Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis
Part Used: Leaves
Process: Steam Distilled
Plant Description: Native to the Mediterranean region, including Spain, Portugal, southern Turkey, northern Syria, and northern Morocco; cultivated in China, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, the western Balkans, Russia, Italy, Sardinia, and France. Laurus nobilis is a small, sturdy evergreen tree that grows to a height of 65 feet; its creamy yellow flowers produce small shiny black berries. Leaves are long, narrow, dark green, glossy, and leathery that when bruised emit a distinctively pungent and powerful fragrance. This aroma is captured in the essential oil distilled from the leaves.
Oil Description: Pale yellow to very pale olive green or colorless liquid with a fresh, powerfully diffusive spicy-sweet, somewhat medicinal and aromatic-camphoraceous aroma.
Historical/Traditional Uses: Both the Greeks and the Romans crowned those victorious in competitions with wreaths of Bay Laurel. The ancient Greeks believed that the leaves placed under a pillow would induce dreams of prophecy. In 165 CE, the Greek physician Galen recommended Bay Laurel as a diuretic and liver stimulant. It has long been used in cooking to aid digestion. The North American Miwok tribe of what is now Northern California used fresh Bay Laurel branchlets dipped in water to brush a persons entire aura, including the bottoms of the feet, to cleanse away any negative energy, influences or thoughts before participating in sacred ceremonies. In Greece, church floors were strewn with Bay Laurel leaves, a tradition that still continues.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Bay Laurel is indicated for loss of appetite, colic, indigestion, flatulence, chronic bronchitis, osteoarthritis, colds, flu, promoting menstruation, self-doubt, and lack of concentration. Bay Laurels fresh, spicy scent has the ability to stimulate the mind, diminish self-imposed limitations, inspire boldness, and spark ones inner vision. In perfumery, Bay Laurel essential oil is considered a top note that blends well with bergamot and other citrus oils, cardamom and other spice oils, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, fir, frankincense, ginger, juniper berry, labdanum, lavender, marjoram, pine, rose, rosemary, and thyme.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Bay Laurel essential oil is relatively non-toxic and non-irritating; it can cause dermal sensitization in individuals with sensitive skin. Due to the possible narcotic properties attributed to its methyl eugenol content, it should be used in moderation (no more than 2% dilution) and not used at all during pregnancy.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.