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This nOde last updated July 29th, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
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Bay (Laurus nobilis)
Also called "laurel," bay leaves were once placed on the heads of headache sufferers and Greek scholars. Today, we still confer a baccalaureate degree, which means "noble berry tree" in French. Crush a leaf and the smell is so internal linkintense it can produce a headache as easily as cure one. Apparently bay has even more interesting properties: the ancient Greek priestesses at internal linkDelphi sat over the burning fumes to increase their prophetic visions.

Family: Lauraceae

Extraction: Distilled from leaf (occasionally berry). Smells pungent and spicy.

Medicinal Action: Bay is a stimulant to lymph, sinuses, lungs, and circulation. It makes a very good liniment.

Emotional Attribute: Smelling bay is stimulating and is said to improve internal linkmemory.

Associated Oils:
Bay Rum Tree (Pimenta racemosa) --Also called "oil of pimento," this is the source of most commercial bay oil and the scent in Bay Rum cologne, which was originally from the Virgin Islands and made with rum. Cooler and sweeter than true bay, it scents bay soaps, cosmetics and colognes.

Allspice (P. dioica) --Familiar to cooks, this culinary seed tastes like a combination of cloves, cinnamon and pepper. It is the source of pimento water, an indigestion remedy in the West Indies and South America, where this evergreen grows. The name comes from the Spanish pimiento because the seed (actually a berry) looks like black pepper. It is sold as "Bay" oil.

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Bay - Pimenta racemosa/Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominica/Leaf. Bay oil is distilled from the leaves and small twigs of the bay rum tree. It has a powerful, spicy, sweet aroma with a distinctive clove note. It is used to produce bay rum fragrance and as a component of fresh, spicy cents. Bay oil darkens easily when exposed to internal linklight or stored in metal containers. Aromatherapy benefits: relaxing, calming, warming.

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