Home remedy for stress: Relax and de-stress instantly by burning a few bay leaves

This easy and quick home remedy will help you calm down and enjoy a relaxed sleep.

The next time you come home all tired, stressed and drained, and yet have difficulty falling asleep, try this remedy that my grandmother taught me. It calms you instantly and has a de-stressing effect. The remedy is to burn a few bay leaves on a flame, it's that simple. The aromatic fumes of bay leaves (tej patta in Hindi) will calm you down within five minutes! Bay leaves is an interesting spice because it comes with a whole range of benefits. From improving insulin function in diabetics, lowering your risk of cardiovascular diseases to having anti-fungal properties, you can use bay leaves for its innumerable health benefits.

Burning bay leaves, or smudging, is an ancient practice from different parts of the world. When you walk into a spa or a yoga center, you must have smelt a peculiar, even heavy, smell of herbs and leaves being burnt. It is believed that burning herbs and releasing its fumes cleanses the air and affects a person's mood. Thanks to the antioxidant Laurel in bay leaves (the scientific name of bay leaf is Laurus nobilis), which are released with the fumes of burning leaves [1].

Follow these steps to burn bay leaves correctly

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1. Get a few bay leaves, 3-4 should be enough, and wipe it with a tissue to clean it and make sure it is dry.

2. In an aluminium tray, or any heat safe plate, put the leaves.

3. Make sure the tray is away from anything inflammable. Also, do not keep it under the sun or a window. You do not want even the gentlest breeze to blow away the burning leaf.

4. Now hold a burning matchstick near the leaves and let it burn.

5. Alternatively, you can also burn the leaf over a candle.

6. Make sure the room is closed, so that the fumes stay confined.


1. Devi, S Lakshmi, Kannappan, S, Anuradha, C V, Evaluation of in vitro antioxidant activity of Indian bay leaf, Cinnamomum tamala (Buch. -Ham.) T. Nees & Ebermusing rat brain synaptosomes as model system

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