Monday, November 30, 2009

Medicinal Properties of Bay Essential Oil and Liniment Recipe

Bay essential oil, Laurus nobilis, has a long and interesting history. It was known as Daphne to the Greeks because the nymph Daphne escaped the attentions of Apollo by being transformed into a bay tree. Heartbroken, Apollo, the God of Music and Poetry, took the tree as his emblem, hence the term "poet laureate" and "to gain one's laurels."

In addition, the Romans believed bay warded off both evil and infectious disease, and to this day in Europe you can still see bay leaf garlands hanging on doors.

Today, bay is used as a flavoring in foods, and is effective to combat infectious bacteria when used in a vaporizer. In perfumery, bay is sweet, pleasant, and slightly spicy, and blends well with bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, cypress, juniper, lavender, neroli, and rosemary, to name a few.

Medicinally, bay is attributed with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, diaphoretic, digestant, and sedative properties.

Recommended Daily Dose:
Three times daily unless otherwise stated. Use for a maximum of two weeks, then take three weeks off to avoid accumulative toxicity. In adults, use 2 drops, three times a day. Externally, use up to 5 drops in a bath.

Liniment Blend:
30 drops bay essential oil
15 drops nutmeg oil
9 drops black pepper oil
1 cup peanut oil

Blend all oils together. Peanut oil can be replaced with another vegetable oil, such as sweet almond or grapeseed. However, peanut oil is preferred as it has a traditional reputation for effectively reducing the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.

Blend all oils together. Pour into a dark glass bottle and label. Massage directly into painful areas. Store in a cool place and use within 6 months.