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All About Indian Bay Leaf | Know Your Spice Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

Four dried bay leaves

Four dried bay leaves

All About Indian Bay Leaf | Know Your Spice Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

It is also known as Indian Bay Leaves, Tejpat, Tajbat, Malabar Leaves

Indian Bay Leaf or Indian Bay Leaves (Cinnamomum tamala) are known as Tej Patta which translates into “pungent leaf”. They are not to be confused with the European Laurel Bay leaves.

European Laurel Bay leaves are more commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine.

Teja Patta or the Indian Bay leaf is used commonly as a spice and tastes more like cinnamon, but milder, and is indeed the leaf of the Cassia (Cinnamomum tamala) tree.

Apart from spice Tej Patta has several health benefits too. Burning Indian Bay Leaf is said to help fatigue, varicose veins, painful joints, and viral infections.

It also  helps by calming the nervous system and boosting mental activity, as well as strengthening immune systems.

What are the other names of Indian Bay Leaf?

Tejpatta names in other languages are given below.
Indian Languages Other Languages
Hindi: Tej Patta
Bengali: Tejpata
Gujarati:
Tamalapatra
Kannada: Tamaala
Malayalam
: Tamalapatram
Marathi: Tamalpatra
Punjabi:
Tejpata, Tezpatta
Sanskrit:
Tamala­pattra, Tamalaka
Tamil:
Talishappattiri, Ilavangapattiri
Telugu:
Talisapatri
Latin (Botanical): Cinnamomum tamala
Arabic: Zarnab
Chinese:
Chai gui
Dutch:

English: Indian Bay Leaf, Indian cassia, Indian cassia bark, Tamala cassia
French:
Laurier des Indes
German: Indisches Lorbeerblatt, Mutterzimt
Italian: –
Spanish:
Swedish
: –

What exactly is Indian Bay Leaf?

Get to know more about Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

Spice card – all about indian bay leaf | know your spice tejpatta (cinnamomum tamala)

Cinnamomum tamala, Indian bay leaf, also known as tejpat, tezapatta, Malabar leaf, Indian bark, Indian cassia, or malabathrum.

It is a tree in the family Lauraceae that is native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. It can grow up to 20 m (66 ft) tall.

Its leaves have a clove-like aroma with a hint of peppery taste; they are used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

It is thought to have been one of the major sources of the medicinal plant leaves known in classic and medieval times as malabathrum (or malobathrum).

Indian bay leaf or malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) differs from bay laurel leaves which are shorter and light – to medium-green in colour with one large vein down the length of the leaf.

Indian bay leaves are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in colour and have three veins running the length of the leaf.

Culinarily, Indian bay leaves are quite different having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon (cassia) bark, but milder.

What is the nutritional value of Indian Bay Leaf?

Find out about the nutritional value of Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

Apart from their wonderful benefits, Indian Bay Leaf is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Using 100 gram of Indian Bay Leaf provides 43 mg of Iron, 8.167 mg of Manganese, 1.74 mg of Vitamin B6, 834 mg of Calcium.

It has 26.3 g of Total dietary Fiber, 74.97 g of Carbohydrate, 46.5 mg of Vitamin C, 0.416 mg of Copper,180 µg of Vitamin B9 and 3.7 mg of Zinc.

What is the chemical composition of Indian Bay Leaf?

Know and understand about chemical composition of Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

The major chemical components of oil is eugenol (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyallylbenzene), (β caryophyllene (6.6%), sabinene (4.8%), germacrene D (4.6%) and curcumenol (2.3%).

The leaf oil is characterized by a high content of sesquiterpenoids (96.8%), dominated mainly by furanosesquiterpenoids (79.3%).

The main constituent of C. tamala leaves are camphene, myrcene, limonene, methyl ether of eugenol and alfapinene.

What is the history of Indian Bay Leaf?

Know more about the origins & the story behind Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

Historically, Indian Bay Leaf is one of the oldest known and used spices.

Tej patta is known as the tamalpatra in Sanskrit. Greek and Roman traders referred to it as the malabathron and malabathrum, respectively. The etymology is derived from the Greek word “Kinnamomon” meaning ‘spice’.

The Greeks borrowed the word from Phoenicians, indicating that they traded with the East from early times, the specific epithet ‘tamala’ is after a local name of the plant in India.

Ancient literature has revealed that in the first century A.D., dried leaves and bark of this plant were prescribed for fever, anemia and body odour.

Its seeds were crushed and mixed with honey or sugar and administered to children for dysentery or cough.

It is one of the three ingredients of ‘trijata’ with Cinnamomum zeylanicum (tavak or dalchini) and Elettaria cardamom, mentioned by Bhavaprakasha.

Trijata is commonly used in Ayurvedic pharmacy in asava and arista preparation to augment the fragrance and to promote the appetite and digestion.

Indian bay leaves might still have been available during the early Middle Ages; some medieval recipes for beer brewing mention folia, but the identification is really unclear.

In any case, at some point of time between late antiquate and High Middle Ages, they fell victim to the multitude of new spices then available, and were forgotten.

They were rediscovered only in the Age of Exploration, when Western scholars for the first time arrived in India and studied its products.

In the 16th Century, Garcia de Orta encountered the leaves while travelling in India and identified them with the spice known only from ancient records.

In the modern world, it was first discovered by a famous Scottish surgeoncum naturalist, Dr. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton, in 1802.

Today, Indian bay-leaves are a spice used almost exclusively in the kitchens of Northern India, especially in the famous Mughal cuisine that was developed at the Imperial courts in Delhi and Agra.

In accordance with the origins of the Mughal dynasty, Moghul cooking contains elements derived from Arabic and Persian cooking.

What are the uses of Indian Bay Leaf?

How is Tejpatta used?
  • Burning Indian Bay Leaf is said to help fatigue, varicose veins, painful joints, and viral infections.
  • It helps by calming the nervous system and boosting mental activity, as well as strengthening immune systems.
  • Trijata, made with Indian Bay Leaves) is commonly used in Ayurvedic pharmacy in asava and arista preparation to augment the fragrance and to promote the appetite and digestion.
  • Indian bay-leaves are a spice used almost exclusively in the kitchens of Northern India.
  • Make an infusion of Tej patta, add it to the shampoo and use it. It helps to treat dandruff.
  • Extract of Indian Bay leaf (Tej patta) oil is used for the treatment of paralysis and muscle pain.
  • The leaves are also kept between clothes to make them smell good.

What does Indian Bay Leaf taste like?

What is the the taste of Tejpatta?

If eaten whole, Indian bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. Tej patta has a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon bark, but milder. The aroma is more closely related to cassia.

How Much Indian Bay Leaf Should I Use?

What is the the recommended quantity of Tejpatta for a day?

1-2 raw dried Tej Patta leaf



What are the ayurvedic properties of Indian Bay Leaf?

Information about ayurvedic details of Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala).

Rasa (Taste): Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), Madhur (sweet)
Guna (Qualities): Laghu (light), Ruksha (dry), Tiksna (sharp)
Veerya (Potency): Ushna (hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Katu (pungent)
Karma (Actions): Pacifies Kapha and Vata dosha.


What can I use Indian Bay Leaf for?

Learn how to use Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala) in your food & beverages.
  • They are used in rice dishes like biryani & meat preparations.
  • It is an ingredient in garam masala.
  • The leaves are often put in preparations to impart fragrance and subtle flavor like soups, stews, curries and broths.
  • The powder is also used for seasoning different kinds of meat and as a pickling herb.
  • Kashmiri cuisine uses Tejpatta extensively.
  • It can also be used in making some of the potent great tea blends.

How do I prepare Indian Bay Leaf for food?

Learn how to prepare Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala) in your food & beverages.

Indian Bay Leaf can be used fresh or dried, and is usually added to dishes at the beginning. Bay leaves are not eaten, but are simmered in a curry or included in a braising liquid.

Powdered or ground tej patta impart more fragrance than the whole leaf itself.

How long does Indian Bay Leaf last?

Learn about how long does Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala) last in storage.

Dried tej patta can be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark spot, such as the spice cabinet or pantry; they will last up to two years before losing their aroma.

How do I store Indian Bay Leaf?

Learn about how to store Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala).
  • Fresh bay leaves can be placed in a sealed zip-top bag and stored in the refrigerator where they will last for a week or two.
  • Dried bay leaves can be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark spot, such as the spice cabinet or pantry; they will last up to two years before losing their aroma.

Is there a substitute for Indian Bay Leaf?

Learn how to use a substitute for Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala) if unavailable

If Indian bay leaf is unavailable, you can substitute with a little cassia, cinnamon, or an extra clove.

Where do I buy Indian Bay Leaf from?

Where to Locate Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala) in the Grocery Store?

You will find them in the spices and herb isle of Indian grocery stores and most Asian grocery stores. To buy online, simply click here.

What are the health benefits of Indian Bay Leaf?

Learn about health benefits of Tejpatta (Cinnamomum tamala)

The following are health benefits of Indian Bay Leaf (Cinnamomum tamala) or Tej Patta

  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf as an Antioxidant – It has high nutritional value and natural antioxidants. Hence, they may boost immune system by removing free radicals from the body and regulating the metabolism.
  • Health Benefits of Tej Patta as an Anticancer Agent – Bay leaf contains caffeic acid, quercetin, eugenol and catechins all of which have chemo-protective properties which offer resistance against different types of cancer.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf as an Anti Inflammatory – The oil extracted from bay leaf has got anti-inflammatory properties which ease the pain resulting from sprains, strains, arthritis, rheumatism as well as general pains and aches.
  • Health Benefits of Tejpatta as an Antimicrobial Agent – Tejpatta provides an effective remedy to treat respiratory diseases such as cold, cough, and other infections. Studies found that antibacterial property present in bay leaf fights against the microbes that cause infections.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Pain Relief – The extracted oil of bay leaves contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to provide great relief from arthritis, sprains, rheumatism, strains, normal pains, and aches.
  • Health Benefits of Tejpatta to Combat Diabetes – Tej Patta has been found to be effective in treating type 2 diabetes as they cause reduction in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Digestion – Tej Patta is good for promoting digestion and can treat digestive disorders such as heartburn and flatulence. Drinking a concoction of bay leaf tea with hot water can alleviate common digestive disorders like constipation, acid reflux and irregular bowel movements.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Kidney Relief – Tejpatta provides an effective remedy to treat kidney stones and diseases related to kidney stones. It dissolves the kidney stones and prevents forming kidney stones.
  • Health Benefits of Tejpatta for your Heart – Tejpatta contains rich amounts of nutrients and powerful medicinal properties that help to prevent cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, strokes, and heart blocks.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Hair Growth – In order to improve the health of the hair follicles and eliminate dandruff, bay leaves are steamed in water and then rubbed on the scalp after shampooing.
  • Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Menstruation – When taken orally, it can induce regular and normal menstruation. They also have the property of curing vaginal discharge.
  • Health Benefits of Tej Patta for Your Mind – If you are feeling worn down due to stress and exhaustion, inhaling its essential oil will help you feel refreshed and energized. This is because the compounds found in this herb, such as cineol, stimulates the nervous system and improves the mood of the individual.
  • Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf for Sleep – Consumption of bay leaves at bedtime helps to induce proper sleep. For this purpose, a few drops of the bay leaf extract is mixed with water and consumed.
  • Health Benefits of Tejpatta for Stress – Tej Patta contain linalool, which helps to reduce stress hormones. The leaves also help to fight depression, obviously, by reducing hormones that cause stress and anxiety in the body.

Four dried bay leaves
Print

Indian Bay Leaf Tea or Tej Patta Chai Recipe

Indian Bay Leaf Tea or Tej Patta Chai Recipe - There are several Indian bay leaf tea or tej patta chai benefits that make it a superb, naturally healthy choice for a beverage. 
Course Beverage, Tea
Cuisine World
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword How to make Indian bay leaf tea, How to make Tej Patta Chai, Indian Bay Leaf Tea, Indian Bay Leaf Tea Recipe, Tej Patta Chai, Tej Patta Chai Recipe
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 5kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 2 Cup water
  • 3 Piece Indian Bay Leaves or Tej Patta

Instructions

  • Pour water in a saucepan and boil it.
  • Add the Indian bay leaves or Tej Patta to it.
  • Steep it overnight.
  • Strain the water and pour into a cup.
  • Enjoy this refreshing drink first thing in the morning.

Notes

  • You can have 2-3 cups of Indian Bay Leaves Tea or Tej Patta Chai during the day.
  • This tea is sweeter and gives a relaxing effect on the body.
  • If you want, you can add some lemon to this as well.

Tools & Equipment Used For This Recipe

The links below the image lead to product links on Amazon.in & Amazon.com respectively

Saucepan

Strainer

FInally! To Sum It Up

All About Indian Bay Leaf (Cinnamomum tamala) | Uses & Health Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf

Spice card – all about indian bay leaf | know your spice tejpatta (cinnamomum tamala)

Cinnamomum tamala, Indian bay leaf, also known as tejpat, tezapatta, Malabar leaf, Indian bark, Indian cassia, or malabathrum.

It is a tree in the family Lauraceae that is native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. It can grow up to 20 m (66 ft) tall.

Its leaves have a clove-like aroma with a hint of peppery taste; they are used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

It is thought to have been one of the major sources of the medicinal plant leaves known in classic and medieval times as malabathrum (or malobathrum).

Indian bay leaf or malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) differs from bay laurel leaves which are shorter and light – to medium-green in colour with one large vein down the length of the leaf.

Indian bay leaves are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in colour and have three veins running the length of the leaf.

Culinarily, Indian bay leaves are quite different having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon (cassia) bark, but milder.

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