Origin. Pimento sticks are placed on top of the leaves and the chicken is placed on top and smoked. There are several other trees grown around the world that are also called bay leaves, namely: Californian Bay Leaf (Umbellularia californica, Lauraceae), Indian Ba… Bay leaf, also called laurel leaf, leaf of the sweet bay tree (Laurus nobilis), an evergreen of the family Lauraceae, indigenous to countries bordering the Mediterranean. Bay leaves have a long history, originating as an ornamental symbol of honor and success, and worn by Roman and Greek emperors, as well as Olympians, scholars, heroes, and poets. A mature bay leaf is approximately 5cm wide and 10 cm in length. In the Philippines, dried bay laurel leaves are used in several Filipino dishes such as menudo, beef pares, and adobo. The growth rate is very slow.  It also is unclear to what extent the alleged effect of cyanide released by the crushed leaves has been mis-attributed to Laurus nobilis in confusion with the unrelated Prunus laurocerasus, the so-called cherry laurel, which certainly does contain dangerous concentrations of cyanogenic glycocides together with the enzymes to generate the hydrogen cyanide from the glycocides if the leaf is physically damaged. Priestesses who worshiped Apollo would chew the bay tree berries before giving out prophecies. Name origin. United Kingdom),: 84 bay laurel, sweet bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel, or simply laurel. For this benefit, experts suggest consuming 1-3 grams of bay leaves a day to … ", "Consolidated federal laws of Canada, Food and Drug Regulations", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bay_leaf&oldid=990068763, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2012, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, California bay leaf – the leaf of the California bay tree (, Indonesian bay leaf or Indonesian laurel (, This page was last edited on 22 November 2020, at 16:54. The combination of chemicals (specifically the chemical linalool) in the leaves creates a smoke that, when inhaled, calms the body and mind. "Efficacy of Essential Oils from Edible Plants as Insecticides Against the House Fly, "Bay leaf: Should it stay or should it go? However, they remain unpleasantly stiff even after thorough cooking, and if swallowed whole or in large pieces they may pose a risk of harming the digestive tract or causing choking. During the Middle Ages bay leaves were used medicinally. Updates? Bay leaf burning has been used a way to relieve stress for centuries. Bay (laurel) leaves are frequently packaged as tezpattā (तेज़पत्ता, the Hindi term for Indian bay leaf) creating confusion between the two herbs. Bay tree, any of several trees with aromatic leaves, especially the sweet bay, or bay laurel (Laurus nobilis; family Lauraceae), source of the bay leaf used in cooking. Bay leaves can also be crushed or ground before cooking. Native to the Mediterranean region, sweet bay is an attractive evergreen tree that can reach as many as 18 metres (60 feet) in height. See also list of herbs and spices. , Some members of the laurel family, as well as the unrelated but visually similar mountain laurel and cherry laurel have leaves that are poisonous to humans and livestock. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. King Bay Leaf is an item available in Dragon's Dogma. Omissions? They contain approximately 2 percent essential oil, the principal component of which is cineole. Bay leaf, also called laurel leaf, leaf of the sweet bay tree (Laurus nobilis), an evergreen of the family Lauraceae, indigenous to countries bordering the Mediterranean. Avoid places that are exposed to cold, drying winds. It certainly is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations; such compounds include 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and methyl eugenol. Bay leaves were used for flavouring by the ancient Greeks. The Bay leaf tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to a height of 12m.  They are a fixture in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in the Americas. Bayleef is a corruption of bay leaf… Corrections? Three clumps of King Bay Leaf grow only at theGuardian's Gravein theWitchwood - the plant regrows after one week. Cope with Diabetes. The crushed, fresh, young leaves are put into the jar under a layer of paper. This is generally referred to as Mediterranean Bay Leaf. Bay leaves were used for … Although a native of Asia Minor, the Laurus nobilis tree can be found in the Mediterranean owing to its partiality for warm climates. Bay Leaf or Laurel Leaf are dried leaves or an evergreen shrub or more rarely a tree attaining a height of 15 to 20 mtrs. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. , Bay leaves have been used in entomology as the active ingredient in killing jars. , "How to Repel Grain Moths with Bay Leaves". The leaves also flavour many classic French dishes. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/bay-leaf, The Herb Soceity of America - An Herb Society of America Fact Sheet - Bay. Origin and Distribution. A popular spice used in pickling and marinating and to flavour stews, stuffings, and fish, bay leaves are delicately fragrant but have a bitter taste.  While these plants are not sold anywhere for culinary use, their visual similarity to bay leaves has led to the oft-repeated belief that bay leaves should be removed from food after cooking because they are poisonous. In English it is known as bay leaf or Indonesian laurel, while the scientific name is Syzygium polyanthum. If eaten whole, bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... …family Lauraceae), source of the bay leaf used in cooking. Bay leaf, including bay leaf essential oil, offers antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In Indian cuisine, bay laurel leaves are sometimes used in place of Indian bay leaf, although they have a different flavour. Restores 50 Health. The leaves are also added whole to soups, stews, and other Caribbean dishes. Bay leaves come from several plants, such as: The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils (ol. Salam is the name of a spice-producing tree used in Indonesian cooking. They are most often used in rice dishes like biryani and as an ingredient in garam masala.  Thus most recipes that use bay leaves will recommend their removal after the cooking process has finished. Being of Mediterranean origin the Bay Laurel tree likes well drained soils. They are most often used in rice dishes like biryani and as an ingredient in garam masala. The Greeks awarded the top prize of a bay leaf wreath to the winner of the Pythian Games, which were believed to be started after Apollo killed the serpent Python at Delphi. Black Friday Sale! To be considered dried it has to contain 7% moisture or less. lauri folii), consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% other terpenes, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol, and other α- and β-pinenes, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, terpineol, and also contain lauric acid.