By Ken McGowan
Laurus Nobilis is an archaic plant species that flourished on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. It predates the dinosaurs and all mammalian life on Earth. Laurel is one of a very few species of plant to have survived from from a long forgotten geological age to be there waiting for humankind, and the dawn of civilization.
Laurus Nobilis or Bay Laurel or True Laurel, as it is often referred to, was so revered by ancient civilizations for its mystical and medical properties that the wearing of a crown of it’s leaves was reserved for the noblest of the noble.
Today, a reverential renaissance is sweeping through modern laboratories as scientists rediscover the medicinal properties of this most noble of plants.
Modern medical researchers in study after study are proving the medicinal efficacy of Bay Laurel, and verifying the ancient wisdom of Natural Healthcare Practitioners in the process.
Traditionally used to treat the symptoms of:
- Aging skin
- Angina pectoris
- Bacterial infections
- Common cold
- Dry skin
- Ear aches
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Influenza (flu)
- Tinea (fungal) infections
- Viral infections
Researchers have verified the efficacy of Laurus Nobilis as an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agent, and as an effective treatment for many/most of the aforementioned maladies. A listing of much of the research is available in the GreenMedInfo database.
Moreover, recent studies into the medicinal benefits of compounds derived from laurel berries, laurel leaves and laurel bark are pointing the way to potential cures for for some of the deadliest forms of infectious diseases like SARS and MRSA; neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; vision disorders; cardiovascular disease; gastric ulcers; and malignant cancers including Leukemia and Melanoma (skin cancer).
- Bay leaf (L. nobilis oil) exhibits antiviral properties against SARS-CoV and HSV-1 replication.
- Compounds isolated from Bay leaf have anti-MRSA activity.
- Bay leaf exhibits antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
- Antifungal activity of the leaf extracts of laurel (Laurus nobilis L.), orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) and olive (Olea europaea L.) obtained by means of supercritical carbon dioxide technique.
- Bay leaf extract ameliorates oxygen and glucose deprivation-induced neuronal death.
- Bay leaf has antioxidant properties.
- Bay leaf extract has gastroprotective and antioxidant properties.
- Volatile oils of bay leaf may improve vigilance performance in visual discrimination task.
- Bay leaf contains compounds which induce programmed cell death in leukemia cells.
- A constituent in bay leaf induces programmed cell death in human melanoma cell lines.
Scientific research on the benefits of Laurus Nobilis is ongoing and new discoveries are being announced just as fast as the papers can be published. But much work still needs to be done as the research is moved forward into arena of clinical trials.
However, you don’t need to wait for the results of the research papers or the clinical trials to benefit from the extracts and compounds of Laurus Nobilis. You can enjoy the many benefits of Laurel by accessing the ancient wisdom of Natural Healthcare Practitioners today.
The preventive and curative benefits of Laurel are available to you today in several forms:
In Your Diet. Bay leaves have long been used as a spice in a wide variety of dishes commonly found in The Mediterranean Diet. Use it in a food to help control:
- Cardiovascular disease, including blood pressure and cholesterol
- Gastric Ulcers
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- And as an Antioxidant
In Aromatherapy. Aroma Therapists have traditionally used Laurel’s Essential Oils derived from the leaves by the steam distillation process to:
- Calm and soothe the nervous system
- Enhance the wellbeing of body, mind and spirit
- Improve mental clarity
- Uplift the mood
- Ward off depression
In Respiratory Therapy. Once again it’s Laurel’s Essential Oils derived from the leaves by the steam distillation process are used to:
- Alleviate respiratory distress as an expectorant and to relieve the congestion due to the common cold, flu or bronchitis
In Massage Therapy. Dilute solutions (dilute with Argan Oil or Olive Oil) of both Laurel Berry Oil (20% solution is recommended) and Laurel Essential Oil (5% solution is recommended) are effective for:
- Easing muscle spasms
- Relieving muscle fatigue
- Promoting wound healing
- Treating skin infections
In Hygiene & Skin Care (as a moisturizing and deep cleansing soap to treat a wide variety of skin problems). Aleppo Soap, the first soap ever made by humankind more than 2,500 years ago is famous for the inclusion of Laurel Berry Oil in it’s formulation. Sometimes referred to as Laurel Soap, Aleppo Soap is commonly prescribed by European, Middle Eastern and Asian Dermatologists, Naturopaths and Natural Healthcare practitioners to treat:
- Age spots
- Cradle cap
- Dry and damaged skin
- Premature aging
- Tinea (fungal) infections like athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm (a red skin rash), scalp ringworm (Itchy, red patches on the head. It can leave bald spots. And usually affects children); and tinea versicolor, also more accurately called Pityriasis versicolor, a common yeast infection on the trunk
Utilizing the many medicinal benefits of Laurus Nobilis is not only good for humankind, it’s kind to theplanet too. The Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species has officially list Laurus Nobilis as one of the Earth’s very, very few Underutilized Species.
And as a Wildcrafted (harvested by hand from wild plants, in their natural environment) forest product, it is environmentally sustainable, preserves biodiversity, is pure as nature intended, and is naturally free from chemicals or genetic modifications of any kind.
Laurus Nobilis: an ancient plant species truly worthy of its long standing Noble status.
This article first appeared on September 7, 2013 on greenmedinfo.com. It is reposted by permission from the author.