The Noble Bay Laurel

laurus nobilis

Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis – it’s a commanding Latin name for the plant known as Bay Laurel. In Roman times the leaves were deemed a symbol of peace, protection and wisdom. Nowadays, the plant is mostly used to season soups and sauces. The pungent, spicy odor of the essential oil is too strong to scent food, but it can be useful this time of year to dispel dampness and colds.

When used in a diffuser, Bay Laurel essential oil can help to fight the symptoms of cold and flu. It may ease fevers but also work as a decongestant in combination with Eucalyptus essential oil to help rid the body of mucus. If you already have the flu, a massage oil with Bay Laurel can be gently rubbed over the lymph glands. Inhalation of the oil is beneficial with tonsillitis, as well.

With the damp and frigid temperatures this time of year, a stimulating salt scrub may be the answer. To shake off dampness that lingers in the body, warm up your shower routine with this body scrub:
Invigorating Salt Scrub
1 cup sea salt
5 drops Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) essential oil
3 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil
6 drops Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Combine ingredients together in a jar and stir until well mixed. In the shower, massage a handful into your skin but be careful – the floor can get slippery.

I leave you with a bit of mythology on Bay Laurel. In ancient Greece the god Apollo fell in love with the nymph Daphne. “When Apollo was pursuing Daphne, the virgin daughter of the river Peneus, she asked Earth for protection. Earth took her in and turned her into a laurel tree.” Because the god couldn’t take Daphne as his wife, he took the Bay Laurel tree as his emblem and wore a sprig of it on his head.