புன்னை இலை / பிரிஞ்சி இலை (Tamil) – BAY LEAF (English) – TEJ PATHA(Hindi)
The aromatic leaf from the bay laurel tree, it is an essential component of the classic bouquet garni: parsley, thyme and a bay leaf. The bittersweet, spicy leaves impart their pungent flavour to a variety of dishes and ingredients, making bay a versatile store cupboard ingredient. It’s also one of the few herbs that doesn’t lose its flavour when dried.
Bay leaves can be used to flavour vinegars and pâtés, and in pickling and marinades. Long cooking draws out the aroma of this herb and most braised, poached and stewed dishes benefit from the addition of a bay leaf, as do soups, stocks and risottos. Add a bay leaf when braising red or pickled cabbage, to poaching liquid for fish, or to infuse the milk for custard or rice pudding.
If eaten whole, bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. As with many spices and flavorings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Myrcene, which is a component of many essential oils used in perfumery, can be extracted from the bay leaf. They also contain the essential oil eugenol.
Some Medicinal facts about BAY LEAF:
- Bay leaves have been used in entomology as the active ingredient in killing jars. The crushed, fresh, young leaves are put into the jar under a layer of paper. The vapours they release kill insects slowly but effectively, and keep the specimens relaxed and easy to mount.
- Bay leaf has been used as an herbal remedy for headaches
- Bay leaves were believed to induce abortions and to have many magical qualities.
- Useful for treating high blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial and fungal infections, and gastric ulcers.
- Bay leaf has also been shown to help the body process insulin more efficiently, which leads to lower blood sugar levels, and to reduce the effects of stomach ulcers.
- Bay leaf contains eugenol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Bay leaf is also an antifungal and antibacterial, and has also been used to treat rheumatism, amenorrhea, and colic.