Pleasantly aromatic bay leaf or bay-laurel is one of the well-recognized culinary leaf-spices in use since the earliest times. In the legends, bay laurel is deemed as the tree of the Sun god, under the celestial sign of Leo. Its scientific name is Laurus nobilis.
Bay leaves are popularly known in the Philippines because it is an important ingredient in the Filipino dish adobo. It is a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, which is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. It has sometimes been considered as the unofficial national dish in the Philippines.
Bay leaves have a pungent and sharp, bitter taste when eaten whole. Its fragrance is more noticeable than its taste. When the leaves are dried, its fragrance is herbal, just like oregano and thyme.
Bay leaves can also be crushed or ground before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart more of their desired fragrance than whole leaves, but are more difficult to remove, and thus they are often used in a muslin bag or tea infuser. Ground bay laurel may be substituted for whole leaves, and does not need to be removed, but it is much stronger due to the increased surface area and in some dishes the texture may not be desirable.
Aside from the added flavor and fragrance to our dishes, bay leaves also have some health benefits that can help you in many ways.
Here are some of its benefits:
Bay leaves are good in promoting digestion and can also treat digestive disorders such as heartburn and flatulence. It contains enzymes that enables the breakdown of proteins, making it an excellent spice for non-vegetarian diets.
Bay leaf contains phytonutrients that protects against cardiovascular diseases such as heart [email protected] and strokes. It also contains valuable compounds such as rutin, salicylates, caffeic acid and phytonutrients that boosts heart health and improve heart function.
TREAT FOR COLD AND INFECTION
Bay leaves are effective in fighting the symptoms of cold, flu and infections. In case of respiratory problems, boil water and add 2 to 3 bay leaves. Allow it to steam for 10 minutes. Soak a cloth in this water and place it on your chest to alleviate flu, cold and cough. Bay leaf tea is effective in reducing fever. In case of repeated sneezing, boil some bay leaves in 200 ml water till ¼ remains. Strain and drink this concoction.
The oil that is extracted from the bay leaf has anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve the pain resulting from sprains, strains, arthritis, rheumatism and some general pains. By using bay leaf oil, you can relieve migraines and headaches.
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