Belonging to the Myrtle family of trees and plant species - the ripe leathery leaves are picked and steam distilled. With small bouquets of white flowers, the highly fragrant and aromatic, evergreen tree native to the Caribbean region grows from 8 - 12 metres in height. Other local names it is known by are West Indian Bay, Bay Rum, Myrica, Wild Cinnamon, and Bay Leaf (not to be mistaken with Laurus nobilis, or otherwise known as Laurel Leaf)
After flowering, a small black pea-like inedible fruit follow, the bay rum (used for cologne) and essential oil itself are toxic and should not be ingested. When the tree is of 5 years and older, the leaves are removed and the oil is then extracted. The oil offers a warm, sweet, fresh, spicy aroma, reminiscent of Clove somewhat.
With pain relieving properties, this essential oil is traditionally used to relieve muscle cramps and aches. Effective antiseptic for the respiratory system, rheumatism, neuralgia, muscular pain, circulation problems, colds, flu, dental infection, diarrhea and skin infections. Commonly used as a hair tonic, which helps to stimulate the scalp, prevents dandruff and restores damaged and uncared hair, and even encourage hair growth. It also encourages, creativity, performance and stimulation.
Safety Precautions : Flammable.
Blends well with : Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orange, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.
FACT : The leaves have been traditionally used in cooking with a variety of exotic dishes and tea preparation. The leaves were also used in and around the home - to fragrance rooms and to also ward off insects as a common insect repellent. Bay Oil used to be a key ingredient of Bay Rum (a combination of rum and water) and similar aftershave lotions and colognes, now commonly replaced by ulterior formulations. A favourite choice of insect repellency.