Laya and I pride ourselves on making our bone broth as medicinal as possible.
Whether you’re cooking with it or drinking it solely to heal, we want BrothMasters to do you lots of good.
And the little-known truth is, there’s more to a medicinal bone broth than the bones (although of course those matter.)
That’s why we put more bay leaves into the pot than –– we’re pretty sure –– anyone else.
If you’re not familiar with this aromatic leaf’s powers, today’s post is for you!
First of all: don’t worry, you won't see any leaves floating in your pouch of BrothMasters.
After many hours of simmering in the pot, we process the leaves and reinfuse them back into the broth, boosting the healing and nutrients they provide.
But unlike most chefs (who use one leaf in an entire dish) we put copious amounts of leaves into the broth.
We can’t say how many –– that’s one of our trade secrets –– but it’s a lot and it’s all aimed at harnessing the healing properties.
Bay leaf extract has been shown to relieve gastric damage.
Could this be why some customers tell us their stomachs feel better? 🤔
Now, there’s several healing ingredients in BrothMasters — so many, in fact, that it’s impossible to single one of them out and say “THIS is what made somebody’s stomach feel better.”
However, a 2011 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at what happened when bay leaf extract was fed to animals with gastric diseases.
Several different extracts were fed to the animals, each one prepared in a somewhat different way.
Result: “The gastric damage was significantly reduced by all extracts administered.”
Obviously, it’s unclear how this animal study applies to humans with gastric issues, but consider what Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal says in his book Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease:
"Bay leaf has been a traditional remedy to cure indigestion and stomach ulcers. Recently, researchers in Turkey found that bay leaf oil prevented stomach ulcers. Other studies show it can aid digestion by stimulating the healthy secretion of stomach acids that break down food."
We regularly get emails from customers who tell us that drinking BrothMasters gave them relief from stomach issues.
While we can’t say for sure how responsible bay leaf is, or promise anyone the same results, it’s very gratifying to get messages like this one:
Here’s another note we received just recently from an 80-year-old who told us they could not keep anything down:
"Thank you and your Mom a zillion times and more for your bone broth. It keeps me alive. My IBS has been better. I also feel a little stronger. Thanks again truly and sincerely."
However, relief from gastric distress is just one clinically observed benefit of bay leaf.
Bay leaf has also been shown to inhibit colorectal cancer cell growth.
A 2013 study in Nutrition and Cancer discovered promising possibilities for bay leaf in the inhibition of colorectal cancer.
When researchers exposed colon cancer cells to “molecular size fractions” of bay leaf, “variable levels of elevated apoptosis” were observed.
Apoptosis, if you didn’t know, means cell death –– in other words, more colon cancer cells die when exposed to bay leaf than when not.
The researchers concluded: “Bay leaf exerted in vitro bioactivity that might be relevant to protecting against early events in sporadic colorectal cancer with potential for further optimization of bioactivity by size-based fractionation.”
This is a really promising development that scientists are still in the early stages of investigating.
As if that weren’t enough, bay leaves show promise in yet another area of health and wellness.
“Bay Leaves Improve Glucose & Lipid Profile of People With Type 2 Diabetes”
That’s the title of a 2009 study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.
Prior studies had shown that bay leaves improve insulin function in vitro (meaning, in a petri dish.)
This study was the first one conducted to find out if bay leaves could do that in vivo (meaning, in actual diabetic humans.)
Forty people with type 2 diabetes were divided into four groups. The first three groups were given capsules with 1, 2, or 3 grams of ground bay leaves every day for 30 days. The fourth group was given a placebo.
After the 30 days were up, all four groups went through a 10 day “washout” period where they didn’t take anything.
The final results were remarkable:
- All three levels of bay leaves reduced serum glucose with significant decreases ranging from 21% to 26% after 30 days.
- Total cholesterol decreased, 20% to 24%, after 30 days with larger decreases in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of 32% to 40%. LDL is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol.
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) increased 29% and 20% in the groups receiving 1 and 2 grams of bay leaves, respectively. HDL is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol.
- Triglycerides decreased 34% and 25% in the groups consuming 1 and 2 grams of bay leaves, respectively.
There were no significant changes in any of these areas for the group that took the placebo.
The researchers concluded: “This study demonstrates that consumption of bay leaves, 1 to 3 grams per day for 30 days, decreases risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and suggests that bay leaves may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.”
We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes breakdown of why we cook BrothMasters with bay leaves.
And we’re sincerely committed to making BrothMasters the most healing broth you can buy!
-Dorothy & Laya