Herbs and spices are wonderful for adding flavor to cooking, but their medicinal values are phenomenal. Bay leaves show incredible support to a healthy diet and should be used to both make food taste better, but primarily to support the body. 

Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition reported a study performed at the Department of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University Peshawar, in Pakistan. Forty participants  were used in the study. Each had type 2 Diabetes, were 40 years old or older and weren’t on any sort of medicine to control their condition. While maintaining their normal diet and exercise routine, participants were divided into four groups. One group took one gram of ground bay leaves each day. The second group took two grams of ground bay leaves each day. The third took three grams of ground bay leaves each day. The fourth group received a placebo each day. No significant side effects were reported. 

Fasting blood tests found, “All three levels of bay leaves tested led to decreased fasting serum glucose.”

They reported the study on bay leaves which found, “This study demonstrates that consumption of bay leaves, 1 to 3 g/d for 30 days, decreases risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and suggests that bay leaves may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.”

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The Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences reported a study of bay leaves and bacteria. Bacteria was removed from the oral cavities of 200 people, isolating 176 bacterial isolates. They found an aqueous decoction of bay leaves exhibited 53.4% antibacterial activity.

The College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea performed a study on bay leaves which was reported in the Archives of Pharmacal Research. They found bay leaves caused neuroprotective effects. They classified it as a reactive oxygen species (ROS) which is, “Important mediator in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”

The Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition reported a study which looked at, “Plasma oxidative status in growing rabbits, fed with and without enriched-fat diet, integrated with and without dried bay leaves meal.” They found, “The dietary treatment with bay leaves meal, in the extend of 1 g/kg feed, confirms the lowering cholesterol activity and controlling the oxidative status.”

Most people used spices which are dried, and only have access to fresh herbs and spices during the short summer growing season. This brings up the question of health benefits in fresh plants as compared to dried. 

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry studied fresh bay leaves and compared it to oven drying, air dried, freeze dried and frozen bay leaves. They found, “Oven drying at 45 degrees C and air-drying at ambient temperature produced quite similar results and caused hardly any loss in volatiles as compared to the fresh herb, whereas freezing and freeze-drying brought about substantial losses in bay leaf aroma and led to increases in the concentration levels of certain components, e.g., eugenol, elemicin, spathulenol, and beta-eudesmol.”

Bay leaves come from the Bay Laurel tree, which can be grown in most climates. It can be trimmed and formed into any shape, even used as a topiary. 

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*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. She serves on the GAPS Board of Directors and has recently been named “The GAPS Expert” by Dr. Natasha and will serve teaching other Certified GAPS Practitioners proper use of the GAPS protocol. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.






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