Herb of the Day
Bay Laurel, Noble Laurel, Roman Laurel, Sweet Bay
The leaves, berries and oil have excitant and narcotic properties. Bay is well known for it’s ability to relieve the aches and pains associated with rheumatism, and for sprains, bruises, and skin rashes. Distill an oil from the leaves and rub on the affected areas, or make an ointment to rub into affected areas. Heat leaves in a little olive oil to make a bay oil salve for arthritis and aches.
Used externally as a poultice on the chest for bronchitis and coughs. The Berries have are considered useful in the for suppressed menstruation and womb problems, as well as being taken during childbirth when the delivery is imminent to help expel afterbirth. Lesser doses are diaphoretic while large doses are emetic.
Magickal Uses: The leaves are burned to enhance psychic powers and to produce visions. Place beneath the pillow for prophetic dreams and inhale for visions. Worn in an amulet, it will provide protection from evil and negativity. The leaves are used as decorations during the Yule season, and placed in your window it will protect against lightning striking your house. Write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it if you want the wish to come true. Sprinkling the crushed leaves in your cupboards will keep out cockroaches and other insect pests. To ensure lasting love, a couple should break a twig off the tree, then break the twig in two and each keep a half. If worn during competition, it gives strength to those in wrestling and athletic sport.
Properties: Astringent, bitter, carminative, diuretic, emetic, emmenogogue, narcotic, nervine, aromatic, stimulant, digestive aid, locally antiseptic, antiparasitic, expectorant. Contains parthenolides. The plant also contains tannic acid and bitters.
Growth: A slow growing, pyramidal, perennial evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region and Asia Minorwhich can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet. The bark is smooth and olive green to a reddish hue. The evergreen leaves are smooth, shiny, dark, aromatic, and alternate with short stalks and lanceolate 3 to 4 inches long, the margin being smooth and wavy. The flowers are inconspicuous, small, creamy yellow, having no petals, unisexual, composed of 4-lobed calyxes which are greenish-yellow in small umbels from the leaf axils. One-seeded fruit is purple to black, but when dried the berries (1/2″ diameter) are black and aromatic.