Bay leaves are used in cooking in many different styles of food from curry to Mediterranean and even in soups. The strange thing about bay leaves is that the flavour intensifies the longer you leave it after picking, when first picked they have a mild taste and once its left to dry out they become stronger in taste and a lot more fragrant. Bay leaves have a pungent bitter taste when eaten whole and if eaten whole can be a choking hazard and could even get stuck in the digestive system so its best to take them out of your cooking before eating.Bay leaves aren’t just used in cooking they pose many other benefits as well. The main one being stress relief, they are good for stress relief because they contain three key chemicals pinene, cineol and linalool all three of these have stress relief benefits. The way to use bay leaves to relief stress is to burn the leaves in a tray in a closed room, much like incense. The leaves must be dried otherwise wont burn and use an ashtray or metal tray. The smoke can trigger your fire alarm though so do it somewhere away from your smoke detector. If you prefer not to burn leaves, you can always use bay essential oil to relax. Wear essential oil diffuser jewellery and inhale the aroma whenever you need to or if you need help sleeping put a couple of drops on a towel and place it next to your pillow. You’ll wake up feeling well-rested and energized for the day ahead.Bay leaves can reduce the production of interleukin, a small protein that is released by the immune system and can cause inflammation. If you have a respiratory infection or a congested nose, you can boil bay leaves and inhale the steam through your nose. Bay leaves can also be great for respiratory health however you don’t burn them you make tea with them. Add water and bay leaves to the pan and bring to boil for three minutes. Once completely boiled let it stand for a further 4 minutes to ensure all the health benefitting nutrients have been extracted.Bay leaves are believed to assist in the healing of wounds and sores. In a study conducted on rats, animals that were treated with bay leaves healed faster, containing less inflammatory cells and increased collagen formation than rats who were not treated. The bay leaves, in this case, were collected, dried and ground into a paste before being administered to the wound.