Historically, the leaves of the bay laurel were used to crown the victor. This essential oil derived from bay leaves used in cooking has a wonderfully spicy aroma.
Laurel is an antibacterial oil, specifically recommended in a steam inhalation for tonsillitis or added to any cold and flu blend. It is said to be strongly anti-viral, as well. Some resources recommend its use in combatting or preventing any virus which attacks the respiratory system.
Bay Laurel can be an interesting addition to hair care blends, said to be an excellent remedy for hair and scalp, stimulating hair growth and clearing dandruff. There are those who recommend it for treating acne, as well.
Emotionally, it is both uplifting and grounding, helping to clear mental confusion and clarify thought processes. As such, it might be an effective addition to a study blend.
Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt recommends it as a lymphatic stimulant and says it is the oil of choice for treating swollen glands. It is also recommended as an immune stimulant.
I love to add it to blends using the more “medicinal smelling” oils (in my opinion … Tea Tree, Manuka, Saro, etc.) because its aroma makes them more palatable.
I have used it to cook with, adding a couple of drops to a pot of gumbo when I was out of the required bay leaves. Yummy! I recommend it in any recipe calling for bay leaves … saves fishing them out, and gives a more vital flavor.
My pagan friends say laurel will bring money… put a drop on a bingo card and you are guaranteed to win.
WARNING: Avoid using when pregnant, and please be careful using in skin blends: it is both irritating and sensitizing, used unwisely. However it is very effective as a minor component of a blend. Avoid use of Bay Laurel if you are on anti-coagulant therapy (blood thinners). Robert Tisserand advises potentially carcinogenic based on methyleugenol content; essential oils high in 1,8 cineole can cause CNS and breathing problems in young children; skin sensitization (low risk); mucous membrane irritation (low risk). Maximum dermal use Tisserand 0.5%, IFRA 0.01%
SHELF LIFE: Approximately 3 to 4 years after you open the bottle. Storing in the dark, refrigerated, and decanting half full bottles into smaller, full bottles will extend shelf life.
**For other possible oils to avoid, please see our Contraindications page.
BLENDS WITH: Benzoin, Citrus Oils, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ylangylang. One of the nicest bars of soap for a man that I’ve ever smelled was a simple blend of Bay Laurel and Atlas Cedarwood. YUMMY. (No I don’t know the proportions, I wasn’t the soapmaker.)