By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
What do historical grand emperors, victorious generals, and masterful poets all have in common? Their beautiful crowns of laurel leaves, of course! Known as a symbol of triumph, achievement, and peace in Graeco-Roman culture, the leathery, glossy green leaves were woven into beautiful wreaths to crown especially important individuals . Even Apollo, the cherished god of light, knowledge, music, and so much more, found the leaves of the laurel tree to be sacred.
The rich history associated with laurel leaves aren’t the only amazing things about this botanical. From the leaves comes an essential oil dominated by the chemical component 1,8-Cineole and packed with therapeutic properties.
Laurel Leaf Essential Oil goes by several other common names, including Bay Laurel, Bay Leaf, Sweet Laurel, and Sweet Bay. Its chemical makeup includes a large variety of constituents from several different chemical families, including oxides, monoterpenes, monoterpenols, esters, and ethers. If you’re not sure what that means, that’s okay! Just know that each family can offer different mind and body benefits, helping make Laurel Leaf very versatile in what it brings to the table.
Let’s check out some of the best reasons to add some Laurel Leaf into your life.
It invites positive energy into your life.
If the image of ancient Olympians proudly wearing their crowns of laurel leaves doesn’t already indicate it, this plant has a strong relationship to victory and confidence. That’s because the aroma of Laurel Leaf is energizing, uplifting, and perfect for individuals who may be doubting their abilities and struggling with low self-esteem . This oil is thought to promote feelings of enthusiasm, even when you’ve got low spirits trying to drag you down . For a positive and grounding blend, diffuse 3 drops of Laurel Leaf, 3 drops of Bergamot, and 2 drops of Frankincense Carteri.
It supports your respiratory system.
When congestion, phlegm, and gross mucous are ruining your day, Laurel Leaf can help clear you up! The main chemical component of Laurel Leaf Essential Oil (1,8-Cineole) is known to be helpful for all kinds of respiratory issues, including symptoms stemming from bronchitis and asthma . It’s an excellent expectorant that helps open the lungs so you can breathe deep and fully.
Diffuse 2 drops of Laurel Leaf with 4 drops of Lemon for a wonderful immune-boosting blend. It can help clear up your congestion and freshen up the air around you at the same time! Or add one drop of Laurel Leaf to a bowl of very hot (but not boiling) water, put your head down low, and take a few intentional breaths. This is steam inhalation; if you’d like to learn more about it, read this blog all about it: The Art of Steam.
Sore muscles? Aching joints? Let Laurel Leaf help!
Sore, overexerted muscles or inflamed, creaking joints can be incredibly uncomfortable. Whether you hit the gym too hard or are simply enduring the normal process of aging, using Laurel Leaf topically can offer some relief. It’s a possible skin irritant, so use it with caution and make sure to dilute it to 0.5%.
It helps settle an unhappy stomach.
Digestive complaints, like gas, indigestion, and occasional stomach cramps, are great reasons to give Laurel Leaf a chance. It influences the gastrointestinal system in a way that promotes urination, which helps to release toxins. It can also help alleviate discomfort from stomach cramps and has a tonic effect on the liver and gallbladder . When your digestion process is flowing smoothly, you can better absorb nutrients, helping you feel good overall .
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- Harding, J. (2008). The essential oils handbook: all the oils you will ever need for health, vitality and well-being. London: Watkins Media Ltd. Pg. 156.
- Purchon, N., & Cantele, L. (2014). The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness Paperback.
- Onuka, R. (2016). What are some medicinal uses of bay leaf? Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-medicinal-uses-of-bay-leaf