Bay is an aromatic leaf taken from the bay laurel and utilised in cooking for its pleasant flavour and aroma. Grown in warm climates, its history of cultivation goes back to early civilisation.
It originated in Turkey, and has spread throughout to the Mediterranean. However, Turkey continues to be the largest export of bay leaf in the world.
Bay leaf has become a staple of many European Mediterranean cuisines, but the herb also features prominently in Indian and Indonesian cooking.
The leaves are rarely ingested, as they are removed before serving. Thus, bay is incorporated for its flavour and aroma alone.
Bay oil is extracted from aged leaves through the use of steam. Possessing many properties, bay oil can be used to treat muscular pain and circulation problems.
It can also alleviate the affects of the common cold/flu and diarrhea. More generally Bay oil has a relaxation effect, lifting the mood and easing muscle tension and ache. Bay has also been used as an effective moth replant, utilised in pantries and wardrobes.
Bay can be used in a number of ways. The stem can be inhaled from burners and vaporisers to treat colds and flu, along with easing muscular aches and tension.
Bay oil used in the bath can be wonderfully calming and uplifting. It can also be blended into a variety of creams and lotions to carry the uplifting scent with you all day.
It's spicy and herbal scent is highly fragrant and very stable. Thus Bay essential oil is suitable for use as a middle note in perfumes and fragrances.
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