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Burn a Bay Leaf For Its Instant Calming Effect


Bay Leaves full frame background . Also called bay laurel or Laurus nobilis. Used as a spice in cuisines and also in medicine.



One easy and instant way to bring peace and tranquillity to your home is to burn a bay leaf! Bay leaves are also known as bay laurel or Laurus nobilis. Popular in Mediterranean cuisine where thy are used as a spice, bay leaves have a long history of being used in other ways as well.

  • The Greeks and Romans celebrated the bay leaf for its healing properties and even used the bay leaf to illustrate their art work.
  • Bay leaves have a proven calming effect, can act as an anti-inflammatory agent and are even said to help in the prevention of epileptic fits.
  • The leaves contain essential oils, such as eucalyptol, which can reduce congestion in the respiratory passages and help you relax.
  • Other compounds in the leaves include pinene, cineol and elemicin. Burning this combination of natural compounds causes a stimulating, yet calm and slightly psychedelic effect.
  • The calming effects even go so far as to relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis and improve circulation. The combined effect of the oils culminates into a sedative.

But back to that burning leaf

3 steps to a more relaxed and calm you!
  1. Gather several and leave them to dry.
  2. Once a day use a single leaf or several and set alight in a safe container that is open at the top - in much the same way as you would burn incense. Let the leaf/leaves burn out and fill the air with the smoke.
  3. In as short a time as ten minutes, the scent will fill the room. Stay in the room and breathe in the smoke and help to de-stress in a centuries-old tradition.

Bay leaves for repelling unwanted insects

They are extremely efficient cockroach repellents. It is their smell that keeps them at bay. Being safe for both children and pets, you can distribute bay leaves in the garden, the kitchen or in every corner of the house as they are non-toxic. You can use the leaves dry or fresh but, for better results, use dry ones with their stronger smell.

One word of warning

When using bay leaves in your cooking, always remove the leaves before serving.


Afifi, F. U., Khalil, E., Tamimi, S. O., and Disi, A. Evaluation of the gastroprotective effect of Laurus nobilis seeds on ethanol induced gastric ulcer in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1997;58(1):9-14. .

Awerbuck, D. C., Briant, T. D., and Wax, M. K. Bay leaf: an uncommon foreign body of the hypopharynx. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1994;110(3):338-340. View abstract.

Bell, C. D. and Mustard, R. A. Bay leaf perforation of Meckel's diverticulum. Can.J Surg 1997;40(2):146-147. 

Cheminat, A., Stampf, J. L., and Benezra, C. Allergic contact dermatitis to laurel (Laurus nobilis L.): isolation and identification of haptens. Arch Dermatol Res 1984;276(3):178-181.