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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.

Cinnamon Bay Leaf Tea


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 4 servings

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

Make It Like So
  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.

Photo: iStock/BreakingTheWalls

50 Responses to “Bay Leaf Tea Makes The Tummy Sing”

  1. Joe said…
    Hi, do you drink the full 1 liter of bay leaf tea at one time?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Try drinking a little at a time to begin.
      • Kamal said…
        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 said…
          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.
  2. Margo Langford said…
    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
  3. Leigh said…
    Does this tea also help with sleep and anxiety
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      There are a ton of better options for sleep and anxiety, like this one:
  4. RATNA SINHA said…
    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 said…
      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.
  5. sally said…
    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 said…
      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!
  6. Elizabeth said…
    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 said…
      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!
  7. Lilou said…
    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 said…
      I haven't heard this before! I didn't see any scientific studies about this, so it may be a myth?
    • Kathryn McMorrow said…
      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!
  8. Jennifer said…
    Can I use freshly picked bay leaves or must I allow them to dry first?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      You can use freshly picked leaves, too. You may need to adjust the amount, as fresh are more potent in flavour than the dried.
  9. Teresa Basso said…
    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.
  10. Joy Reddy said…
    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.

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