Use of Laurel

Use of Laurel

Scientific name: Laurus nobilis L.
Family: Lauraceae
Dialect name: addauru, ddauru
Shrubby, evergreen plant with dark and smooth bark; leathery lanceolate leaves, dark green with wavy margin and acute apex; glossy top page. Flowers in the leaf axil white-cream; flowering occurs between March and April. The fruits are black, slightly oval berries with only one seed.
Typical of the Mediterranean scrub and main component of the phytoclimatic zone called “lauretum”.

Active principles –
The active ingredients are contained in the leaves and fruits. The leaves contain an essential oil with tannins, resins, bitter substances, mucilages; laurel oil is extracted from ripe fruit, which is a constituent of the laurine ointment used in popular tradition as an antirheumatic and antigout (Compendium of Italian Officinal Flora – F.O.I.)
The leaves are harvested throughout the year, in July to make the most of the active ingredients; the fruits in autumn.
The harvested leaves can be used fresh, or dried in a cool and ventilated place; fruits should be dried in the sun, or in a warm oven.

Properties –
Aromatic, digestive, stimulating tonic, expectorant, carminative, diuretic, deodorant.

Internal use –
Digestive, in gastralgia, as an expectorant and as a diuretic
Decoction: boil 40 g of leaves in a liter of water for 20 minutes; indicated in gastralgia. Digestive decoction: boil two fresh or dried bay leaves for 5 minutes in water (you can add a lemon zest); filter and drink lukewarm.
Tincture: it is prepared by macerating the fruits in oil (20 g in 100 ml of oil) for 5 days; it is indicated for the treatment of rheumatism and bruises.

External use –
To be used to treat bruises and as a deodorant.
Bath: Infuse a handful of bay leaves in hot water. You will get a deodorant bath with stimulating effects.
Foot bath: boil 40 grams of ripe and chopped berries in 3 liters of water, filter and soak the feet for thirty minutes.

Maria Canzoneri

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