The bay laurel (Laurus nobilis, of the Lauraceae family), is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves. It is native to Asia Minor, from where it spread to the Mediterranean. The laurel can vary greatly in size and height, sometimes reaching 10-18metres tall.
Culinary uses :
Most commonly, the aromatic leaves are used, fresh or dried. It may be best known in bouquets garnish or used similarly in soups, sauces, stews, daubes and courts-bouillon, an appropriate seasoning for fish, meat and poultry. Bay leaf is often included as a pickling spice.
Medicinal uses :
Aqueous extracts of bay laurel are used as diuretics, and can also be used as astringents and even as a reasonable salve for open wounds.
A traditional folk remedy for rashes caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and stinging nettle is a poultice soaked in boiled bay leaves.
Slightly bitter and strongly aromatic.
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