The bay is one of the most widely used spices in Mediterranean cooking. The huge number of meals that are prepared to use its distinctive flavor makes it one of the most popular herbs. It is an excellent digestive, whets the appetite, combat gases and protects the liver.
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The bay leaves were used as a condiment and medicine for their qualities to enhance and soothe digestion. In composition, distinguished various organic acids, unsaturated fatty acids, substances with antioxidant and antibacterial and minerals such as manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium. In its active, cineole and eugenol, they confer properties to stimulate the appetite, so its use is indicated in the development of recipes for people no appetite, nursing or who need to eat more to meet your requirements or to fatten. In these cases, more useful and effective infusion of bay take a while before meals. He was also awarded in herbal carminative properties, that is, some ability to reduce the formation of gas and bloating, as well as protective functions of the liver. The latter effect is noted for its cholagogue action by stimulating the production and secretion of bile, an aspect that aids digestion of fats. For all these properties, use appropriate bay in the kitchen and, in particular in the preparation of Christmas dishes, which are usually strong, very energetic, and little digestive acids. After a heavy meal, a bay leaf infusion is advisable to ease digestion. This suits those with liver dysfunction indigestion or gall bladder, and notice slow digestion, heaviness, bloating and abdominal pain after meals. To prepare the infusion, are added about 20 grams of bay leaves (better the middle leaves) in one liter of water. Boil three to five minutes, remove from heat and allowed to warm and stand with leaves. The infusion may be taken several times a day. If you drink before meals, served as an appetizer and an appetite, if taken after meals, soothes indigestion and bloating. Fresh leaves retain their properties better than dry because, over time, the active ingredients of laurel subside. The bay has therapeutic effects on the respiratory system. Favors the expulsion of mucus from the airways and contains bactericidal substances, making it well suited for conditions such as bronchitis and pharyngitis. Some research has focused on identifying and confirming the antibacterial potential of the decoction of some plants to combat diversity of bacteria isolated from the oral cavity. The decoction or cooking is a method for extracting the active ingredients of a different plant to the infusion. The plant decoction (whether leaves, seeds, stems ...), add the cold water that is heated to a simmer and simmer for several minutes. In the infusion hot water is added to plants. In both cases, the preparation is left standing a few minutes, before brewing and drinking. Consumption concentrated infusions or decoctions bay can cause nausea, vomiting and irritation of the gastric mucosa and therefore is not recommended in case of gastritis and ulcer or have a weak stomach. There are reports of contact dermatitis and phenomena of photosensitization reactions occurring in the skin on contact with sunlight, after topical application of creams or oils bay extract.
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