Top Bay Leaf Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 10/23/22 •  9 min read

What are bay leaf benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are bay leaf pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

bay leaf benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on bay leaf benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about bay leaf benefits and side effects. This will include bay leaf benefits for your health and potential risks, bay leaf water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if bay leaf is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if bay leaf is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about bay leaf benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Bay Leaf Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Bay leaf health benefits may include:

Bay leaf benefits also include being…

You Will Love This!
LYKO | Hydroponics Growing System. 12 Pods. Indoor Garden For Kitchen.
$79.99

★★★★★

  • Reduce your footprint + grow your own!
  • Sustainable. Easy. Clean. Foolproof.
  • Year-round solution for herb and veggie gardening.
  • Pays for itself in no time.
  • A great gift idea. We love it!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2022 12:04 am GMT

Environment

Water footprint: likely low

Carbon footprint: low, 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers

Destruction: low, bay leaf production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Bay leaves are…

Animals

Kills: none, bay leaf production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, bay leaf production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from bay leaf production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Bay leaves are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Bay leaves are…

Where do most bay leaves come from? 📍

The world’s top bay leaf exporting country is China, followed by India, Germany, Spain, Pakistan, Peru, Netherlands, Iran, Thailand, USA.

Most fresh bay leaves in the United States come from California and dried bay leaves typically come from Turkey.

Bay leaves are produced in North America, Central America, India, Russia, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Mexico.

Are bay leaves nutritious? 🥗

Yes! Bay leaves are a good source of folate and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, iron and manganese.

Other names for bay leaf? 🗣️

Other names for bay leaf are by laurel.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

bay leaves are alkaline when fresh.

Are bay leaves alkaline or acidic?

Bay leaves are alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of bay leaves?

Bay leaves have an 8.0 pH level when fresh, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

bay leaves are gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Are bay leaves gluten free?

Yes, bay leaves are gluten free. Bay leaves do not contain gluten. Bay leaves are a type of herb, therefore making it a gluten free food. 

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bay leaves are not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are bay leaves a common food allergen?

No, bay leaves are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to bay leaves but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

You Will Love This Book!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/05/2022 12:04 am GMT

bay leaves have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do bay leaves have a high or low carbon footprint?

Bay leaves have a low carbon footprint.

What is the carbon footprint of bay leaves?

It takes around 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of vegetables, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

bay leaves are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are bay leaves eco friendly? Are bay leaves sustainable?

Bay leaf production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

bay leaves are vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Are bay leaves vegan?

Yes, bay leaves are vegan. Bay leaves are aromatic leaves and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

bay leaves are a product that may or may not have labor issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are bay leaves a product that has known labor issues?

At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding bay leaf farming but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Bay leaves may or may not have labor issues.

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers may face harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks.

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Conclusion

Bay leaf pros include:

Bay leaf cons include:

Sources:

Bay Leaf – NCBI

Bay Leaves Improve Glucose and Lipid Profile of People

Spices, bay leaf – FoodData Central

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

Keep Reading