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The laurel, whose Latin name is Laurus Nobilis, is an evergreen plant typical of areas with Mediterranean vegetation. It has a spontaneous growth, which therefore does not require a lot of care, especially in wooded or hilly areas, but ciт not mean it can not be grown in any garden, even home. The use of its leaves is well known, but the use of bay berries is less known. They contain an essential oil that has the property of stimulating the appetite. Consequently, the consumption of these berries has a very effective action on the digestive system, not only in the digestive phase proper. The laurel berries they also have carminative properties, that is they help the body get rid of the air that can sometimes form in the intestine after eating certain foods. In addition, the intake of laurel berries helps to rebalance the entire digestive system, to calm pains and to protect the gastric mucosa.
Origins of the laurel plant
The origins of the laurel plant can be found in Greek mythology. The myth tells that the nymph Daphne (the name itself means laurel), chased by the advances of the god Apollo, made him transform from his mother Gea (earth) into a laurel plant to escape him. The god, desperate, decided to honor his love by making the plant evergreen. Since then the laurel plant was consecrated to the god Apollo and, for this reason, at the oracle of Delphi (dedicated to the same god) the priests and the pythia chewed laurel leaves in order to obtain his responses. They also slept on mattresses made of laurel stems to propitiate premonitory dreams. The Romans later adopted it as a symbol of triumph and a laurel wreath was placed on the head of the generals returned victorious from the war. A custom that has been handed down until today, so much so that it is a widespread tradition to place a laurel wreath on the head of the recent graduate. In medieval times the bay was used as a cure for the plague. Later, especially in Sicily, it also began to make a food use, widespread in many dishes of culinary tradition.
All properties of the laurel berries
Given that the plant and bay berries are useful in the treatment of numerous ailments, let's see in detail what are all the property of the laurel berries. Meanwhile, they are rich in polyunsaturated fats and essential oils, from which properties digestive, carminative, antipyretic, diuretic, antispasmodic and catarrh. All this means that laurel berries are the ideal solution for many ailments that can affect us during the year. From the simple cold on which they work by eliminating excess phlegm and mucus (so they are also excellent against cough), to fever, so, with their antipyretic function, they contribute to lowering body temperature. They also help regulate the menstrual cycle of women and the consequent pains. Infusions, herbal teas, decoctions, oils and ointments, creams and soaps can be obtained. The essential oil is very useful for treating bruises and bruises, so it is also widely used in sports activities. Finally, it is used in the kitchen as an aromatic plant to give the dishes a unique and unmistakable flavor.
The bay laurel in the kitchen
The use of bay berries in the kitchen is almost boundless. It can be added in vegetable soups and vegetables, roasts the meat and fish baked, in marinades, canned in oil and vinegar, and even in the broth. Laurel berries are undoubtedly edible and give the dish a very special touch. They have a rather pungent and strong taste, so it is good to use them sparingly. But the best use of the laurel berries и make a great laurino liquor, to drink for pleasure but also very effective against colds and indigestion. You only need laurel berries, pure alcohol, water and sugar to prepare a delicious liqueur to offer your guests as a digestive after a lunch or dinner. Bay leaves must be left to soak in alcohol for at least a month in a suitably sealed glass jar. A couple of times a week they must be mixed so that the maceration is done at its best. After this time, prepare a syrup with water and sugar, soak berries and alcohol in it and leave it on the heat for a few minutes.