BAY LEAF

OTHER NAME(S):

Bay, Bay Laurel, Bay Tree, Daphne, Grecian Laurel, Laurel, Laurel Común, Laurier d'Apollon, Laurier Noble, Laurier-Sauce, Laurier Vrai, Laurus nobilis, Mediterranean Bay, Noble Laurel, Roman Laurel, Sweet Bay, True Bay, True Laurel.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Bay leaf is an herb that is commonly used in cooking. The leaves and oil are also used to make medicine.

People use bay leaf for diabetes, cancer, stomach problems, pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Bay leaf can also be unsafe if the entire leaf is taken by mouth.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information about bay leaf to know how it might work.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diabetes. Early research shows that taking ground bay leaf twice daily along with medicine for diabetes can lower pre-meal blood sugar levels. It also seems to improve cholesterol levels. But higher quality research is needed to confirm these results.
  • Cancer.
  • Gas.
  • Stimulating bile flow.
  • Causing sweating.
  • Dandruff, when applied to the skin.
  • Joint and muscle pain (rheumatism), when applied to the skin.
  • Boils, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bay leaf for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Bay leaf and bay leaf oil is LIKELY SAFE for most people in food amounts. Ground bay leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, short-term. But, if you cook with whole bay leaf, be sure to remove it before eating the food. Taking the whole, intact leaf by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE. The leaf can't be digested, so it remains intact while passing through the digestive system. This means it can become lodged in the throat or pierce the lining of the intestines.

When applied to the skin: Bay leaf extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in cosmetics. It might cause allergic reactions in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if bay leaf is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Bay leaf might interfere with blood sugar control. Monitor blood sugar closely if you have diabetes and use bay leaf as a medicine.

Surgery: Bay leaf might slow down the central nervous system (CNS). There is a concern that it might slow down the CNS too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using bay leaf as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

!
  • Medications for pain (Narcotic drugs) interacts with BAY LEAF

    The body breaks down some medications for pain to get rid of them. Sweet bay might decrease how fast the body gets rid of some medications for pain. By decreasing how fast the body gets rid of some medications for pain, sweet bay might increase the effects and side effects of some medications for pain.<br><nb>Some medications for pain include meperidine (Demerol), hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin, and many others.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with BAY LEAF

    Sweet bay might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking sweet bay along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.<br><nb>Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of bay leaf depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bay leaf. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Buto SK, Tsang TK, Sielaff GW, et al. Bay leaf impaction in the esophagus and hypopharynx. Ann Intern Med 1990;113:82-3.
  • Cartier LC, Lehrer A, Malo JL. Occupational asthma caused by aromatic herbs. Allergy 1996;51:647-9. View abstract.
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Johns AN. Beware of the bay leaf. Br Med J 1980;281:1682.
  • Palin WE, Richardson JD. Complications from bay leaf ingestions. JAMA 1983;289:729-30.
  • 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. View abstract.
  • 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. View abstract.
  • Caredda, A., Marongiu, B., Porcedda, S., and Soro, C. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and characterization of Laurus nobilis essential oil. J Agric.Food Chem. 3-13-2002;50(6):1492-1496. View abstract.
  • Conforti, F., Statti, G., Uzunov, D., and Menichini, F. Comparative chemical composition and antioxidant activities of wild and cultivated Laurus nobilis L. leaves and Foeniculum vulgare subsp. piperitum (Ucria) coutinho seeds. Biol.Pharm.Bull 2006;29(10):2056-2064. View abstract.
  • Dall'Acqua, S., Cervellati, R., Speroni, E., Costa, S., Guerra, M. C., Stella, L., Greco, E., and Innocenti, G. Phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity of Laurus nobilis L. leaf infusion. J Med Food 2009;12(4):869-876. View abstract.
  • Dall'Acqua, S., Viola, G., Giorgetti, M., Loi, M. C., and Innocenti, G. Two new sesquiterpene lactones from the leaves of Laurus nobilis. Chem.Pharm.Bull (Tokyo) 2006;54(8):1187-1189. View abstract.
  • De Marino, S., Borbone, N., Zollo, F., Ianaro, A., Di Meglio, P., and Iorizzi, M. Megastigmane and phenolic components from Laurus nobilis L. leaves and their inhibitory effects on nitric oxide production. J Agric.Food Chem. 12-15-2004;52(25):7525-7531. View abstract.
  • Gurman, E. G., Bagirova, E. A., and Storchilo, O. V. [The effect of food and drug herbal extracts on the hydrolysis and transport of sugars in the rat small intestine under different experimental conditions]. Fiziol.Zh.SSSR Im I.M.Sechenova 1992;78(8):109-116. View abstract.
  • Hibasami, H., Yamada, Y., Moteki, H., Katsuzaki, H., Imai, K., Yoshioka, K., and Komiya, T. Sesquiterpenes (costunolide and zaluzanin D) isolated from laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) induce cell death and morphological change indicative of apoptotic chromatin condensation in leukemia HL-60 cells. Int J Mol.Med 2003;12(2):147-151. View abstract.
  • Kaileh, M., Berghe, W. V., Boone, E., Essawi, T., and Haegeman, G. Screening of indigenous Palestinian medicinal plants for potential anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 9-25-2007;113(3):510-516. View abstract.
  • Khan, A., Zaman, G., and Anderson, R. A. Bay leaves improve glucose and lipid profile of people with type 2 diabetes. J Clin Biochem.Nutr. 2009;44(1):52-56. View abstract.
  • Komiya, T., Yamada, Y., Moteki, H., Katsuzaki, H., Imai, K., and Hibasami, H. Hot water soluble sesquiterpenes [anhydroperoxy-costunolide and 3-oxoeudesma-1,4(15),11(13)triene-12,6alpha-olide] isolated from laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) induce cell death and morphological change indicative of apoptotic chromatin condensation in leukemia cells. Oncol.Rep. 2004;11(1):85-88. View abstract.
  • Lingenfelser, T., Adams, G., Solomons, D., and Marks, I. N. Bay leaf perforation of the small bowel in a patient with chronic calcific pancreatitis. J Clin.Gastroenterol. 1992;14(2):174-176. View abstract.
  • Loizzo, M. R., Saab, A. M., Tundis, R., Statti, G. A., Menichini, F., Lampronti, I., Gambari, R., Cinatl, J., and Doerr, H. W. Phytochemical analysis and in vitro antiviral activities of the essential oils of seven Lebanon species. Chem.Biodivers. 2008;5(3):461-470. View abstract.
  • Loizzo, M. R., Tundis, R., Menichini, F., Saab, A. M., Statti, G. A., and Menichini, F. Cytotoxic activity of essential oils from labiatae and lauraceae families against in vitro human tumor models. Anticancer Res 2007;27(5A):3293-3299. View abstract.
  • Sayyah, M., Valizadeh, J., and Kamalinejad, M. Anticonvulsant activity of the leaf essential oil of Laurus nobilis against pentylenetetrazole- and maximal electroshock-induced seizures. Phytomedicine. 2002;9(3):212-216. View abstract.
  • Simic, A., Sokovic, M. D., Ristic, M., Grujic-Jovanovic, S., Vukojevic, J., and Marin, P. D. The chemical composition of some Lauraceae essential oils and their antifungal activities. Phytother Res 2004;18(9):713-717. View abstract.
  • Skok, P. Dried bay leaf: an unusual cause of upper gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage. Endoscopy 1998;30(3):S40-S41. View abstract.
  • Tepkeeva, I. I., Moiseeva, E. V., Chaadaeva, A. V., Zhavoronkova, E. V., Kessler, Y. V., Semushina, S. G., and Demushkin, V. P. Evaluation of antitumor activity of peptide extracts from medicinal plants on the model of transplanted breast cancer in CBRB-Rb(8.17)1Iem mice. Bull Exp.Biol.Med 2008;145(4):464-466. View abstract.
  • Tsang, T. K., Flais, M. J., and Hsin, G. Duodenal obstruction secondary to bay leaf impaction. Ann Intern Med 4-20-1999;130(8):701-702. View abstract.
  • Verdian-rizi, M. and Hadjiakhoondi, A. Essential oil composition of Laurus nobilis L. of different growth stages growing in Iran. Z.Naturforsch.C 2008;63(11-12):785-788. View abstract.
  • Yalcin, H., Anik, M., Sanda, M. A., and Cakir, A. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of Laurus nobilis essential oil composition of northern Cyprus. J Med Food 2007;10(4):715-719. View abstract.
  • Adisen E, Onder M. Allergic contact dermatitis from Laurus nobilis oil induced by massage. Contact Dermatitis 2007;56:360-1. View abstract.
  • Belitsos NJ. Bay leaf impaction. Ann Intern Med 1990;113:483-4.
  • Bell CD, Mustar RA. Bay leaf perforation of Meckel's diverticulum. JCC 1997;40:146.
  • Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem 2000;48:849-52.. View abstract.
  • Brokaw SA. Complications of bay leaf ingestion [letter]. JAMA 1983;250:729.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.