Also known as West Indian Bay, this Bay is not to be confused with Laurus Nobilis or Sweet Bay which is a different species.
The fruits of Bay are an ingredient of Allspice. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant but is also both warming and aromatic. West Indian Bay is the main ingredient of the old-fashioned Bay Rum hair tonic which was said to stimulate hair growth and help with greasy or problem hair. For a home-made hair tonic, try adding two or three drops of Bay to your usual shampoo or conditioner.
Alternatively blend 3 drops with a teaspoon of vodka (to dilute), add to warm water and use as the final rinse after shampooing. Bay has a high Eugenol content which makes it irritating to mucous membranes; it should not therefore be used in the bath and should be used in moderation and not on young children. For a winter-warming aroma, try adding 2 drops of Bay, 1 drop of Cinnamon and 3 drops of Sweet Orange to a burner or diffuser.
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