Laurel, Laurus nobilis L. belongs to the family of Lauraceae and includes plants originating from Asia Minor, introduced in the Mediterranean basin in ancient times.
It is a very widespread plant, especially in countries with a temperate climate both in the plains and in the hills. Laurel or laurel is a perennial shrub-like plant and can take the form of a bush or a tree so that if it finds the right ideal, it can reach 10-12 m in height.
The trunk is normally smooth with blackish bark with thin and very dense branches.The bay leaves, carried by a short petiole, are lanceolate, leathery, of a beautiful dark green with wavy edges and with a glossy upper page while the lower one is a pale, dull yellow-green. They are rich in resinous glands which give it its characteristic aroma. The flowers are gathered in cluster inflorescences or in axillary buds and bloom in early spring.
It is a dioecious plant that is to say that there are plants that carry only male flowers (with stamens) and plants that have only female flowers (and stamisterili) that carry the female reproductive organs.
The laurel fruit is a berry, similar to a small olive that turns bluish-black as it ripens. The berries contain only one seed and ripen in October and November and are very aromatic.
If you want to know how to grow it, go to this page.
Laurel is a plant rich in essential oils both in the leaves (from 1 to 3%) and in the berries (from 1 to 10%) such as: geraniol, cineol, eugenol, terpineol, phellandrene, eucalyptol, pinene.
Numerous therapeutic capacities are recognized by the laurel plant thanks to its essential oils: it treats rheumatism and muscle tears, has relaxing abilities, reduces sweating, has expectorant and digestive properties.
Bay leaves have antipyretic properties.
For a long time, laurel has been used as a remedy for the plague.
USED PARTS OF THE PLANT
The leaves without the petiole are used for the laurel and can be harvested throughout the year. It should be borne in mind that the younger they are, the higher their content in active ingredients. The leaves are dried in the sun.
The berries harvested in autumn are dried in a dark place.
HOW TO USE IT
The infusion of bay leaves helps digestion especially for those with fermentation problems, helps in cases of loss of appetite and fights stomach pains.
The decoction is used for colds and rheumatism.
For rheumatism, sprains and sprains, frictions with essential oils are also used.
A few drops of bay oil and a handful of leaves in the water allows you to obtain a fragrant and revitalizing bath.
Its use in the kitchen is well known.
Today laurel is normally used in cooking all over the world for its aroma. The peculiarity is that its leaves do not lose their aroma after cooking.
In Emilia Romagna (Italy) from its berries is obtained a delicious liqueur calledlaurin.
There are no contraindications reported for the use of laurel.
LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS
You see: Laurel - The language of flowers and plants.