Grown in slightly warm climates, bay laurel plants are grown for ornamental use and dried and used in cooking. These thick and leathery leaves with pointed ends, leave a slightly stronger smell than fresh and hence most recipes call for dried bay leaves.
Bay leaves have been consistently in use for various dishes in various countries. Starting from Indians using it as an ingredient in garam masala; Greeks, Europeans, Americans, French, and Italians among others, use it as a flavoring agent to many of their dishes.
Apart from being used in cooking, bay leaf can also be used in a pantry to repel meal moths, flies, cockroaches, mice, and silverfish. It is often used in entomology as the active ingredient in killing jars. In the jar under a layer of paper, the crushed, fresh, young leaves are put. These release vapours and it kills insects slowly but effectively.
Bay leaf is a nutrient-dense herb that has Vitamin A and C along with folic acid and various other minerals. Adding these to soups, curries, rice dishes or any other dish ensures a lot of health benefits that can’t be ignored. Here are some of the benefits lined up:
1. Improves Digestion: Organic compounds found in bay leaves are said to have strong effects on the gastrointestinal system. This leaf helps the body in functioning well as well as decreases the toxicity of the body. At times, some complex proteins do not get digested easily, which is when the bay leaf is considered as the rescue element that is effective for settling an upset stomach and soothe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There are certain unique enzymes present in bay leaves that help facilitate digestion.
2. Stress Buster: In this modern world, stress comes as one of the most common conditions. Adding more bay leaves to the diet can be better for stress management. Stress hormones tend to get low with the presence of linalool. These leaves often help in combating depression as well as calming you down.
3. Natural Wound Healer: Bay leaves have antimicrobial properties, according to BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, that help the wound heal completely. Bay leaf being a natural remedy is always there for your rescue, when you get minor wounds and it irritates.
4. Heart-Friendly: Bay leaves have organic compounds including caffeic acid and rutin that strengthen capillary walls in the heart and eliminate LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system, enhancing heart health.
5. Protects Body from Inflammation: All thanks to the presence of a unique phyto-nutrient called parthenolide in bay leaves that reduces inflammation significantly by further reducing the chances of developing conditions like arthritis.
6. Boon for Diabetics: 1-3 grams of bay leaf per day for 30 days, as stated by the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, experienced a drop in blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. These leaves are perfect for diabetics as they are responsible for improving insulin function.
Dried bay leaves need to be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark spot, perhaps in a spice cabinet or pantry and that will last up to two years without losing its aroma. Sealed dry leaves can also be stored in a freezer to retain their flavor and floral potency.
Though these are available in most grocery stores they might have blemishes, cracks, and tears. So where should you head for authentic, raw, fresh, and best culinary products and ingredients? Actually, nowhere. You just need to log on to kudratkart.com. Kudrat Kart has a range of various authentic and fresh products that you must checkout.
Modern Agro Bay leaves that are available in KudratKart are larger, olive green in color, and have three veins running the length of the leaf. Usually, Laurel Bay leaves have a single vein. They are available in two sizes- 100gmand 250 gm. You can use these dried leaves as a whole or crushed in your dish for the utmost benefit, aroma and taste. So, go check it out. Happy cooking!
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