Type of plant: Evergreen tree growing to 60 feet in height with glossy leaves, creamy-green flowers, and small black berries
Part used: Leaves
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Native to the Mediterranean and to the Near East, where from ancient times the leaves took on special significance. Ancient Greeks made headdresses of laurel leaves to crown winning sportsmen, warriors, and scholars. The name “Poet Laureate,” given to the official national poet of the United Kingdom, derives from this tradition, as does the French word baccalauréat, which describes the multisubject exam taken at the end of secondary schooling. The leaves are widely used as flavoring in cooking.
Principal places of production: Croatia, Turkey, Crete (Greece), Bosnia and Herzegovina
When buying look for: Pale-yellow to pale-green liquid with a sweet, herbaceous, yet camphorous aroma
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antineuralgic, antiviral, circulatory, expectorant, pectoral
Therapeutic uses: Influenza, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains, neuralgia, arthritis, circulatory conditions, candida, respiratory and bronchial infections, digestive problems, flatulence, colds, flu, skin rash, spots, sores, dental infections, fungal foot conditions, nervousness, general fatigue
Blends well with: Basil linalol, benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile roman, clove bud, cypress, eucalyptus lemon, eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, geranium, ho wood, immortelle, lavender, lavender (spike), lemon, manuka, marjoram (sweet), myrtle, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, saro, tea tree, thyme linalol, yarrow
Precautionary advice: Those prone to allergic skin reactions are advised to carry out a skin patch test. Avoid during pregnancy. GRAS status.