The scent of bay oil is sweet, fresh and spicy and the oil is deep yellow in color, being of medium to watery viscosity. Bay oil was very popular with the Romans, who thought that the herb was symbolic of wisdom, peace and protection. The Latin 'Laudis' means 'to praise", which is why the victors at the Olympic games were presented with a laurel (bay) wreath.
In the past, bay leaves were distilled with rum and the "bay-rum" so obtained was a famous hair tonic and body rub for colds and muscle pains.
Bay oil can be used in the treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia, muscular pain, circulation problems, colds, flu, dental infection, hair growth, general health of the scalp, diarrhoea and skin infections.
The benefit of bay oil lies in its calming and warming effect on emotions and general aches and pains, including rheumatic pains. It also settles the digestive system, excess gas and also acts as a tonic on the liver and kidneys. In small amounts it has a stimulating effect, while larger doses produce a sedating effect.
Bay essential oil is also helpful with hair and scalp conditions and is mostly used to combat hair loss and is used with success in treating sprains, strains and bruises.
Bay oil blends well with other oils including cedarwood, coriander, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, juniper, lavender, lemon orange, rose, rosemary, thyme and ylang-ylang.