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The laurel plant: properties and benefits
If you are among those who think that laurel only serves to flavor a nice grilled steak or to crown the heads of poets and writers you may be amazed by what you are about to read ...
In fact, since ancient times the laurel plant has been cited as a source of health and well-being for the whole organism: the references of Hippocrates are famous, which mentions it as a remedy against diseases and problems that could arise during childbirth, and those of Pliny, which enhances the healing capabilities of rheumatism and sciatica.
Even today, laurel leaves and berries are used, in the form of an infusion, for the treatment of various disorders, constituting in many cases a valid alternative to traditional medicines.
In particular, laurel is particularly beneficial for the respiratory and digestive systems: in the first case as an excellent expectorant that helps to counteract fever and cough (laurel helps to counteract phlegm at both levels of the bronchi, and of the lungs) while, as far as the digestive system is concerned, the laurel infusion facilitates digestion, strengthens the stomach, stimulates the appetite and helps to combat dysentery, especially in children.
Finally, the antirheumatic and therapeutic properties of gout of the infusion and laurel decoction are well known, which are also well used in the treatment of sprains and sprains.
The following paragraphs will present the recipes of some infusions effective in the treatment of some of these annoyances.
The laurel infusion: how to prepare it at home - some recipes
Depending on the diseases you want to treat, the different parts of the laurel plant must be used to prepare the infusion: leaves, berries or flowers can be found in herbal medicine or they can be picked directly from the plant, which must be found in an area that is not too polluted. In any case, care must be taken to capture the highest parts of the plant, which are less subject to pollution from automobile exhaust gases. Depending on the recipes, the bay leaf should be used fresh or dried; in any case, it should be washed thoroughly under running water and then dried with a cotton cloth, linen or absorbent paper. For the drying it will be sufficient to place it on a cloth and leave it in the air in a dark and dry place, taking care to turn the leaves, the berries and the flowers from time to time.
The laurel is always a green plant: the leaves can therefore always be found, while the period of flowering and berry picking is the spring one.
Here are some recipes for making laurel-based infusions below!
Infusion to aid digestion: bring to boiling temperature, but without boiling it, 120 ml of water; put three Bay leaves chop in a cup and cover them with boiling water; add an untreated lemon zest and let it soak for 10-15 minutes; sweeten with little brown sugar or honey and drink the infusion when it is still very hot. This recipe also works with the worst Christmas binges ...
Infusion for the treatment of respiratory disorders (especially in the presence of phlegm) and the digestive tract:
for this type of problems it is necessary to infuse the dried flowers of the laurel, which must remain in infusion for at least 30 minutes and then be carefully filtered using a dense weave sieve. The required amount of flowers is 40 grams per liter of water. The infusion should be drunk when it is still very hot to a maximum of 4 tea cups a day.
To bring down the fever, you can be taken on laurel infusion made with 5 or 6 chopped leaves left to soak in a cup of boiling water for at least 15 minutes. You will be drunk very hot before going to bed at night, as it promotes sweating and relaxation.
The same infusion drunk warm in small sips after meals promotes relaxation, helps digestion and fights the formation of intestinal gas.
Precautions and warnings
Particular phenomena of allergic reactions to laurel infusions are not known, but they should be consumed moderately throughout the day, without exceeding 4 cups per day. In case of prolonged intake and if the symptoms do not decrease it is always advisable to consult your doctor.
The laurel infusion performs digestive, expectorant, antirheumatic, relaxing functions and effectively counteracts the disorders of the respiratory system of the intestine (phlegm, fever, meteorism).
The parts used for making infusions are generally the dried leaves and flowers, while the berries are used above all for the production of oils and oleolites.
Infused laurel: Bay berries
It is often thought that Bay leaves are the only materials that can be used to make infusions but this is not the case. As mentioned earlier, laurel berries are widely used for the preparation of infusions and herbal tea based on laurel and have practically the same characteristics as the leaves as regards their beneficial and phytotherapeutic properties. Many people even claim that the berries are stronger than the leaves and have a more effective action.
Bay berries are consumed only after they have been dried and are particularly effective because they are richer in oils than the leaves.
Once dried and chopped, the bay berries are used in powder form and it is usually advisable to take a maximum of 2 tablespoons of coffee a day even if the doses are always checked with the trusted herbalist.
Bay berries are used as a remedy for disorders such as flu, cold and stomach problems as they facilitate digestion and strengthen the stomach.