True BAY LEAVES come from the Bay Laurel. In Ancient Greece and parts of Turkey the Bay Laurel was woven into crown wreaths and given to champion athletes or heroes. This is where the expression "resting on your laurels" came from- a champion literally rests on his victory: the Bay Laurel wreath. Growing up in my family, a stew was never prepared without at least a couple of dried leaves thrown into the pot, which was a culinary staple in my home. The Bay leaf joins Cinnamon, Cardamom, Sage, Caraway and Ginger to name only a few plants who are part of the carminative family. Carminative plants help relieve pain, gas and distention of the intestines. The essential oil is used topically for bruises and sprains and is also recommended for those who feel haunted by spirit invasion. The infused leaves are taken as a tea for hysteria, gas, colic and indigestion. To prepare, infuse one level teaspoon in a cup of boiling water or as a tincture use 5-20 drops.

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