West Indian Bay, essential oil, is extracted from the Pimenta racemosa (P. Acris, Myrcia Acris) tree, from the Myrtaceae family. It is also known as bay rum, wild cinnamon and bay berry
Oil properties: The scent of Bay oil is sweet, fresh and spicy. The oil is deep yellow in color and is of medium to watery viscosity.
Origin of bay oil: This sturdy evergreen tree is a native of West Indies, Venezuela and the Guianas. Nowadays the oil is mostly obtained from Spain and Morocco. The Bay tree grows to about 10 meters (30 feet), has long aromatic lance-shaped leaves and small white-yellow flowers and black berries.
Bay oil was a very popular essential oil with the Romans, who considered the Bay leaf a symbol 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. The Bay rum so obtained was a famous hair tonic and body rub for colds and muscle pains.
Extraction: The leaves collected from a tree at least 5 years old, are subjected to steam distillation (salt is often added or seawater used in the still) and it yields about 0.5-1.5%.
Chemical composition: The chemical composition of Bay Oil includes Eugenol, Chavicol, Myrcene, Cineol, and Methyl Eugenol.
Precautions: Bay oil has high eugenol content and may irritate the skin and mucus membranes, so use with caution.
Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of Bay oil include the following: antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-neuralgic, aperitif, astringent, emmenagogue, febrifuge, insecticide, sedative and a tonic.
Uses: Bay oil can be used in the treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia, muscular pain, circulation problems, colds, flu, dental infection, and diarrhea and skin infections.
Bay Oil Summary: 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 and acts as a tonic on the liver and kidneys. Bay essential oil is also helpful with hair and scalp conditions.
Burners and vaporizers: In vapor therapy Bay oil can be used for an infection, for fever and general aches and pains.
Blended in the bath: As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, Bay oil can assist with calming emotions and relieving aches and pains, especially when combined with Rose and Juniper.
Bay oil blends well with Bay oil blends well with other oils including: Cedar wood, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme and Ylang Ylang.