- Country of Origin
- Dominican Republic
- Latin Binomial
- Pimenta racemosa
- Other Names
- Wild Cinnamon
- Plant Part
About the Plant:
Bay Leaf is a relatively small tree that grows wild in the tropical West Indies, boasting large glossy green leaves and fruits with a delicious scent.
Not to be confused with the camphorous Bay Laurel that is dried and used in soups, St. Thomas Bay Leaf is often grown in the same groves as the pimento bush, and together, their fruits are dried and powdered to make Allspice, adding the exotic spiciness of the Caribbean islands to holiday pies, mulled ciders and other comfort foods.
Where it Grows:
Bay Leaf is also called laurel leaf or leaf of the sweet bay tree. It is an evergreen of the family of Lauraceae. It is indigenous to countries bordering the Mediterranean. Amrita Aromatherapy is proud to have Bay Leaf from the Dominican Republic.
Traditional Uses and Lore:
Bay Leaf was enjoyed by the Arawak Indians in Dominica and later in the 1600s by European sailors and their slave crews who observed that the crushed leaves could be rubbed on their skin like a deodorant during long voyages. African slaves on the ships began experimenting with creating a fermented molasses drink that later would be known as rum. When they infused Bay Leaf in this alcoholic beverage, its essential oil synergized with the rum, creating a skin and hair treatment that is still used to this day.
Bay Rum aftershave lotion was at its height of popularity in the U.S. in the 1950s.
- Scalp Stimulant
Bay Leaf Essential Oil has an irresistibly appetizing aroma similar to clove and cinnamon, but with a freshness like a gentle ocean breeze carrying the scent of tropical flowers from a faraway place.
Topical Application (for use on the skin):
- Overall topical application: Dilute up to 1-2% (5-10 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil) for the following and apply on affected areas:
- Specific Aches and Pains
- Hair Growth (add to hair products)
- Scalp Health (add to hair products)
- Whole-body massage: Dilute up to 1% (5 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil) for the following and apply on affected areas:
- Poor Circulation
- Low Blood Pressure
- Compresses: Dilute up to 1-2% in hot or cold water (5-10 drops per tablespoon of water) for the following and apply on affected areas:
- Muscle Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Aches and Pains
Diffusion (add a few drops to a nebulizer or nasal diffuser):
- Colds / Flu
- Other Respiratory Illnesses
- Bay Leaf may be skin irritating and sensitizing.
- Due to the high eugenol content, it is moderately toxic and can irritate mucous membranes.
- Use in moderation and avoid during pregnancy.
General Safety Precautions:
- Use essential oils only in diluted form on the skin and never internally.
- Always be careful when using essential oils with children.
- Give them only low doses, or better, consult a qualified aromatherapy expert before using.
- Use essential oils with care and only under the proper guidance of an expert while pregnant or if you have liver damage, epilepsy, cancer, or other serious health problems.
The spicy, sweet, and smooth scent of Bay Leaf Essential Oil is perfectly captured in the classic hair product Bay Rum. This was literally made from fresh Caribbean Bay leaves and Rum. Bay Leaf also makes for a pleasant inhalation to treat respiratory infections of all kinds, and it can be massaged into the body to soothe aches and pains.
Following is a list of conditions Bay Leaf Essential Oil addresses by category:
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