Making tea from bay leaf is a great way of getting all the nutritional value that it offers, but also a very fragrant and flavorful beverage. Historically, making tea from bay leaves hasn’t been done that much. It’s a new trend starting to take shape instead.
Making bay leaf tea is a really simple process. The leaves are crushed and left to steep in warm water. This makes for a very aromatic and slightly sweet tea. It’s a great version on its own, but mixed with other aromatic herbs like basil or oregano. People often mention that they feel more relaxed after drinking bay leaf tea. It seems to calm the mind and reduce anxiety.
What Is Bay Leaf
Bay leaf has mostly been used in cooking to add more aroma to a dish. There are a number of different varieties of bay leaf out there. Some of the more common ones grown are the California bay leaf and the Mediterranean bay leaf. They differ a little bit in the flavor. The Californian being more intensely aromatic. A quick tip before you begin making tea is to crush the bay leaves, this will release more aromatic oils in the leaves and make for a more flavorful tea.
Around the world there are bay leaf varieties native to different areas. In India there is one and in Mexico for example there is another one. The plant really enjoys a climate where the soil is dry and not very rich in nutrients. It can’t really handle cold very well, which makes sense since it’s not native to any northern countries.
Preparing The Bay Leaf Tea
Making bay leaf tea is a very simple process. The leaves are often dried when you buy them. But if you can get your hands on some fresh leaves then that will produce a really interesting flavor too. It’s more fragrant and almost green when you drink it. But both the dried and the fresh one has more or less the same amount of nutrition in them.
Drinking bay leaf tea has often been done for aromatherapy, meant to calm the body and reduce stress but also boosting certain areas with nutrition. Let’s look at a short guide to how you can make bay leaf at home:
- Crush bay leaves, about 3 – 4 whole ones
- Boil 2 cups of water
- Pour the water over the leaves and let steep for about 2 – 3 minutes
- Strain the liquid and enjoy the bay leaf tea you have just made
If you would like to spice up your tea a little bit then you could add either sugar or even milk to the tea. This will change the flavor a little however. Some people even like to have a small amount of salt in their tea.
If you’re adding sugar to your tea, then you are sort of making this healthy drink unhealthy, since a surplus of sugar is not that good. Milk is often added to sort of take off the edge of the tea. It can make it easier to get into if you are a beginner starting to enjoy tea.
Health Benefits Of Bay Leaf Tea
Drinking bay leaf tea seems to have a variety of different benefits. There is yet to be any concrete research about this topic, so we are instead going by what people are reporting themselves.
Improves Heart Health
Bay leaves have something called phytochemicals. This is a very good protection against heart disease like heart attacks and strokes. Caffeic acid is also present in bay leaves, which improves the functionality and cognitive ability of the heart. Drinking bay leaves on a regular basis each week seems to lower the risk of heart diseases.
Drinking regular tea is often described as a mood booster and also something that calms the body and reduces stress. When you are using bay leaf tea in an aromatherapy sense then it can especially have an anxiety reducing effect on the body, just like both oregano and thyme can have.
Promotes Better Digestion
Drinking bay leaf tea on the regular will help improve the digestive system. It has a pretty strong effect on the gastrointestinal system. Toxicity in the body that would cause you to throw up or have a bad or painful stomach are reduced when drinking this tea. It’s caused by the antioxidants that are in bay leafs, this helps mitigate free radicals in the body that otherwise would cause harm.
A Great Option For Diabetic People
There are properties in bay leaves that help regulate the amount of sugar and glucose in the blood. It promotes the sugar being used up instead to generate energy, instead of being stored. Antioxidants in the leaves help improve the effect that insulin has on the body. Same for the other health benefits that bay leaf has, it’s recommended to drink about 3 – 4 times each week to be sufficient.
Flavoring The Tea With Cinnamon
A pretty trendy thing to pair with bay leaf when making tea is cinnamon. This will give the tea a very nice and sweet spiciness. Perhaps not something you would be drinking throughout the whole year, instead during the colder months of the year. Cinnamon is often associated with Christmas and we feel it’s also the best time of the year to make this type of tea.
It’s very easy to make this one. When you are steeping the water with the crushed bay leaves you could simply add a small amount of cinnamon. 1 fourth of a cinnamon stick would be more than enough. Be aware that cinnamon is pretty strong in flavor and we still want to be able to taste the bay leaves.
Side Effects Of Drinking Bay Leaf Tea
There are not as many side effects as there are benefits to drinking bay leaf tea. But you should still be aware of the possibility of negatives about the tea.
It’s been reported that bay leaf tea can instead of reducing and controlling the blood sugar level in the body start doing the opposite. This seems to affect a small set of people however, but it can be a very serious issue if you aren’t aware of it beforehand.
We mentioned that there is not a lot of research on the topic of drinking bay leaf tea, so avoiding it when you are pregnant is recommended. It’s better to take the safest precautions than risking it.
Summary And Conclusion
We have gone over a lot of information that comes up with drinking and consuming bay leaf tea. It’s a plant native to a lot of regions around the world where it’s often used in cooking. But making tea will provide you with all the nutritional value in the leaves.
Drinking bay leaf tea helps reduce stress and promotes heart health and improves the digestive system. Consuming the tea about 3 – 4 times each week is the recommended amount.
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