Scientific name: Laurus nobilis L. 

Common name: laurel, bay leaf. 

English name: laurel, bay laurel. 

Parts used: leaves and fruits. 

Components: essential oil. 

A plant with a great mythological and therapeutic history. An evergreen tree, widespread throughout the Italian peninsula, with shiny green leathery leaves and yellow male and female flowers in separate individuals. The plants with female flowers produce shiny black drupes that are particularly appetizing to blackbirds, which spread the plants almost everywhere. 

Properties: perfuming, flavoring, balsamic, and a stimulant which strengthens concentration, memory, and relieves mental stress. External use: the oil, long noted for its properties, possesses anti-neuralgic and anti-rheumatic activities to treat neuralgia, muscle pain, and rheumatism.   

Laurino liqueur is a perfumed and digestive liqueur, and a famous preparation of many ancient convents. 

Curiosity: the laurel was consecrated in ancient times to Apollo.  Emperors, generals and poets were crowned with laurel. Culinary note: Pasta is easily enhanced with good flavor when a spring of thyme and two bay leaves are added to the boiling water.  

Laurel butter is obtained from the distillation of the leaves or the pressing of the berries.

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