Bay (Laurel)

Latin Name:
Laurus nobilis

Parts Used:
Leaves, fruit, oil

Herbal Uses:
All usable parts hold stimulant and narcotic effects as well as being diaphoretic (brings about perspiration), and if taken in large doses, an emetic (vomiting). Except being used as a stimulant in veterinary practice, the fruit and leaves are rarely taken internally. However, the leaves were previously used as a combatant of hysteria, flattulent colic, amenorrhoea (the suppression of menstruation), etc.; the berries were also used previously to encourage abortion.

Oil of Bay is used externally for sprains and bruises and occasionally used as ear drops for pain relief. The leaves can be infused for tea to act as a headache reliever and analgesic/anti-inflammatory.

Magic(k)al Uses:
Used to stimulate psychic visions: place a leaf or a sachet of leaves under your pillow. The Delphic Priestesses were also said to have used the Bay, chewing the leaves to enhance their divinatory skills during rituals invoking the Oracle.
Bay is also used as a protection, strength and purification herb as well. This makes a wonderful incense to purify yourself (hold your breath if you do this) and your tools.
In ancient Greece, a wreath of Bay was a prize at the Pythian Games. Now, the wreaths can be used to protect the household and ward off crossings/curses/hexes (one can also carry a leaf for the same purpose). To uncross oneself, burn some Bay leaves mixed with sandalwood.
Bay is also used for love: to ensure that a love would stand the test of time, a couple should break off a twig from a Laurel tree and each keep a piece of said branch.
Wishes can also be written on a Bay leaf and burned to make them come true. And to purify a house/area, take a sprig of the tree, and sprinkle water about the house/area.


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