Bay Laurel, is the common name and Laurus Nobilis is the latin name.

This essential oil is not in the common mainstream use, as where peppermint and lavender would be. I decided that it might be a good plant to write about and share ways of why and how to use this around animals and yourself. There are other types of laurels such as Cherry or mountain which is poisonous, but please look at the picture and focus on the leafs of this Laurus nobilis, Bay Laurel.  

The part of the plant that is used to make essential oil or hydrosol is the leaf and branches. It has a very spicy smell and a medicinal edge to it. Regions where a lot of distillation comes from is from France, Italy, Morocco and Spain.  

When buying this essential oil or hydrosol make sure it has the common and latin name on the label, where it is distilled, and if it is organic. Expiration date and a date to when it was made or a lot number.  

The Bay Laurel in hydrosol form is an unstable substance and can start to get cloudy within eight months. You never want to use the hydrosols internally if they are cloudy or the PH is off. There are a few vendors out there that swear that their Bay laurel can last up to 2 years. From all my research this is not accurate and it has a short shelf life.

If you buy a bottle of the hydrosol buy a small bottle so you know it will not go to waste. I call this simple buying method “hydrosol for acute issues” just because of the short shelf life. You can read more about hydrosols in a book that is one of my favorites (Hydrosols The next Aromatherapy) written by Suzanne Catty. I would highly recommend this becoming apart of your resource library.

What are its uses or actions ?

Horses love the Bay Laurel and are attracted to its aroma. It is used to combat mud fever and very hard to get rid of bacterial and viral infections. Dogs on the other hand do not like the aroma of the essential oil as much and are more likely to select the hydrosol because of its subtilty and mildness it has in the hydrosol form.

DO NOT USE WITH CATS! essential oil or hydrosol.

Uses in Animals

  • It is very effective in calming swollen lymph nodes.
  • Decreases and can control bacterial growth.
  • Decreases viral issues.
  • Booster for the immune system.
  • Muscular decongestion.
  • Decrease coughing.
  • Skin penetration enhancer.
  • Respiratory.

Uses for people.

  • Great for flu season.
  • If you travel you can spray this on the pillows or in the hotel room or even your  car.
  • If you have a diffuser use it.
  • This is a great oil to have in your medicine chest.
  • Skin penetration enhancer.
  • Aids in better respiratory function.
  • Analgesic.
  • Aids in decreasing coughing.

EXAMPLE:  For blending

When using this essential oil you want to make a blend or really dilute it with animals and people.  One to two drops in a 15 ml blend is recommended.

Example: you have an amber 15ml glass bottle and if you use the Bay Laurel essential oil you will put one drop of the essential oil in the bottle. You can add other essential oils and a base oil that is part of your recipe or just use a base oil.

If using the Bay Laurel hydrosol you would either spray on lymph nodes or areas where there are bacterial issues. For viral you would put one fourth of a teaspoon in a cup of water and offer it separately from their drinking water. If the animal will not drink it do not force them. This just means that they do not need this plant medicine.

Chemical group: These  dominant components make up Bay Laurel.

Oxides-  Most Oxides have a component called 1,8 cineole, except German chamomile. Caution with oils having high content of the 1, 8 cineole could set off asthmatic attacks.  Do not use on infants. Oxides have an expectorant effect such as in essential oils like Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. These should be used in small amounts when blending. Other essential oils containing the phenols are Oregano, Savory, Thyme, (Red and White)

Phenols- Powerful hot oils. Antibacterial properties, used in acute cases for anti-infectious agents. Rubefacient – meaning increases circulation, redness to areas applied, vasodilator, and a local analgesic. Caution should be taken for the use on animals. I do not use phenols on cats and most animals because of the strength of the chemical components. Do not use on babies, children, not safe to put in your bath, irritating to skin. Use for short term.

Monoterpene hydrocarbons– Pine and citrus make up this group. They can aid  antiviral fighting action. Very stimulating. Cats are very sensitive with Monoterpene hydrocarbons so do not use. Cautions with skin. When using these oils you can apply them to the skin but you need to let them absorb and dry before going out in the sun.

Esters – Antispasmodic, pronounced sedative effects, balancing and soothing on the nervous system. Aids in digestive issues, anti inflammatory and analgesic. Oils containing esters for analgesic effects are, Inula, Jasmine, Lavender, Roman chamomile, Ylang Ylang. Oils containing digestive aids are, Cardamon, Roman chamomile and Bergamot. Caution – Slight dermal irritant due to some esters containing Methyl salicylate.

If you have an experience to share about Bay Laurel with animals or people I would love to hear from you.    


Joan Sorita


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