Bay essential oil is obtained from the bay tree, an evergreen tree that originated in the West Indies, but is now harvested mostly in Morocco and Spain. The bay oil (Pimenta racemosa) is often confused with the bay laurel essential oil (Laurus nobilis). While these two plant oils share similar qualities, they come from two different plants.1
Since its discovery in the 20th century, bay rum has been used as a tonic to treat muscle problems. It was found later on that the essential oil of bay, also known as bay oil or bay rum oil, contained antimicrobial compounds and other beneficial properties. Discover more about this spicy plant oil by reading the information below.
The essential oil of bay owes its analgesic properties to three chemical constituents: eugenol, chavicol (estragole), and myrcene. Because of the presence of eugenol, the oil can cause irritations and should be used under the guidance of an aromatherapy practitioner.
Attributes & characteristics
Bay essential oil is obtained from the bay tree, an evergreen tree that originated in the West Indies, but is now harvested mostly in Morocco and Spain. The bay oil (Pimenta racemosa) is often confused with the bay laurel essential oil (Laurus nobilis).
From: West Indies
Like bay rum, West Indies bay oil is frequently used in cosmetics and perfumery, specifically in men’s personal care products. It also works as a skin toner and can help against razor burns and breakouts on skin.3 Unlike other plant oils, like rose or geranium oils (which are more “feminine”), its spicy and masculine aroma makes it a good choice for men.
One of the main benefits of bay oil is its ability to help ease pain brought by neuralgia,6 which is severe pain that occurs due to a damaged nerve. It can also assist in stimulating blood vessel contraction, and relieve pressure on the nerves. This can considerably alleviate pain.
Bay oil is primarily used topically. It can be used as a massage oil, or added to burners and vaporizers. Its effects, however, may vary depending on the amount you use. Higher amounts of bay oil may produce a sedating effect, while smaller amounts can serve as a stimulant.11
It is also crucial to remember that bay oil, as well as bay rum and the fruit of the Bay tree, possesses toxic properties and should not be ingested.13
Effects on the skin
Undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritations, and bay essential oil is no different. Prior to use, it must first be mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Bay oil blends well with several essential oils, including eucalyptus, lavender, geranium, rosemary, thyme, and orange oils. Although bay oil works as an antiseptic and decongestant for respiratory ailments, the oil’s eugenol content can irritate mucous membranes and skin. It should be used sparingly or upon the advice of a physician or professional aromatherapist.
Essential Oil Information
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated any statement or product on this website. No implied or inferred claims are made by Beyond Scents as to the medicinal or psychological value of any products provided or referenced. The information presented here is for educating our customers about the traditional uses of essential oils and body products and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. You are responsible for researching and understanding the safe use and application of any products listed or referred to.
Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, perfume oils, absolutes or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you have any question as to the medical use of any essential or perfume oil, be sure and consult your physician prior to their use. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. Always consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils for yourself or for children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you've never used before. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read 'Essential Oil Safety' by Robert Tisserand, his book is available at Amazon.com.