Do you know the healthy benefits of bay tea? Also called “bay leaf tea”, this drink is all natural and could be the secret to the many health and wellness improvements you’ve been looking for! Check it all out here!
Bay tea is a simple drink, which consists of infusing bay leaf in hot water. It is usually consumed by people who want to improve digestion and relieve pain from menstrual cramps . But are these benefits true or are they just a myth?
Laurel, scientific name laurus nobilis , is well known for being used in the preparation of beans and feijoada, in addition to many other dishes of international cuisine. Leaves are normally used dry. They have a strong aroma and flavor, and can be used in meats, broths, soups and stews. But what many people don’t know is that they are rich in medicinal properties.
Originally from the Mediterranean, the Laurel plant can reach 20 meters in height, and its leaves are the parts used for culinary and medicinal purposes. See below for the list of benefits of bay tea.
Benefits of Bay Tea
Bay tea is one of the most common medicinal preparations using the leaves of the plant. It is a natural drink, which has very few contraindications and numerous qualities for human health and well-being. See the benefits of this tea:
- Aid in digestion
- Decreases anxiety
- it’s diuretic
- Fights the gases
- Relieves cramps and pain in general
- Helps regulate the menstrual cycle
- Help in treating infections
- It’s anti-inflammatory
- Help in cancer treatment
See how this tea can be of great help in various health-related situations? In the topic below you will find a brief explanation of each of these benefits.
Find out more about each benefit
At 320 calories per 100 grams, bay leaf is rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber . It is also rich in vitamins A, B, C and D, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, in addition to containing saturated and unsaturated fats ( 1 ).
See below how bay tea acts on the human body in order to improve the health and well-being of those who consume it. Be amazed by the miraculous effects of this drink, all confirmed by science.
Aid in digestion
The main medicinal effect of bay tea is its digestive action. You know that feeling of heavy stomach and malaise after eating something fatty? Bay tea is able to eliminate this feeling.
Its strong smell stimulates the production of saliva and digestive enzymes that help break down food particles, thus promoting healthy digestion. It helps fight heartburn and bloating resulting from poor digestion , which justifies its common use in feijoadas and heavy dishes.
In addition, bay tea helps the liver to produce bile, facilitating the digestive process ( 3 ).
Some studies prove that the laurel is a plant with isolated anxiolytic properties. That is, properties that manage to reduce anxiety, without causing sedative action or muscle relaxation ( 4 ).
Thus, it is a great tea to relieve stress and nervousness, without causing drowsiness, as many medicines do. It’s great for relieving tensions like those that arise before important meetings and presentations.
It is noteworthy that stress is bad for the heart and for health in general. It is proven by medicine that stress is one of the factors responsible for ill health and well-being, in addition to being influential in the emergence of diseases that can even lead to death ( 5 ).
Therefore, in cases of stress where the patient does not want to feel sedated or sleepy, bay tea is ideal. It is more efficient in these cases than the well-known chamomile tea , which is also anxiolytic, but has a strong sedative action.
The diuretic action of bay tea is scientifically proven. This natural drink is able to stimulate the urinary flow, contributing to the functioning of the kidneys and the urinary system, as well as preventing and fighting infections in this region ( 6 ).
The diuretic action is also able to eliminate the liquid retained in the body, which helps in reducing measures and deflation of the body.
Fights the gases
Laurel tea is carminative and also helps fight gas. Feeling bloated and bloated is a characteristic of gas sufferers. It is a problem caused by several factors, especially those involving digestion and nutrition.
In this case, the bay tea can speed up the treatment, helping to reduce the incidence of gas. It is also used by people who want to deflate from gases. In the latter case, the objective is to reduce measurements in the abdomen region.
Relieves cramps and pain in general
Laurel tea has an analgesic effect, that is, it reduces the sensation of pain caused by several reasons ( 7 ). One of the most interesting findings about this effect is that it acts mainly in the case of colic, which is helpful for women’s health.
In addition, bay tea can help reduce headaches, joint pain (especially the lower back and shoulders), pain caused by knocks, and stomach pain.
Helps regulate the menstrual cycle
Laurel is a plant that helps fight amenorrhea. For those who don’t know, amenorrhea is the name given to the absence of menstrual flow in the period that they should happen. Popularly speaking, it’s when your period doesn’t go down when it should.
Bay tea can help in these cases. Bay leaves contain properties and assets that stimulate the uterus to release menstrual flow. This can be very helpful when it comes to regulating the cycle.
Every woman knows that there are some factors that can disrupt the menstrual cycle. For example, not using the pill (contraceptive pills) can cause the cycle to be unregulated for a few months. Bay tea can help you understand how menstrual flow works and regulate it.
However, it is necessary to be very attentive in case of pregnancy. Laurel tea is not a drink with abortive action, but thanks to this effect it causes in the uterus, it can harm the initial pregnancy.
Help in treating infections
Some studies confirm that the properties of bay leaves are able to inhibit the development of bacteria that cause infections, such as Salmonella Typhi, Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Enteritidis ( 9 ).
Furthermore, there is also cineole in its composition. It is an antibacterial ketone against a bacterial agent called Vibrio parahaemolyticus ( 10 ).
Bacterial and fungal growth are major causes of serious infections that can lead to death. Therefore, it can be very helpful to consume bay tea during treatments for infections.
However, it is necessary to ask the specialist in charge of the treatment if it is possible to consume the bay tea as an auxiliary. It is important to do this as tea can affect the accuracy of medications given to the patient.
Laurel tea also has an anti-inflammatory effect thanks to the eugenol present in its composition. Eugenol is a phenol compound widely used in the production of anti-inflammatory drugs ( 11 ).
Therefore, bay tea can be very important in the treatment of inflammation. Or even as a precaution so that inflammation does not appear.
Help in cancer treatment
Laurel is a plant rich in substances and properties that help in chemotherapy treatment, that is, against cancer. These compounds help increasing the efficiency of the drugs used ( 12 ).
These anti-cancer compounds are caffeic acid, quercetin, eugenol and catechins. They are able to satisfactorily restrict the metabolism of cancer cells, being especially useful against leukemia and breast cancer.
How to prepare tea?
To prepare tea, put some bay leaves in a pot of water. Bring to the fire and, when it starts to boil, set it for five minutes and then turn it off. Leave covered and rest for 10 minutes. Then remove the leaves and consume. The recommended dose is between three or four cups spaced throughout the day.
Laurel tea in pregnancy
Bay tea is not a recommended drink for pregnant or lactating women. This rule is only broken for a moment: during labor, when bay tea can be a super effective tonic to speed up healthy delivery.
Above, we talked about the effects of laurel when it comes to menstrual flow and menstrual cramps. These benefits happen because the substances present in the composition of the laurel act directly on the functioning of the uterus.
This can be quite dangerous in early pregnancy. Pregnant women should not have the uterus stimulated to menstruate during pregnancy as this can lead to loss of the initial zygote/fetus. So if you want to get pregnant, avoid this tea.
When is bay tea beneficial in pregnancy?
At the time of delivery! Yes, this is the only time that bay tea is recommended rather than avoided ( 13 ). The properties of laurel will facilitate the baby’s exit, stimulating the uterus to “push it out”, just as it happens with delayed menstrual flow.
In addition, the analgesic properties of this drink help to reduce pain in natural childbirth. Therefore, when the contractions start and labor begins, it is advisable to have a cup of bay tea to facilitate the process.
Myth or truth: Bay leaf in beans is good?
You may have noticed that some people put a bay leaf or two in the pan when they go to cook beans. That the leaf has an indisputable flavor and aroma, no one can deny. But is this good for your health?
The answer is yes! Laurel is a highly digestive plant, while beans go in the opposite direction. Bean beans contain substances that can cause gas, bloating and discomfort. This is why it is so common to soak them for at least 1 hour before cooking.
The beans need to be immersed in water for a while for these harmful substances to leave the grain. Using bay leaves along with cooking is the final game so that the beans do not cause discomfort or gas.
Bay leaves will release their digestive compounds in the bean water and, consequently, in the cooked beans. And let’s agree: the bean flavor is wonderful and the cooking aroma is delicious!
Contraindications and side effects
Finally, it is important to pay attention to the amount of this tea ingested. Despite being a drink rich in incredible medicinal properties, excessive consumption can turn it into a villain.
Never use it in early pregnancy or if you are trying to get pregnant. Also avoid during the breastfeeding period. The substances in bay leaves can be harmful during this period, both for the woman and for the fetus/baby.
Also, bay tea can be upsetting to the stomach when consumed in excess. Even being an extremely digestive plant, exaggeration can irritate the stomach and cause discomfort.