneficial for the whole body. It improves the metabolic functions such as decomposition of food and the absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach, and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier. It also takes care of proper excretion, regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes, and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active. Finally, it boosts the immune system, thereby protecting you from infections.
The essential oil of bay is 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 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 blends 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.