Erakina

Seasoning Herb: Bay leaves – Erakina

Published Date : August 1, 2022

Cooking is a field of art that combines different combinations of ingredients and imagination. Many styles of cooking are done, which sound unfamiliar but taste good. Likewise, using Bay leaves in cooking for seasoning is one of them. Let’s see what Bay leaves are and how it is used in the field of cooking.

Bay Leaves

Bay Leaf
A picture of Dried Bay leaves

Bay leaf is used as a seasoning ingredient for many dishes like stews, soups, Briyani, etc. They belong to the family of Lauraceae, and the origin of the Bay leaf is in South Asia. The Bay leaf trees are slow-growing trees that like more sunlight and less sun shade, and Cultivators choose a sunny spot and a well-drained soil. A PH range of 6-7 is ideal for plant growth. They can grow upto 55 feet in height if they are correctly maintained. But cultivators prune them and reduce the size. The plant can also be planted at home. Pruning is more important in house planting because pruning can make the plants shorter, and its easier to move around the home. Mostly the tree doesn’t require more attention, but if the plant is grown at home, then fertilizers should be used for the growth.  

The dried leaves are used in the cooking. As the fresh leaves are shiny and green in color, the dried leaves become fated and get a brownish-green color. As the leaves dry, it gives more flavour to the food. As the leaves are used in the recipes, they are taken out before serving. Because the leaves taste bitter and it can choke and even hurt the food pipe when consumed. Many kinds of Bay leaves are found, but the Turkish and California leaves are famous around the North American continents. Turkish Bay gives a subtle taste, but California Bay leaf gives a solid minty flavour to the food.

Stew
Bay leaf in a stew

Uses and Medicinal benefits

Bay leaves
Old Laurel leaves

Bay leaf is used in wide cuisine varieties. But in ancient times in Greek, the leaves were used to honor people who were athletes, rulers, and scholars. The winners are honored by a crown made using Bay leaves. The leaves are used for several purposes and possess many health benefits. Let’s see some of the uses and health benefits of Bay leaves in the following.

  • Bay leaves tea has many health benefits like it reduces blood pressure, improves digestion, and helps reduce weight.
  • It contains antioxidants like flavonoids, alkaloids, anthocyanins, and flavones.
  • We can see Bay leaves in many Mediterranean dishes.
  • It contains vitamins A, B6, and C, which help improve the immune system.
  • Bay leaf consists of enzymes that help break down food nutrients and fasten the digestive process.
  • Bay leaf tea act well against Migraines.
  • The essential oil and phytochemicals in Bay leave help to improve insulin, and polyphenols in them help control glucose levels in the body.
  • The antioxidants and vitamin C in Bay leave help in skin problems and improve skin health.
  • The antioxidants in them help in reducing stress and help in preventing blood pressure.
  • It also helps prevent inflammation in our bodies.
  • Boiling Bay leaves in the water and applying it to our scalp can act as a natural hair conditioner, helps in the itchy scalp, and help hair growth making it shiny and stronger.
  • A study shows that having Bay leaves in a diet help reduce type 2 diabetes in patients.

These are some of the health benefits and uses of Bay leaves benefit humans. So let’s add Bay leaves to our diet and have a healthy life.

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1 thought on “Seasoning Herb: Bay leaves – Erakina”

  1. Bay leaves add flavor to the food. It is used in every indian household as a spice. It has amazing benefits. This article is very helpful.

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