There's one ingredient in many soups and stews that you might be tempted to overlook - don't! The bay leaf is an incredibly versatile herb that livens up almost any dish. A good rule of thumb is to use it whenever cooking with beef, tomatoes or pork.
Actually it's best to use it whenever you're cooking almost anything.
Cooking aside, the bay leaf actually has some other uses. In fact just burning a bay leaf in your kitchen is believed to have a number of healthy effects.
1) Calms anxiety and tiredness
The bay leaf is filled with antioxidants and other chemicals. When burned it induces effects similar to stimulants, but without the heart-racing effects.
Three grams of bay leaves per day has been shown to decrease blood glucose levels. That's great news for people with type 2 Diabetes.
Since you're a human, chances are you've had issues with your digestion now and again. The bay leaf can help. It encourages the production of bile and other enzymes which help break down certain foods. That's good news when you've bitten off more than you can chew.
4) Healthy Heart
Bay leaves have caffeic acid. What's that? Well it's a compound that is known to strengthen the capilliaries of the heart.
There are other uses for bay leaves just beyond taste - pick up a bag today!