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
- Nutrient Packed: Bay leaves offer us a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron.
- Bay leaves soothe body aches. Make a decoction of 4-5 bay leaves in 1 litre of water and add to bathwater to relieve sore muscles and rejuvenate the body.
- Ease joint pain from arthritis. Rubbing bay leaf oil on inflamed joints reduces pain.
- Immune supportive: Have antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Use a decoction as a compress to heal skin infection.
- Blood sugar balance: May improve insulin sensitivity and are helpful in regulating blood sugar. This makes them a great herb of choice for those dealing with diabetes or simply wanting a little more help getting blood sugar under control.
- Aid in digestion and are said to boost appetite, help with gastric diseases and reduce flatulence.
- Reduce congestion: Consuming bay leaves in a tea can help ease the symptoms of coughs and colds as they help to clear congestion.
- Scalp health: A decoction, as outlined above, can also be used as a post-shampoo hair rinse to keep the scalp healthy and the ‘druff outta sight.
The best way to get to get the benefits from herbs and spices is to brew or decoct a tea.Print
Cinnamon Bay Leaf Tea
- Total Time: 22 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
A simple soothing bay leaf tea to boost immune function.
- 4–5 dried bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 1 liter of water
- 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
129 responses to “Bay Leaf Tea Makes The Tummy Sing”
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!
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:)
yum had no idea bay leaves were so good for you.. I definitely need to start adding them to more things, love the video :)
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.
Love information on bay leaves
Just got introduced to bayleaf drink, wow it’s amazing when ice cold
Great information !
What a sweetheart :-)
Spicing up tea with Bay Leaves…delicious and super good for you! http://t.co/nWb5df4T
skip the late night snack, sip on this instead http://t.co/do4PRMWv
Bay leaf tea also helps when I have an upset stomach. And soooo yummy. I just use dry bay leaves too. Works great!
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!
Hi, do you drink the full 1 liter of bay leaf tea at one time?
Try drinking a little at a time to begin.
I’m concerned about the length of time suggested for cooking the leaves, wouldn’t it kill the medicinal properties?
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.
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
Does this tea also help with sleep and anxiety
There are a ton of better options for sleep and anxiety, like this one: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/passionflower-for-stress-anxiety-and-insomnia/
Thanks for sharing this information.I already got my bay leaves and started drinking,and adding to my bath.
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
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.
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!
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!
do the bay leaves turn the boiling water brown colour? (Im worried it could be pollution) I wash the leaves first of course
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!
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!!
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!
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?
I haven’t heard this before! I didn’t see any scientific studies about this, so it may be a myth?
I have seen this recipe on Facebook, 5 Bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick and 4 cups of water i tired it and it was delicious a little bit of honey. drink in the morning and night, it was said it can help with your weight, true or false
Hi Zina! I haven’t seen anything specifically about bay leaf tea and weight management. It does help with blood sugar regulation which may impact weight. Ultimately, though, weight management and the root causes of both weight gain and weight loss are more complex than a quick fix of simply drinking a beverage. I delve into this more in this podcast episode: https://www.culinarynutrition.com/how-these-surprising-causes-of-weight-gain-could-be-affecting-all-of-us/
I made this tea. I used powder cinnamon. Do I need to strain it? After sitting it has a lot of sediment.
Hi Kat! You are welcome to strain the tea if you’d like.
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!
Can I use freshly picked bay leaves or must I allow them to dry first?
You can use freshly picked leaves, too. You may need to adjust the amount, as fresh are more potent in flavour than the dried.
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.
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.
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!
So pleased to have discovered your site.
I am going to try this, sounds amazing
can you re steep the bay leaves?
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.
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.
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!
How can I use fresh bay leafs for arthritis/ inflammation of the body/ muscles.?
You can substitute fresh bay leaves in this recipe, though you may need to use less.
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
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.
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!
Looking forward to using this….
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.
How long can you store the bay leaf tea for? If longer than 24 hours should it be stored in the fridge. Thank you 🙏
Hi Suzanne! It should last for a couple of days in the fridge.
At what times can it be taken?
You can drink this tea anytime.
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!
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.
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.
You can use the fresh leaves, too. You might need to use less of them.
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?
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.
How much tea is advisable per day?
I have several health issues but don’t want to overdo it
Hi Kathleen! It’s best to check in with your health practitioner if you have any concerns about your specific health issues.
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?
Yes, you could add some honey or another sweetener if you’d like. I prefer this hot, but you could also try it cold.
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.
Hi Melissa! Unfortunately, I have no ideas why this might happen. I’ve never gotten that feedback about this recipe.
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.
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!
Hi Leah! It’s always best to check in with your health practitioner for specific recommendations for pregnant or nursing women.
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.
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!
Can I make large container of tea and keep in refrigerator for a few days drinking it cold?
Yes, you can make a large batch and drink it cold or reheat it on the stove.
can you make the bay tea by having it sit in the sun ? Also do you have a recipe for making the bay oil to apply for joint pain That is if it works thanks
Hi Gina! I’ve never made sun tea with this recipe, but I suppose it could work – though it would likely take quite a long time. I have a video for how to make infused oils here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B4PUy87BawP/
How often can you drink bay leaf tea?
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.
Is there a difference in which bay leaf to use for tea, the California bay leaf or the Turkish bay leaf?
You can use either!
How many times can u reheat re use the bay leaves and cinnamon stick
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.
Meghan I would like to ask you a question bay leaves us safe for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Thank you
Hi Zee! I always recommend checking in with your health practitioner for questions like this.
Hi, can I use fresh bay leaves for the tea or only dried?
You can use fresh, too!
I’m not sick but love tea in general. Should I drink bay leave tea with cinnamon everyday?
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.
For how long can one take this bayleaf tea, and hope taking it everyday morning and evening won’t attract side effect?
Hi Erimu! If you have any concerns about side effects, I’d recommend speaking with your health care practitioner.
I like Bayleaf Tea with Cinnamon. I think it is one of the best tasting teas to drink. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…
I am so glad I have this information about bay leaves. I use them in cooking, now I can use them for health purposes.
bay leaf tea is excellent
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?
Did you get them from a grocery store? Is it possible they are mislabeled and what you have aren’t bay leaves?
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
I have a bay tree un the garden. Can I use fresh leaves instead of thecdry leaves?
You can use fresh as well.
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🌳🌳🌳😀
That’s amazing – enjoy your bay tree!
How many cups of bay leaf tea should I have a day ?
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.
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
Hi Phindi! I recommend consulting with your health care practitioner, who has your full health history, about the cause of your chest pain.
Can I take only bay leaf tea without cinnamon ?
can i also add this to my regular tea i drink, or do i need to drink it alone.
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.
LOVE BAY TEA
THERE’S A BUSH TEA SIMILAR IN JAMAICA CARIBE ISLANDS, WITH BAY IN IT
Loving the tea Meghan! It sure makes a refreshing cold drink when stored in the fridge. Does it provide the same benefits when cold?
Yes, this tea has benefits when hot and cold. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it!
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
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
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.
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?
It isn’t a super strong tea, but if you’d like it stronger you could use more leaves – or add less water.
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!!!
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.
If i have to boil my bay leaf tea now . How many times can i use that same boiled once.
Most of the nutrients will come out during the first boil.
Hi Meghan. To lower sugar levels how does one prepare the tea and when is it best to drink it
Hi Cher! There isn’t any sugar in this tea, so you can prepare it as directed in the recipe and don’t add any sweetener to it afterward. If you’re looking to balance blood sugar levels, I have an extensive post on the glycemic index here: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/what-is-the-glycemic-index/ and eliminating sugar here: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/are-you-addicted-to-sugar/
It’s excellent drink. Just don’t know if it should be taken before or after meals
Hi Shenila! Either works – I like to drink tea away from meals (either before or after).
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
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.
How long can I drink this?
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.