Laurel

Laurel


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Features

Laurel, whose scientific name is "Laurus nobilis" is an evergreen aromatic plant that is part of the Lauraceae family and spreads quite easily in all areas characterized by a typically temperate climate.

It is a plant that has an erect stem and a bark characterized by a green color, which in many cases takes the typical shape of a bush, while in others it assumes the conical shape of a tree (it can reach up to 75 meters of height).

The laurel leaves are characterized by being oval, rather glossy in the upper part, while they are opaque in the lower area and, if they are cut, they have the characteristic of releasing an extremely pleasant scent.

Flowering generally occurs during the spring season, while the fruits of the berries have an oval shape and black color.

Laurel is often used as an excellent ornamental plant for fencing gardens and land.


Cultivation

The laurel plant grows spontaneously in all those Mediterranean regions and has roots that denote excellent resistance to the winter season and low temperatures, despite the leaves dying with the arrival of the bad season.

Furthermore, it is a plant that is grown for ornamental purposes and also as a hedge, due to its considerable resistance to shearing.

The exposure of the laurel must take place in full sun, in places that are particularly sheltered from the wind and in soils that are extremely rich in humidity and have a good level of drainage.

Reproduction usually takes place by means of cuttings that are taken in the final part of the summer season and then placed in an optimally heated bin with a good level of humidity.

The laurel plant can also grow inside a pot, but once the temperatures drop dramatically, it is best to take it indoors.

The leaves can be harvested throughout the year, although the best are those that are harvested during the month of July and August.

As for conservation, it is important to leave the leaves to dry in an airy and shady place, avoiding that dust and humidity can cause any kind of problem.


Active principles

Bay berries are quite rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, tannins and essential oils.

Among the most important active ingredients present in bay leaves, we find the essential oil with lauric acid and aurostearin, which is certainly the fundamental active element.

Laurel has particular characteristics that are able to perform a stimulating function on digestive enzymes, greatly favoring digestive processes and purifying the digestive tract.


Property

Bay leaves and berries are quite interesting from a medicinal point of view, since they can count on not indifferent beneficial properties.

Laurel must be used very sparingly, since the heat releases the essential oil from the fibers, revealing an annoying bitter taste.

It is precisely the essential oil of laurel that has the most important property, namely an excellent antiseptic action, which is extremely useful in colds and intestinal gases.

In herbal medicine, the various parts of the laurel are used above all for the treatment of various ailments that affect the digestive system.

Laurel is very useful for the treatment of rheumatism, to combat cases of indigestion and for fatigue.


Usage

With bay leaves you can make excellent infusions that are drunk hot before going to sleep: this will stimulate sweating and prevent the development of a cold or even a simple flu.

If, on the other hand, it is used while sipping it after meals, the infusion of that time is able, thanks to the essences contained, to simplify digestion and to remove intestinal gas, rather annoying, also carrying out a strengthening action of the stomach.

Bay berries are even more interesting and effective than the leaves themselves, since they contain an oil that is extremely rich in medicinal substances.

In the event that these substances are dried or pulverized, with a dose equal to one or two teaspoons a day, they act as an excellent remedy for flu, colds, nervous diseases, paralysis, stomach weakness and intestinal gas.

Once they are mixed with the oil, from these laurel infusions it is also possible to obtain laurin oil which, once used on the interested parts, performs an important soothing function with regard to rheumatic spasms and to simplify the recovery of the use of the joints following casts or traumas of a different nature.


Laurel: Products

In addition to the exclusively culinary sector, we can also find laurel used in other forms: for example, there are special ointments for external use that use bay leaf oil to combat rheumatic pains and bruises.

You can find different herbal products that perform a different function depending on the use you want to make of them: there are fluid extracts, tinctures, essential oils, laurine oils.

In most cases, it is important to use the leaves for the preparation of ointments that can have an important antiseptic, absorbent, diaphoretic, expectorant and stimulating action.



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