Noble Laurel, in Latin laurus nobilis, is also known as Apollo’s Laurel or bay tree. Synonymous of vitality and beauty, its leaves were woven into a crown for the emperors of antiquity. It is perhaps less famous than others. However, everyone knows this Mediterranean tree, its therapeutic properties known for thousands of years and its leaves used regularly in recipes in the kitchen.
This EO is very useful to combat infections but is also of great value psychologically. It has an anaesthetic effect very appreciated in healthcare, notably in a hospital environment.
Botany and history
This tree of 2 to 6 m in height belongs to the ‘lauraceae’ family. It presents a straight stem with smooth bark of a dark grey colour. Its leaves are pointy and strong. They are of a dark green colour, shiny on the upper part and lighter green underneath. We can smell the aroma when we crunch the leaves. The flowers are small and yellow-green. These flowers cluster under the leaves in bunches and protect a green seed that becomes black when ripe.
Its origin lays in the Mediterranean basin where we can widely find the Noble Laurel or bay tree as well as in the Middle-East. It grows best in humid areas or in gardens.
- Originating in Asia Minor, it grows mostly around the Mediterranean sea.
- The Greeks considered it a sacred tree. The head of many a poet or doctor would have been crowned with bay leaves, symbol of glory and victory, as was the case for Napoleon.
- In North Africa, horses are rubbed with fresh leaves to keep flies away. The famous Alep soap is traditionally made from the oil of berries or leaves of the laurel.
- The Noble Laurel is the symbol of Apollo, the god of the sun and the arts, of beauty and of healing.
- In the Middle-Ages wise men were crowned with noble laurel wreaths. In medical schools, the crown placed on the heads of young doctors was made of sprigs of laurel leaves and berries.
Production of laurel essential oil
The extraction of laurel essential oil is done by water-steam distillation of the dried leaves. This distillation will produce the essential oil. Despite the great possibility of extraction of parts of this plant, its yield is small as we need 800 kg to one tonne of leaves to yield 1 kg of oil.
There are diverse chemotypes in the Laurel essential oil, the dominant ones being cineole (about 45%) et linalool around 12%.
The oil has no colour or can be light yellow and has a cineole perfume, minty and like camphor characteristic of Laurel essential oil.
Composition of Nobel Laurel essential oil
- Terpenique oxide: 1,8 cineole (35-50%)
- Monoterpenes (15-20%) : alpha-pinene (4-6%), beta-pinene (3-5%), sabinene (4,5%)
- Monoterpenols (15-20%) : linalool (8-16%), alpha-terpineol (1,5 à 4,5%) etc.
- Terpenique esters: terpenyle acetate (8-15%)
- Ethers: methyleugenol (2-5%)
- Phenols: eugenol (3%)
- Lactones (3%)
Properties & Indications of Noble Laurel EO
- virus, bacteria, fungal infections
- pains and aches
- skin and mouth problems
- Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, expectorant, mucolytic due to the presence of 1,8 cineole (organic compound also found in eucalyptus and rosemary): it helps the evacuation of mucus accumulated in the bronchi, cares with heavy coughs and stops runny noses.
- anti-infectious (monoterpenes)
- bactericide et fungicide: it is effective against fungal infections such as Candida, the cause of most mycoses.
- Exceptional antibacterial: against bacteria such as staphylococcus or streptococcus for example. You can use it in synergy with other essential oils to care for infections.
- analgesic: it is a powerful painkiller: arthritis, polyarthritis, rheumatism, mouth sores, gingivitis and toothache.
Finally, the presence of pinenes indicates a psychological action, as is the case for fir tree, because they are cortisone-like.
Its perfume is known to stimulate the brain especially in people who suffer from self-doubt. It gives one self-confidence. It is the essential oil of winners !!
Dangers & counter-indications of Nobel Laurel EO
- Laurel EO can cause allergic reactions of the skin (lactones) in certain people who are very sensitive, especially those who have an allergic predisposition.
- Not recommended during the 3 first months of pregnancy
- Not recommended in children under the age of 8.
- Caution for asthmatic people given its strong content of 1,8 cineole.
- Only used this essential oil in feeble doses as it can be narcotic (close to sleeping time) in high doses.
Information: do not confuse Noble Laurel with Pink Laurel (Laurel with pink flowers) or the Cherry Laurel. These two are toxic. Just remember that of all the laurels, only the Noble Laurel is not toxic.
How to use Noble Laurel Essential Oil
Using this route allows one to get the benefit of its analgesic properties on arthritis, neuralgia, including lumbago and muscular spasms.
- If you are suffering from lumbago, mix 1 drop on Laurel EO + 1 drop of Peppermint EO + 2 drops of Eucalyptus Citriodora EO in 5 drops of VO. Then, massage the areas in stress five times a day until the condition improves.
- In the case of contractures or joint pain, mix 2 drops of Laurel EO + 2 drops of Orange EO in 30 drops of VO. Then, massage the areas in stress five times a day until the condition improves.
- Sprain (J.P. Willem):
A few drops of the mixture below used in a gentle massage
10 drops Wintergreen EO (Gaultheria procumbens)
10 drops Rosemary 1.8 cineole EO (Rosmarinus officinalis ct cineole)
5 drops de Noble Laurel EO
15ml Macadamia VO
This essential oil is also unbeatable regarding mouth infections (mouth sores, gingivitis or any dental pain)
- Mouth sores: Apply one drop of pure essential oil of Nobel Laurel using your index finger to rub the sore and repeat twice a day.
This essential oil causes no pain when applied.
It will promote healing of the mouth sore and put the pain to sleep.
Finally, it will allow the mouth sore to disappear much more quickly.
Renew this treatment 2 to 3 times a day if needed.
- In the case of gingivitis, mix 1 drop of Laurel EO + 1 drop of Tea Tree EO and dilute in 2 drops of VO. Massage the gums with this mixture several times a day until the condition improves.
Its « antiviral » properties make it also very useful in the treatment of flu, and ENT infections, using it to massage the chest. For asthma sufferers, given the 1,8-cineole, it would be preferable to massage the back or the sole of the feet.
Formula (D. Festy)
Apply in a light massage in the lower back, along the spine and on the chest four times a day for 2 days.
In regard to its dermatological benefits, it is useful to treat acne, psoriasis, pressure ulcers and boils. In cosmetics, it helps to promote the growth of eyelashes and hair. It is mostly prescribed for oily hair.
- Acne: Mix 5 drops of Laurel EO + 10 drops of spike Lavender EO + 5 drops of Tea Tree EO in 5 ml of Macadamia VO. Then, apply one or two drops of this mixture on acne pimples until the condition improves.
- In order to soothe pressure ulcers or ulcers, mix 2 drops of Laurel EO + 3 drops of true Lavender EO in 20 drops of VO. Apply locally three times a day until the condition improves.
What is the psychic-psychosomatic sphere?
If you are suffering from severe problems (depression, nervous and chronic fatigue…), a massage (dilution in a VO) of the chest is often a good suggestion. For example, to bring back your zest and energy, more specifically in times of anxiety, apply two drops of Laurel EO on the sole of your feet every morning.
Where to apply it?
You can apply in massage on a small surface of the skin, in a strong dilution of VO. However, it is generally used in synergy with other EOs. Here are the various parts of the body where you can massage this essential oil:
- On the chest and the upper back in the case of flu and bronchitis.
- On the area causing pain (arthritis, rheumatism, nephritis, neuralgia)
- In the mouth: diluted (gingivitis) or pure (if it is a very small area like a mouth sore)
- In the case of some skin infection (acne, psoriasis)
- On a mycosis (of the skin, gynaecological or digestive)
Diffusion is particularly useful to get the most benefits of its stimulating power and also its antiseptic power, especially in the ENT area.
In olfaction: just breathe in from the bottle (5 deep breaths in succession). Or, pour one drop of essential oil on the inside of the wrist. Rubbing one wrist against the other, then bring to the nose and inhale. This is a good remedy before an exam for example to boost your self-confidence.
Beware, inhalation is not recommended for asthmatics or people suffering from a respiratory condition. On the other hand, using this essential oil by olfaction causes no problem.
*Upon medical advice*
You can also take this essential oil taken orally in small quantities (one drop is enough) and you must dilute in a tablespoon of carrier oil. This form of administration is useful in case of digestive and intestinal infections, bloating, gas and flatulence.
There is no counter-indication for its use in cooking.
It is linked to the neck chakra (blue colour) and is particularly recommended in case of lack of self-belief, fear of not being able to perform.
So – here is an essential oil that cannot be ignored or missed.
It is versatile. Very effective against infections, mouth infections, bloating, the nervous system… it is active in so many different parts of the body.
Noble Laurel is our Tea Tree. Powerful, it can do many things and so many indications are similar to those of Tea Tree EO.
With, in addition, the analgesic side that is not present in Tea Tree EO.
But, it is less well tolerated by the skin.