Bay Leaf Tea Makes The Tummy Sing

Health benefits of bay leaves
Cold and flu season. It comes around every year and every year we wait and see if we’ll get struck down, like we always do. As Baby proclaimed to Johnny in Dirty Dancing, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” We can start amping up our immune powers now by incorporating some simple and delicious practices into everyday life.  And that is where bay leaf tea comes into the mix to make your tummy and your immune system sing. We know bay leaves, right? Of course we do. We tend to use them sparingly, adding a leaf here and there to soup stocks, chilis and everyone’s favourite homemade spaghetti sauce. But come on now. We know that the herbs and spices we add to our meals offer more than just flavour. These true flavour enhancers are also super powers in the functional and culinary nutrition realm. They pack a punch. And bay leaves are part of that party.

Health Benefits & Uses of Bay Leaves

Bay Leaf Tea

The best way to get to get the benefits from herbs and spices is to brew or decoct a tea.

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Cinnamon Bay Leaf Tea

  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 22 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A simple soothing bay leaf tea to boost immune function.


  • 45 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1 liter of water


  1. Add leaves and cinnamon to the water and simmer for about 20 minutes. For a weaker brew, chop up the fresh or dry leaves, pour hot water over and allow them to steep.
  • Prep Time: 2 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Beverage

Photo: iStock/BreakingTheWalls


  1. Wow! Who’d a thunk it? So neat that nearly all of our culinary herbs have medicinal properties!

    Right now, I’m smitten with Tulsi (aka. Holy Basil) tea!

  2. Wow!! Love the video and all the info. You bay leaves look so amazing compared to mine:) I’m going to tell my mom about this as she gets stomach upsets often!!

    Enjoy the pool. What an amazing place:)

  3. yum had no idea bay leaves were so good for you.. I definitely need to start adding them to more things, love the video :)

  4. Interesting! I love bay leaves… always use fresh and usually toss about 4 or 5 into soups and stews. It has never occurred to me to make tea with the leaves. I will definitely be trying this.

  5. Bay leaf tea also helps when I have an upset stomach. And soooo yummy. I just use dry bay leaves too. Works great!

  6. I read else where about people using bay leaf tea for relieving bronchitis so I searched for a recipe to help with my sinus cold and found yours. I have to say it worked just like a mild antihistamine! I’m not sure how long it will last but I’m impressed!

  7. I am so thankful and grateful
    for the universe bringing this information to me this morning via fb Thank you and all that you do to inspire healthy living

  8. Can you please inform in detail about its property for the respiratory disease.
    I have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
    Maybe it bay leaf will help. I have bay leaf plant n my planter. I have just done pruning 3-4 days ago and got about 100 leaves but 100 are still in the plant. I cough a lot

  9. do the bay leaves turn the boiling water brown colour? (Im worried it could be pollution) I wash the leaves first of course

  10. Hi! Thank you for this – I’ve never used Bay Leaves before! Making this now to help with some chest congestion and auto-immune flare up…but I was also intrigued by the note about scalp health- I fairly recently began to have some changes in my lower scalp – flaky itchy…I think it corresponds to when I’m sick/out of balance too though I’m still just coming into more awareness…I haven’t had a chance to explore more about this – I wondered about your bullet point that this tea could be used as a rinse…does that mean with the cinnamon as is? Any other details for trying this out? Thanks so much!!

  11. Hi!! I want to ask about your opinion on this: in the internet there is info that bay leaf can help with bunions. They say to boil the leaves with 300 ml of water, pour into a thermos, leave for the night and sip throughout next day. The say that is dissolves salt deposits. Can this be true? Or is it an urban legend?

  12. Hi Meghan , I just stumble on your recepy of bay leaf tea, I found it amusing since I have the same recepy which was given to me from my aunt,and a few years ago she gave me a bay leaf tree.

  13. Saw this bay leaf tea mentioned in Alive magazine, April 2018, an article by Heather Burt on the use of herbs. I decided to try the tea and used the tsp of cinnamon since I did not have a cinnamon stick. It tastes very pleasant even without a sweetener. It is going into my new arsenal of healthy teas. Thank you.

  14. Hi Meghan, what about bay leaf, peppermint, chamomile, raw honey with a squirt of lemon tea?, made with love? This is what I served tonight to my beautiful friend and myself. Delicious!

  15. I was wondering what the recommended serving size is and how often should it be consumed? Also, is it any more or less beneficial to use fresh or dry leaves? And finally, are there health benefits to the berries on the trees?
    I just realized that I have over half a dozen bay bushes in my front yard and I suffer from many of the ailments that bay appears to help.

  16. I have over one hundred bay trees and was wondering if I can make bay leaf powder or anything else as a source of income

  17. Hi Meghan, when we were in Sicily earlier last year we were served bay leaf and orange peel steeped in water. Served warm at breakfast time but chilled later in the day. I have made it many times since coming home. Absolutely delicious!

  18. I’m a newcomer to bay tea and I’m in love! My first attempt I used dried leaves in boiling/very hot water to steep. The tea was great, full bodied but not heavy.
    Knowing that really hot tea water releases natural oils (that are often bitter) I wanted to try a cold infusion. However some naturals need the hotter water to permeate their outer layer, like the shinny outside of bay leaves.
    For my second effort I choose to quickly rinse the selected tea bay leaves in a good stiff hot water and then steep in cool water. I’m in love all over again! The sweeter lightness is perfect for sipping all day.
    I find the leaves are ready to use several times. Steeping times may lengthen, but I’m a sipper so steeping time isn’t crucial.

  19. How long can you store the bay leaf tea for? If longer than 24 hours should it be stored in the fridge. Thank you

  20. I recently learned from a seller of health products that tea cannot impart minerals, as they aren’t water soluble. One would need to eat the whole leaf to benefit from the fact that these (or any,) leaves contain minerals.
    Who knew?! :)
    Of course, vitamins, though they’re also present, may too be weakened by simmering, or even by steeping in boiling water. I know vit. c is particularly apt to dissipate or become damaged and less effective.
    Great info about the bay leaf healing properties! I have started to incorporate this…and it’s tasty too!

  21. I have bay leaves in my garden , to make the tea can I just pluck the leaves direct from the tree into the teapot or must it be dried first.

  22. I have always been told that the bay leaf trees are poisonous. I have aged in my yard and I’m skeptical to use the bay leaf because I fear getting sick. Are all bay leaf trees the same or are there certain trees for this tea?

  23. Is it ok to add a tsp of honey when you drink the hot tea? Also is this tea palatable as a cold tea over ice as well?

  24. We made a large pot of bay leaf te using dried bay leaves, cinnamon, and honey. Drank some and refrigerated the rest. The next day the tea had turned into a gel form. When you try to reheat the tea it will not melt from the gel form. Any ideas? TYIA.

  25. Hi Ms Telpner!

    My guess is the amount of honey added to the Bay Leaf tea caused the tea to gel after refrigeration over night. FRESH HONEY, unlike the watered down junk in the grocery store, will crystallize when it gets too cold. Just my thoughts.

  26. Do you know if this is safe for women who are pregnant or nursing? I’ve looked around online for an answer but haven’t really found anything. Thanks!

  27. I buy bay leaves from the grocery store. What is the shelf life of their usage? I have only used bay leaves in soup and stews. I accidentally ran across your article on bay leaf tea. Would love to try it. So how old is too old to use leaves for good benefits? I live in the North woods of Wisconsin……can these be grown here. Right now we have 23 inches of snow on the ground. Also, do you ever go out to pubic places to lecture.? Thank you.

  28. Is there a difference in which bay leaf to use for tea, the California bay leaf or the Turkish bay leaf?

  29. Meghan I would like to ask you a question bay leaves us safe for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Thank you

  30. For how long can one take this bayleaf tea, and hope taking it everyday morning and evening won’t attract side effect?

  31. I like Bayleaf Tea with Cinnamon. I think it is one of the best tasting teas to drink. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  32. I am so glad I have this information about bay leaves. I use them in cooking, now I can use them for health purposes.

  33. Got some fresh bay leaves today…noticed there is a difference. The tip of the leaves are round compare to the ones bought at the store. Even the ones I googled have pointed tips.
    Is the large round-tipped ones safe?

  34. I’ve learnt about bay leaves for long but just make the tea yesterday night and hmm to my surprise all my painful legs was relieved..a diabetic patient

  35. I have a GINORMOUS Bay Tree in our backyard (20″x15″) – never dreamed it would get that big. I use it in all my cooking when I can and I also use the Bay in my grain shelf(ves) to keep insects out- – -my grandma used it that way and so did her grandma, as well as many of our neighbors now. Never heard of using it in Tea until today – I’ll keep you posted. Another good use for this monster in my yard

  36. I drank bay leaves tea with cinnamon, yes my blood sugar levels dropped but at night I woke due to chest pains, I’m not sure whether I drank too much, please advise

  37. Loving the tea Meghan! It sure makes a refreshing cold drink when stored in the fridge. Does it provide the same benefits when cold?

  38. Sooo I didn’t read all the benefits of bay leaves before I put it in my morning tea! Couldn’t figure out why I was so sleepy today! After work I found out it also works as a sedative, lesson learned! LOL

  39. Meghan, I have a Bay tree here in New Orleans.
    Because I’m really stupid, could you please give details of making Bay Tea using fresh Bay leaves.
    Thanks so much.
    Laissez les bons temps rouler

  40. I am so excited that the humble Bay leaf has so many benefits! I made this tea and it hardly tastes like anything. I used 5 fresh leaves and tasted a leaf beforehand and it was strong. However, my tea just didn’t have much taste to it. Is that just how it is?

  41. I boiled 4 bay leaves & 1 cinnamon stick then simmered for 20 minutes. Then let it sit all night in the pot. Next morning reheated 1 cup & couldn’t believe how delicious(without sugar) & my sinus/morning/drainage issue was GONE! 1 cup!!!

  42. I have a bay leaf tree in my yard for about 6 yrs now and only a few weeks ago I started making bayleaf and cinnamon tea every night. It’s wonderful and have alot of health benefits.

  43. How many times can I drink the bay leaf tea in a day? I had a cup this morning and had a good nap at noon love it

  44. I love to make bay leaf tea, the aroma is very relaxing. For sinus issues I combine bay leaf with rosemary & fresh ginger, boil for 5 minutes, then let it seep for 10 minutes.

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