Bay (Sweet)

During outbreaks of the plague in Rome, people were advised to live in the vicinity of bay trees...

Bay Laurel Leaf (Sweet Bay) has is a fresh, powerful, spicy-medicinal scent.

Nature: warming, purifying

In a steam inhalation, the vapors open the sinus and breathing passages.

Ideal in massage, bath or compress to relieve aching limbs and muscles, improve circulation, and help in the reduction of cellulite.

Principal Actions: Digestive stimulant; analgesic for sprains and aching limbs and muscles.

Practical Uses

Methods of Use: application, aroma lamp, bath, cold compress, hot compress, diffusor, inhalation, massage, mist spray, steam inhalation, vaporizer

Circulation, Muscles and Joints

The warming properties of Bay Leaf stimulate circulation and promote perspiration.

For poor circulation and low blood pressure: Prepare a massage blend by mixing 2 drops bay leaf, 2 drops black pepper, 3 drops coriander, 3 drops ginger to 20g/4 tsp of carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil. Apply to arms, legs, chest and abdomen. Note: If you are prone to dry or sensitive skin, additional carrier oil may be required when preparing a blend with these essential oils.

Used on a compress it can alleviate the pain of muscle aches, sprains and rheumatism.

Digestive System

Bay Leaf is a gastric stimulant that aids in digestion, relieves flatulence and restores the appetite.

To stimulate appetite: Mix 2 drops bay leaf, 2 drops caraway, 2 drops ginger, 4 drops bergamot to 20g/4 tsp of a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil. Rub this blend in a circular clockwise motion over the abdomen as needed. Note: If you are prone to dry or sensitive skin, additional carrier oil may be required when preparing a blend with these essential oils. Alternately, use the above-mentioned essential oils in a diffusor.

Genito-urinary and Endocrine Systems

Bay Leaf can be incorporated (in small amounts) into a bath or massage blend to stimulate menstrual flow where there is scanty menstruation. Other oils that help stimulate menstrual flow: French basil, carrot seed, clary sage, dill, sweet fennel, hyssop, juniper, sweet marjoram, myrrh, rose (cabbage & damask), yarrow.

Immune System

Bay Leaf essential oil is helpful in the treatment of colds, influenza, tonsillitis and viral infections.

To fortify the body during flu: Mix 2 drops bay leaf, 4 drops black pepper, 4 drops bergamot to 20ml/4 tsp of a carrier oil and rub it into the chest, morning and night.

Nervous System

The scent of Bay Leaf is calming and reduces stress; it is helpful for insomnia. The aroma of Bay Leaf enhances mental clarity and alertness; it sharpens the senses.

To relieve feelings of hopelessness: Add 3 drops bay leaf and 3 drops bergamot to a diffusor or vaporizer.

Safety Data: Relatively non-toxic and non-irritant; can cause dermatitis in some individuals. People with dry or sensitive skin may require additional dilution in a carrier oil when applying topically. Use in moderation due to possible narcotic properties attributed to methyl eugenol, a constituent found in Bay Leaf.

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy.

Sweet Bay Leaf  in Aromatherapy

Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis

Note: Top

Parts Used: dried leaves and branchlets

Source: steam distillation from the dried leaf and branchlets of the evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean area, Europe and the United States.

Description and Odor Effect: a greenish-yellow liquid with a powerful spicy-medicinal odor. The odor effect is warming and purifying; improves mental clarity and alertness.

Blends well with: citrus and spice oils, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, juniper, lavender, pine, rosemary, thyme.

Applications: application, aroma lamp, bath, cold compress, hot compress, diffusor, inhalation, massage, mist spray, steam inhalation, vaporizer

Therapeutic Properties: abortifacient, analgesic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antifungal, anti-neuralgic, antioxidant, antipruritic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperient, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, hypotensor, insect repellent, laxative, nervine, sedative, stimulant (digestion), stomachic, tonic

Safety Data: Relatively non-toxic and non-irritant; can cause dermatitis in some individuals. People with dry or sensitive skin may require additional dilution in a carrier oil when applying topically. Use in moderation due to possible narcotic properties attributed to methyl eugenol, a constituent found in Bay Leaf. Avoid during pregnancy.

Chemical Composition

Chemical Composition:

Laurus Nobilis Fol. [bay leaf] Lauraceae
Representative constituents
Hydrocarbons
monoterpenes (–)-a-pinene 2.7–7.6%, ß-pinene 2–5%, (–)-sabinene 6.2–8.3%, a-terpinolene 1.9–2.2%, ß-myrcene <0.1%, a-phellandrene 0.2–0.55%, d-3-carene 0.15–0.3%, a-thujene 0.3%, camphene <0.1%, ?-terpinene 0.5–0.7%
sesquiterpenes ß-elemene, ß-caryophyllene trace-0.3, a-humulene
aromatic p-cymene 0.7–1%
Alcohols
monoterpenols (–)-linalool 3–16%, (–)-a-terpineol 1.5–4.5%, terpinen-1-ol-4 2.5-3.75%, borneol, geraniol trace-0.2%, cis-thujan-4-ol, a-fenchyl alcohol 0.1%, dihydro-a-terpineol 0.2–0.3%
Aldehydes
monoterpenals citral 0.2–0.35%
Esters
monoterpenyl linalyl acetate <0.1%, a-terpinyl acetate <0.1%
Phenols eugenol 15–16.7%
Methyl ethers methyl eugenol 2.4%, acetoeugenol 0.2–0.4%
Ketones
monoterpenones a-thujone 0.3–0.5%, ß-thujone 0.2–0.4%, camphor 0.15%
Oxides
monoterpenoid 1,8-cineole 35–48.5%, dehydro-1,8-cineole
Lactones costunolide 1.8%, artemorin 0.5%, deacetyllaurenobiolide

Bay Leaf – Quick Reference

Digestive: dyspepsia, flatulence, loss of appetite

Circulation, Muscles & Joints: muscular aches and pains, sprains

Respiratory: sinusitis

Genito-urinary: scanty menstruation

Immune: colds, influenza, tonsillitis, viral infections

Nervous: mental clarity, calming, stress-reducing

Keyword: Alertness

Bay Magic: Bay leaves are placed beneath the pillow to induce prophetic dreams, and are also burned to cause visions.

Bay Leaf Harmony

Add these oils to 20 ml / 4 teaspoons carrier oil

To boost self-confidence and help you face adversity:

  • 2 drops Bay Leaf
  • 4 drops Myrtle
  • 4 drops Frankincense
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Home Essentials

  • One drop of lemon essential oil on a soft cloth will polish copper with gentle buffing.
  • When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or mandarin essential oil to the final rinse water.
  • Essential oils of Atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, myrrh and vetiver all make wonderful firewood oils. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
  • Flies and moths dislike lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames.

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Body Essentials

  • Overindulge last night? Essential oils of carrot seed, cedarwood, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender and lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend from these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
  • 6 – 8 drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects it in winter.
  • Add 1 drop geranium oil to your facial moisturizer to bring out a radiant glow in your skin.
  • Place 1 or 2 drops of rosemary on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.

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Creating a Balanced Blend

For a balanced massage blend, combine the essential oil drops in these proportions of essential oil "notes":

  • 3 drops Base Note
  • 7 drops Middle Note
  • 5 drops Top Note

For a total of 15 drops of essential oils per 30ml (1 oz) of carrier oil.


Top notes are the first impression of the blend; short-lived, yet brilliant. Top notes are sharp, penetrating, first to evaporate, extreme, and either hot or cold. Top notes provide the "ahhhh" in a blend.


Middle notes give body to blends - the developing phase with breadth and variety. Middle notes are warm, round, soft and mellow. Middle notes often provide the bulk, 50% to 80%, of the blend.


Base Notes are the final, lasting message of the blend; they deepen your blend and draw it into the skin, giving it roots and permanence. Base notes are deep, intense, rich and sensual. Base notes should be used sparingly, about 5%, so as not to overpower the blend.


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