Laurel: Not just a shrub

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a close up photograph of a green laurel hedge

 

From its humble beginning, Laurel is a versatile plant that stems back to ancient Greece. Now seen as a popular addition to gardens, the additional uses of Laurel – including its medicinal uses – are forgotten. The significance of Laurel begun with the Greek mythology of Apollo which then lead to the use of laurel wreaths in Olympic games and the representation of rank or achievement of those who wore them. Julius Caesar also declared the wreath to be the symbol of a supreme leader which ultimately diverted from natural laurel leaves to be made with gold – the main source of the modern crown.

a laurel wreath in a 'U' shape

But how can Laurel benefit your health?

Often used in cooking, Laurel leaves (also known as bay leaves) originate from a Mediterranean tree called Laurus nobilis (the bay laurel tree). As one of the most widely used herbs in Europe and North America, Laurel also provides numerous health benefits. Through a simple procedure of grinding the laurel leaves, adding olive oil and leaving the tightly sealed mixture for two weeks before straining, you can create a Laurel oil. Laurel oil, easy to make or purchase, is the best form to receive the most of the benefits Laurel has to offer.  Regarding your skin, laurel oil is great for skin conditions as an alternative to lotion or cream while additionally aiding the reduction of acne or spots.

A small jar of laurel oil

 

Laurel leaves are ideal for cleansing and refining your colon as well as removing the appearance of varicose veins and soothing joint pains. This is due to the anti-inflammatory quality of laurel leaves as they help to reduce inflammation throughout the body – including arthritic based aches and pains. Laurel leaves are packed with vitamins A and C as well as nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Laurel leaves are also excellent in aiding with digestion, balancing blood sugar and reducing congestion. Laurel leaves have also been known to be used externally, used as a compress for bruises and sprains.

laurel leaves in a bowl

 

From the high society of ancient Greece to modern day cooking and medicine uses, the Laurel plant and its leaves provide numerous uses in addition to adding a unique presence to your garden. At Hopes Grove Nurseries we offer a range of Laurel hedging in a variety of options from potted to instant. Get in touch to get your perfect laurel hedging!

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