Individuals suffering from Type II Diabetes have difficulty metabolizing glucose, but bay leaves, also known by their Latin name as Laurus nobilis, have now been shown to drastically improve insulin function.
Not only did bay leaves help to regulate glucose in diabetes patients, but total cholesterol decreased and triglycerides were decreased, so the heart and liver (the organ responsible for breaking down glucose) were benefited by consuming this fragrant herb.
In one study, participants with Type II diabetes were split into 4 groups, with one given capsules containing 1, gram of ground of bay leaves, and the other 2 groups given 2 and 3 grams. The fourth group was given a placebo. Everyone was instructed to take the capsules for 30 days.
All three groups saw reduced serum glucose levels, with a marked increase after day 21 of up to a 26% improvement. The study shows that consuming just a handful of bay leaves every day for a month can significantly improve both diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study did not recommend any particular type of bay leaves, though there are numerous varieties.
Here is what the researchers found:
- Serum glucose levels decreased significantly among all the bay leaf groups.
- Total cholesterol decreased 20 to 24% after 30 days with larger decreases in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of 32 to 40%.
- HDL cholesterol increased 29 and 20% in the groups receiving 1 and 2 g of bay leaves, respectively.
- Triglycerides decreased 34 and 25% in groups consuming 1 and 2 g of bay leaves, respectively.
- There were no significant changes in the placebo group.
The study abstract concluded:
“In summary, this study demonstrates that consumption of bay leaves, 1 to 3 g/d for 30 days, decreases risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and suggests that bay leaves may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.”
Bay leaves come from a tree that grows in the Caribbean and is from the Myrtle family. West Indian bay leaf ,called pimenta racemosa, grows all over India and Asia, while another bay leaf comes from the Laurel family and grows throughout Asia. All have medicinal properties. Some bay leaf varieties also contain eugenol, which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, but all types are full of vitamins and anti-oxidants which are known to boost the immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, and lower a raging fever.
Bay leaves have also been helpful in treating arthritis and other inflammatory-related diseases.