Overview

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 & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bay leaf for these uses.

Side Effects

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 and Warnings

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. 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 ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

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

    Taking bay leaf in large amounts may relieve pain but cause sleepiness. Some medications for pain also cause sleepiness. Taking large amounts of bay leaf with some medications for pain might increase the effects and side effects of these medications.
    Some medications for pain include meperidine (Demerol), hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin, and many others.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with BAY LEAF

    Taking bay leaf in large amounts might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking large amounts of bay leaf along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
    Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BAY LEAF

    Bay leaf may lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking bay leaf along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

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.
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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 2020.