If you’ve ever walked into a yoga studio or a new age bookshop, you’ve probably noticed that these places have a very specific smell.
That’s because many locations like these regularly practice smudging, a Native American tradition and technique that uses the smoke of specific herbs to purify a room.
Even though smudging is commonly associated with sage, there are many other herbs you can use and more concrete benefits you can enjoy.
Why Bay Leaves?
Bay leaves have been a thing of legends for thousands of years; whether its indisputable role in Greek and Roman culture, or its everyday use in Indian and Caribbean culture and cuisine, this herb is known to have withstood the test of time.
But besides its kitchen use, the herb is commonly used as fragrance in perfumes, lotions, creams, soaps and detergents.
Health Benefits of Bay Leaves
Traditionally, bay leaves are used as a sedative, anticonvulsant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory.
They are also known for their antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and their ability to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Bay leaves are often used to treat insomnia, chronic stress and to alter mood.
The bay leaf can help manage glucose and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
Bay leaf tea is known to prevent the growth and spread of Leukemia and cause apoptosis in other cancerous cells.
How to Use Bay Leaves
The bay leaf is a staple herb in many traditional cuisines. Of course, you can spice your cooking with this herb to get these benefits. Just make sure to remove the leaves before serving as they can be a choking hazard.
However, there is another way of getting these benefits, and you’re going to love it – bay leaf smudging. Whenever you’re feeling stressed or you’re in a bad mood, just burn a bay leaf or two in an ash tray in your room or office and leave the room for ten minutes.
Make sure to close the windows, keep the tray away from anything flammable, and make sure you’re not burning it near a smoke detector.
When you come back, and after a few minutes, you will start noticing the effect. The smoke of the herb will help relax your mind and body, and you’ll find it way easier to focus on your task at hand.
Don’t forget to throw the ashes when you’re done. Enjoy!