You must have seen many a living rooms decorated with this beautiful plant, but more than likely, the owners of the plant would have called it Soft Bollyhum and Bollywood—yes, those are the popular names given to the Indian Laurel. Known botanically as Litsea Glutinosa, Indian Laurel is known to possess various helpful chemicals, including phytochemicals, oleic acid, aporphine, and Litsealactone C and D.
Most of us tend to shrug it off as an ornamental plant, but you’ll be surprised to know that this plant – its bark, leaves, and roots – is a treasure trove of various medicinal properties. A powerful storehouse of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties, it is known heal skin problems too. Welcome to the world of Indian Laurel!
Skin Benefits of Indian Laurel:
1. Heals Sunburns:
The bark and leaves of these plants contain anti-oxidative, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. These can be applied in the form of poultice to heal the redness, itching, and rashes induced by sun burns. A natural emollient, it helps prevent the skin from drying out and cracking when exposed to harsh sunlight.
2. Natural Remedy for Bruises and Wounds:
The antibacterial properties enable the barks and leaves of the India Laurel to be applied topically on wounds and prevent infection. The analgesic properties give relief from pain, while the inflammations on the wounds subside thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature.
3. Eases Psoriasis, Scabies, and Dermatitis:
Being rich a emollient, it can be used to ease the itching experienced due to dry skin conditions such as psoriasis, scabies, and dermatitis. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces the redness and swelling, while the antioxidants scavenge the free radicals, ensuring faster healing.
4. Ideal for Infant Skin Care:
The Tamanu oil extracted from the nut of Indian Laurel is known to have positive impact on the sensitive baby skin due to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory nature. Just a few drops of this oil is sufficient to ease diaper rash as well as other infant skin allergies.
5. Effective Remedy for Various Skin Disorders:
The oil of Laurelwood nuts are rich with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. This enables it to be used as an alternative remedy for acne, skin blemishes, rosacea, rashes, and even burns.
Health Benefits of Indian Laurel:
6. Ease Diarrhea:
An infusion made with the roots of this plant is known to treat diarrhea effectively. Being a natural antispasmodic agent, it eases the muscle spasm experienced in cases of acute diarrhea. Plus, its anti-inflammatory action makes sure that the inflammation subsides. Add 6 grams each of this root and turmeric root to 150 ml boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink. Drink 100 ml of this infusion, divided as two doses, a day to ensure faster healing. Continue this medication for 3 days.
7. Helps in Blood Clotting:
When applied to the skin topically, it is known to curb external bleeding. That is why it is widelybeen suggested to be used for easing hemorrhage.
8. Possible Treatment for HIV/AIDS:
Studies suggest that Calanolide A, a chemical present in Indian Laurel, has the potential to ease HIV/AIDS infection. If the studies, which are currently ongoing, are able to substantiate this with suitable evidences, then it is definitely a ray of hope for the people subjected to this infectious auto-immune disorder.
9. Good for Women:
This herb has the potential to stimulate the flow of blood to the pelvis and uterus, making it a wonder herb for women. Along with helping to regulate the menstrual cycle, the emmenagogue properties of this herb, along with its anti-spasmodic nature, helps in easing painful periods. Since it has the potential to improve the flow of blood to the uterus, it is also effective in improving the fertility levels in women. The anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of the bark and leaves enable them to be applied externally to ease vaginal infections.
10. Natural Cure for Impotency:
While there are no scientific evidences to back up the claim, but many thankful men claim that regular consumption of this herb can cure impotence.
11. Helps with Insomnia:
Known to possess innate sedative properties, the bark and leaves of Laurelwood is known to offer relief from insomnia.
12. Aids in Digestion:
The chemical compounds found in this plant are known to boost digestive power. It is beneficial for easing various digestive disorders like vomiting, nausea, and indigestion-induced diarrhea and dysentery. In cases of inflammatory bowel disease, it is advisable to drink an infusion made with the roots of this plant along with turmeric roots for a period of two weeks to ensure recovery. Five grams each of Indian Laurel roots and turmeric roots are steeped in 150 ml water, strained, and consumed.
13. Eases Arthritis and Rheumatism:
Arthritis and rheumatism are two inflammatory body conditions that will leave your joints painful. There is also a drastic reduction in the supply of blood to the affected areas. External application of this herb is known to reduce inflammation, improve the circulation of blood to the affected region, and ease the associated pain.
A Word of Caution:
There are no substantial scientific evidence that you could rely on to reap the benefits of Indian Laurel. Plus, some incidences showing the following side effects have also been reported:
- Oily taste after use
No studies or research have been conducted on the impact of this herb on pregnancy and breast feeding. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so it is advisable for women to avoid using Indian Laurel during these periods.
Indian Laurel has been tested in labs and have shown to have a positive impact on various health conditions, including tuberculosis and HIV. Nevertheless, there is no proof whether they are effective on humans. So, do consult your doctor before you start using this herb.
Have you, by any chance, used Indian Laurel as an alternative herbal remedy? Was it beneficial? Share your experience with us right below!