Inspiration from Meghan

Bay Leaf Tea Makes The Tummy Sing


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

130 responses to “Bay Leaf Tea Makes The Tummy Sing”

  1. Alex says:

    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. Melissa says:

    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. kate@ahealthypassion says:

    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. Katherine says:

    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. Jack Grochmal says:

    Great information !
    What a sweetheart :-)

  6. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    Spicing up tea with Bay Leaves…delicious and super good for you!

  7. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    skip the late night snack, sip on this instead

  8. Vicky says:

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

  9. Troy says:

    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!

  10. Joe says:

    Hi, do you drink the full 1 liter of bay leaf tea at one time?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Try drinking a little at a time to begin.

      • Kamal says:

        Hi Meghan,
        I’m concerned about the length of time suggested for cooking the leaves, wouldn’t it kill the medicinal properties?
        Please advise

        • Meghan Telpner says:

          Hi Kamal! 20 minutes isn’t an extreme amount of time. Using a decoction, like we are here, actually helps to better extract the health benefits from the leaves.

  11. Margo Langford says:

    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

  12. Leigh says:

    Does this tea also help with sleep and anxiety

  13. RATNA SINHA says:

    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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Ratna. I’d recommend getting in touch with your health care practitioner, who can address your condition one-to-one and speak to you about your specific needs.

    • Dee says:

      We have fresh bay leaves and my husband’s diabetes is getting worse, how many fresh bay leaves should I add to how much water?? (Ideally I would like to make a gallon for him to drink and keep in fridge), thanks so much!

      • Meghan Telpner says:

        Hi Dee! In this recipe, you can use 2-3 fresh bay leaves for every litre of water. Of course, you can add more if you love the flavour!

  14. sally says:

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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Most teas using fresh or dried herbs of any kind will change the colour of the water. As long as you’ve cleaned the leaves and you’re using a good source, you should be fine!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    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!!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You could leave the cinnamon in for the hair rinse (as it smells great), or leave it out and only use the bay leaves and water. Up to you!

  16. Lilou says:

    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?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I haven’t heard this before! I didn’t see any scientific studies about this, so it may be a myth?

    • Kathryn McMorrow says:

      Great information about bay leaves. That person who asked about “Can it dissolve bunions, do you know?”
      Well, I haven’t heard of that but I know that bay leaves also contain a great substance called eugenol. Look up what eugenol can do. It’s in many healthy plants, particularly cloves. There’s a great scholarly article on Google by some PhDs out of a Nutritional Science University in Faisalabad, Pakistan. and some affiliation with Michigan State University, Lansing MI. Fascinating reading! It’s easy to find on Google. Just search eugenol health benefits. I read it only yesterday, but I can’t post the link because it’s a PDF download.
      Currently, as I write this, I’m making a strong decoction of a handful of bay leaves in about a quart of water. Smells woodsy and great. This is before I read about bay leaves and cinnamon
      stick here. Cinnamon also contains eugenol!

  17. Jennifer says:

    Can I use freshly picked bay leaves or must I allow them to dry first?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You can use freshly picked leaves, too. You may need to adjust the amount, as fresh are more potent in flavour than the dried.

  18. Teresa Basso says:

    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.

  19. Joy Reddy says:

    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.

  20. Mario says:

    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!

  21. Anna says:

    So pleased to have discovered your site.

  22. Lyla says:

    I am going to try this, sounds amazing

  23. denise says:

    can you re steep the bay leaves?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Denise! Probably not. After the first round of simmering, most of the constituents in the bay leaves will have steeped into the water. I haven’t tried doing a second round, but I imagine it would be really weak.

  24. Damon Toole says:

    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.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Damon! This particular recipe makes four servings, and how much/how often you consume it depends on what you are drinking it for. You can use either dried or fresh leaves, though you may need to use fewer if you are using fresh. It’s lovely that you have a wonderful source of bay leaves right outside your front door!

  25. Erika says:

    How can I use fresh bay leafs for arthritis/ inflammation of the body/ muscles.?

  26. Birkha says:

    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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      That’s a lot of trees! I don’t know if you could earn some money from what you’ve got – I’d suggest doing some research about how you could make that happen.

  27. Dorine says:

    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!

  28. Sheila says:

    Looking forward to using this….

  29. Ruthanne says:

    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.

  30. Suzanne Emmett says:

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

  31. GYASI says:

    At what times can it be taken?

  32. Kelsey Mayo says:

    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!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Kelsey! What is the source/evidence for this? I’d be curious to read it. That’s different from what I have learned about infusions over the years.

  33. Sagren says:

    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.

  34. Marina Galvan says:

    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?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Always best to check with a knowledgeable gardener in your area as well if you have any questions about what you have and if there is any doubt, then you can purchase dried bay leaves.

  35. Kathleen Fraser says:

    How much tea is advisable per day?
    I have several health issues but don’t want to overdo it

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Kathleen! It’s best to check in with your health practitioner if you have any concerns about your specific health issues.

  36. Vicki says:

    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?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Yes, you could add some honey or another sweetener if you’d like. I prefer this hot, but you could also try it cold.

  37. Melissa Blevins says:

    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.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Melissa! Unfortunately, I have no ideas why this might happen. I’ve never gotten that feedback about this recipe.

  38. Debra Earls says:

    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.

  39. Leah says:

    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!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Leah! It’s always best to check in with your health practitioner for specific recommendations for pregnant or nursing women.

  40. Myrtle Sharka says:

    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.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Myrtle. Dried bay leaves, if stored properly, should last you awhile but your best bet is to smell them – if they don’t smell like anything, then they’ve lost their freshness and won’t add flavour/nutrition to your food. It’s the same for most dried herbs and spices! I’m not doing many in-person events at the moment, but we do have one coming up in Toronto in May 2020!

  41. Sonya Renee Burkheimer says:

    Can I make large container of tea and keep in refrigerator for a few days drinking it cold?

  42. Isabel Ferreira says:

    How often can you drink bay leaf tea?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      As this is a tea, you can drink it like you would any other. If you have any health issues or are on medications, I recommend checking in with your health practitioner for specific recommendations based on your situation.

  43. Lorrie Stephens says:

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

  44. Deannie newby says:

    How many times can u reheat re use the bay leaves and cinnamon stick

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I would only boil or steep the tea once, as most of the constituents in the bay leaves and cinnamon stick will be drawn out and if you re-boil you won’t get much out of them.

  45. Zee Brady says:

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

  46. Kirsten says:

    Hi, can I use fresh bay leaves for the tea or only dried?
    Thank you

  47. Eva says:

    I’m not sick but love tea in general. Should I drink bay leave tea with cinnamon everyday?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      It depends on how much you enjoy this recipe! If you love it, you can add it to your rotation more often. If you don’t, there are plenty of other teas to savor.

  48. Erimu Erhiga Juliet says:

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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Erimu! If you have any concerns about side effects, I’d recommend speaking with your health care practitioner.

  49. Janette Johenson says:

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

  50. Rosetta Ballard says:

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

  51. Linda says:

    bay leaf tea is excellent

  52. Pauline says:

    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?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Did you get them from a grocery store? Is it possible they are mislabeled and what you have aren’t bay leaves?

  53. Adebukola says:

    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

  54. Michael says:

    I have a bay tree un the garden. Can I use fresh leaves instead of thecdry leaves?

  55. Debra Kapitan says:

    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🌳🌳🌳😀

  56. Erika says:

    How many cups of bay leaf tea should I have a day ?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Erika! There is no set amount of any type of tea that people should have daily. It’s really about what you enjoy and what your health needs are.

  57. Phindi says:

    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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Phindi! I recommend consulting with your health care practitioner, who has your full health history, about the cause of your chest pain.

  58. Ghiphty says:

    Can I take only bay leaf tea without cinnamon ?

  59. Amelia Sinni says:

    can i also add this to my regular tea i drink, or do i need to drink it alone.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Either is fine! I’d recommend tasting it on its own first to get a sense of the flavour profile, so you know which other tea blends you have that you’d like to add it to.

  60. Becca says:


  61. Audrey says:

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

  62. Lisa says:

    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

  63. Frederick Lewis says:

    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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Frederick! It’s the same method as with dried – but you may want to halve the amount of leaves to 2 as fresh is stronger than dried.

  64. Sarah Simmons says:

    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?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      It isn’t a super strong tea, but if you’d like it stronger you could use more leaves – or add less water.

  65. Nancy says:

    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!!!

  66. Sally Khan says:

    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.

  67. Victorine yembi teh says:

    If i have to boil my bay leaf tea now . How many times can i use that same boiled once.

  68. Cher says:

    Hi Meghan. To lower sugar levels how does one prepare the tea and when is it best to drink it

  69. Shenila says:

    It’s excellent drink. Just don’t know if it should be taken before or after meals

  70. Dora Ziga says:

    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

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Dora! Glad that you are enjoying the tea. There isn’t a standard number of cups that is suitable for everyone. I recommend paying attention to how you feel after drinking it and add more/less as needed.

  71. Shaneka says:

    How long can I drink this?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Shaneka! If you’re asking how long a batch of this tea will last, it will be good for a few days in the fridge if you make it ahead of time. If you’re asking how long to drink this as part of your regular routine, that’s really up to you and your preference. If you have any health concerns, it’s best to work with your health care practitioner for customized advice.

  72. Dawn says:

    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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