A standard cooking ingredient in many savory dishes, bay leaf, or also known as laurel, is a spice commonly used to flavor soups and meat dishes for its light, herbal flavor.
Bay leaf can be used in the form of powder or as a fresh leaf, but it’s most commonly used as a dry, whole leaf. During cooking, the dry leaves are added, and before serving, they are usually taken out.
Not only it adds flavor to the dishes, but bay leaf offers various health benefits such as such as reducing gas and bloating and fighting free radical damage thanks to its antioxidants. According to personal experiences from people, bay leaf also helps get rid of dandruff, muscle and joint pain, and skin infections.
Ancient Greeks used bay leaf in a number of spiritual ceremonies, especially by oracles to predict the future.
They also used it for its therapeutic benefits and as emblems of valor and victory. According to Greek mythology, the god Apollo turned a nymph named Daphne into a bay laurel tree, which is how the relationship between divinity and bay leaves came about.