Years ago, I purchased a small bay laurel plant. It was unusual
to find this at a nursery--well, fast forward to now and my
little plant has become this.........
A MONSTER! I made the mistake of planting it in the ground--
oops! should have kept it in a small container--
now, where it's planted, it's trying to reach sun.
All my friends are delighted to receive dried bay leaves
when I prune. I fill so many containers with these wonder
I'm thinking of cutting it down--dry the leaves,
and start over with a smaller cutting--which I will
keep in a container!!
Anyway, there are many health benefits to bay leaves--
here is a listing of just a few..
Pinterest even has some pins on bay leaves!
Now, for something completely different how my friends use the bay leaves:
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 vapors they release kill insects slowly but effectively, and keep the specimens relaxed and easy to mount. The leaves discourage the growth of molds. They are not effective for killing large beetles and similar specimens, but insects that have been killed in a cyanide killing jar can be transferred to a laurel jar to await mounting. There is confusion in the literature about whether Laurus nobilis is a source of cyanide to any practical extent, but there is no evidence that cyanide is relevant to its value in killing jars. It certainly is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations; such compounds include 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and methyl eugenol. It also is unclear to what extent the alleged effect of cyanide released by the crushed leaves has been mis-attributed to Laurus nobilis in confusion with the unrelated Prunus laurocerasus, the so-called cherry laurel, which certainly does contain dangerous concentrations of cyanogenic glycocides together with the enzymes to generate the hydrogen cyanide from the glycocides if the leaf is physically damaged.
When we cleaned out my mother's house, I found bay leaves in every dresser and kitchen drawer.
Today I use bay leaves not only for cooking for insect repellent.