Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic,
and appetite stimulant properties.
Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol,
acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and ß-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, and terpineol
are also found.
Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers and help relieve flatulence and
The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the
treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis, and flu-symptoms.
This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene,
limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol.
These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, antioxidant, digestive, and thought to
have anti-cancer properties.