I've been reading the Herb Society of America's Herb of the Year book. It's full of recipes and stories from contributors. One entry caught my eye, from Dr. James Duke, that prolific guitar-playing herb researcher. Did you know that bay is helpful in treating diabetes? Here's a quote from the booklet, which is taken from his excellent book, The Green Pharmacy:
"I enjoy the bay-bean Dia Beanie soup with the bay “insulinade” that I proposed in the The Green Pharmacy. Start out with Anderson’s mix: bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric. Add a pinch or two of each of them to a teapot and steep for ten minutes. I’d also add fenugreek which is well proven and a pinch of coriander and cumin (evidence not so strong). In animal studies, both have
been shown to lower blood sugar somewhat and the rosemary, sage and tarragon go as well with the insulinade. Don’t use sugar with the tea and
instead add stevia, a non-nutritive sweetener which has its own hypoglycemic phytochemicals."
And that Old Bay seasoning, which of course contains bay, is useful in helping with arthritis!
"OLD BAY® SEASONING COX2-INHIBITORS AND ARTHRITIS
Arthritis away with OLD BAY®? Wow - OLD BAY® Seasoning has many other COX-2-inhibiting spices in its formulation too. I suppose our herb of the year, bay, like Chesapeake Bay, contributed to the name of the familiar Old Bay®. Both the black and red pepper are important, the red pepper’s very potent
capsaicin and the black pepper’s piperine which facilitates the uptake of the
Old Bay® contains several spices which contain collectively more than 13 COX-
2-Inhibitors: apigenin, caffeic acid, capsaicin (more potent than Vioxx), (+)
catechin, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, 10-gingerol, kaempferol, oleanolic acid, 8-
paradol, parthenolide, quercetin, salicylates, and shogaol," says Dr. Duke.