The bay leaf is an aromatic leaf coming from the bay laurel tree. It doesn't lose flavor when dried and is usually added as a herb in whole form or dried and ground. When dried, the taste of bay leaves reminds faintly of oregano and thyme though the aroma is slightly floral. What are bay leaves The most common bay leaves grow on the bay laurel plant; however other kinds of bay leaves include the Indian bay leaf, the California bay leaf, and the Mexican bay leaf. This plant grows in warm climates, and the leaves are thick and leathery. They are typically for ornamental use. The fresh bay leaves are less aromatic than dry ones, so most recipes call for dried. Additionally, fresh bay leaves are more likely to be expensive and don't last as long.
Health benefits Bay leaves are believed to provide various health benefits as well. Some people prepare tea with their bay leaves, or they might add them to their bathwater. Bay leaves are said to be a remedy for various health problems such as gas, dandruff, or joint pain. Cooking with ground bay leaves also adds small amounts of vitamin.