Scientific Name: Laurus nobilis
Folk Names: Daphne, Grecian laurel, Roman laurel, sweet bay, true laurel
Planet: The Sun
Associated Celebrations: SumSol
Deities: Adonis, Aesculapius, Apollo, Artemis, Buddha, Ceres, Cerridwen, Daphne, Gaia, Helios, Mars, Ra
Parts used: Leaves
Magical Properties: Psychic skills, cleansing, purification, protection, healing, consecration, luck, wishes, exorcism, hex-breaking
- Burn bay leaves to induce visions.
- Wear as an amulet to ward off evil and negativity.
- Place a bay leaf under your pillow to induce prophetic dreams.
- Use a bay leaf as a protective bookmark for your magical book.
- Write a wish on a bay leaf and burn it to make the wish come true.
- Add a handful of bay leaves and aniseed for a good, general cleansing bath.
Harvest at sunrise, while facing east, for maximum effect.
Part Used: Leaves
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
Flash Point: 70°C
Scent Type: Herbaceous
Perfume Note: Middle/top
Scent Description: Fresh, herbaceous scent
Warming and calming, helpful with muscle pain, circulation, colds/flus.
- Avoid during pregnancy.
- Be cautious with use around children.
- Can cause skin irritation: use only in low dilutions.
- Sensitising: should be used in moderation, and not for more than 2 weeks consecutively.
The genus Laurus contains only 4 species, who are very similar and overlap in many characteristics.
Plant Height: 7-20m
Leaves: Smooth green leaves 6-12cm long and 2-4cm wide
Flowers: Pale, yellow-green flowers, 1cm across
Fruit: Shiny black, berry-like fruit 1cm across with one seed
In the Garden
Type: Evergreen tree
Light: Full sun to part shade
Water: Do not over-water
Soil: Rich, well-drained soil
Companion Planting: Beans
- If grown in containers, fertilise with water-soluble fertiliser every 3 weeks from spring to late summer.
- When growing in pots, allow soil to dry as autumn approaches. Over winter, allow the soil to dry out between watering.
- Re-pot every other spring, gradually moving to slightly larger pots.