Real laurel ( Laurus nobilis ), illustration
The real laurel ( Laurus nobilis ), also called noble laurel or spice laurel , also called laurel for short , is a species of the laurel genus ( Laurus ) within the laurel family (Lauraceae). It is used as a medicinal and aromatic plant. The name is derived from Middle High German lōrber (for laurel , the fruit of the laurel tree) and Old High German lōr (beri) from synonymous Latin laurus . The (dried) leaves of real laurel used as a spice are also called laurel .
“Laurels” is also used to denote the award of a laurel wreath for an achievement.
The number of chromosomes is 2n = 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66 or 72.
Distribution and culture conditions
Since it is only partially hardy , it only survives in the Rhineland , on Lake Constance and climatically similarly mild areas of Germany with winter protection planted outdoors all year round. On Heligoland you can find some large planted specimens that have been thriving successfully without winter protection since the 1980s. In rougher areas it can only be kept as a container plant . As a planted outdoor plant, it also thrives in southern Ireland and withstands the winters there without any problems due to the climatic conditions.
The fruit (Fructus Lauri), called laurel, contains essential and fatty oils . If the laurels are pressed and boiled, the result is a mixture called Oleum Lauri ( laurel oil , also laurel oil ). It is colored green by chlorophyll and is an ointment-like mass that melts at 36 ° C. In detail, the fruit contains up to 30% fatty oil and about 1% essential oil ( terpenes , sesquiterpenes , alcohols and ketones ).
The leaf contains 1.3% essential oil (Ol. Lauri folii), therein 45% cineole , 12% terpenes, 3-4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol and further α- and β-pinene, phellandrene , linalool , geraniol and terpineol . Substances (G / O).
The real bay leaf is used as a spice plant: the aroma of the leaves of the bay tree goes well with soups , stews , meat dishes, but also with fish . The leaves are also used to season pickled cucumbers and herrings , for brawns and to flavor vinegar . Bay leaves are part of the bouquet garni in French cuisine.
Plant species with aromatic leaves exist throughout the flora. Many of them are called laurel, although they hardly show any similar taste to real laurel. These include the Indian laurel ( Cinnamomum tamala ), the West Indian laurel ( Pimenta racemosa ), the Indonesian laurel ( Syzygium polyanthum ), the California laurel ( Umbellularia californica ) and the Mexican laurel ( Litsea glaucescens ). Most of these plants are only used in their area of origin.
Bay fruits ( Fructus Lauri , laurels ) used to be used in skin-irritating ointments.
They were also as an insect repellent and, as an antiparasitic agent used in an ointment, for example against lice and scabies mites . Because of the possibility of allergic contact dermatitis , the use of the ointment is not safe from a medical point of view. Furthermore, Fruct. Lauri is prescribed for dairy cattle against udder diseases and as an oestrus for cows and pigs.
Laurel oil is a buttery, greenish mass that melts at around 30 ° C and is obtained by pressing out the warmed and chopped bay fruits. Bay oil can also be obtained by distilling bay leaves. It consists of around 95 percent fatty oil and 5 percent essential oil. Laurel oil is used medicinally for rubbing in, is used for bruises , sprains and rheumatic complaints and for hematomas . In horses, hyperaemia rubbing in on the hoof promotes horn growth. In addition, the oil is now used as a fragrance component in perfumery and for liqueurs. Laurel oil also contains the Aleppo soap used for body cleansing, skin care and healing , depending on the recipe, an oil content of two to 60 percent during production.
It has been claimed that the real bay leaves cause trance and impaired consciousness when consumed in large quantities. However, this has not been scientifically proven. It is believed that the visions of the priestesses of the Oracle of Delphi were influenced by the consumption of laurel. In the Middle Ages , laurel was considered a cure for the plague . In addition, laurel had a reputation for protecting against magic and fire.
The origin of the botanical genus name for the formerly Lorbaum called laurel tree ( Laurus ) is unknown, however, recalls the ancient Greek name daphne (δάφνη) because the nymph Daphne by her called to help father, the river god Peneus was turned into a laurel bush, in order to avoid the stalemates of Apollo . As a token of his grief over the unrequited love, he wore a laurel wreath made of twigs .
The Greek name of laurel has been adopted in some languages of Southeast Europe and the Middle East : Hebrew aley daphna (עלי דפנה), Turkish defne , Albanian dafinë , Bulgarian dafinov list (дафинов лист), Romanian dafin . In modern Greek the name has been preserved anyway (δάφνη, pronunciation: dafni ).
When entering the city of Rome as a successful triumphant , the general was wreathed with laurel ( Corona triumphalis ). With the transition to the empire, the Roman emperors also wore a laurel wreath, and later it was also won at games. The laurel wreath literally stands for a special distinction to this day. He is considered a symbol of fame, victory and peace. In the Anglo-Saxon region there is the official title of poet laureate (“laurel-crowned poet”).
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