Monday, 7 August 2017

I have a question, or actually three... on bay leaf

Bay leaf and more bay leaf. A million questions...! 

It took me quite a while to find sometime to research on these matters. That, and the fact that I don't want to make this blog talk exclusively of bay leaf. There is loads of important toxicology issues to debate, inform and learn about; why focusing so much on bay leaf.

But the audience likes the topic, I like the audience, matching 2 and 2 together results in 3. Yes, today and only today 2+2 = 3 questions answered on bay leaf.

1) From an anonymous person who's asking us about the properties of bay leave for curing bunions. For those who aren't familiar with the term, a bunion is, according to the NHS website a 'bone deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe'. Considering that I'm no medical doctor and that any patient suffering with such ailment should definitely seek treatment with one, all I can say is that as a home-remedy I have not found scientific information on bay leaf curing bunions. Anecdotal reports??? Loads of them, they're all over the web and you can do with such information whatever you feel like. My personal advice is that for an issue that often derives from autoimmune complications, like rheumatoid arthritis, or emerges from genetic proneness traced back through one's family tree, a simple assessment is not the brightest approach. In addition, these websites base their results on bay leaf as drinking tea and oil as ointment, and on the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant itself. Bay leaves contain Eugenol that is a chemopreventive substance [1], meaning this chemical has the potential to inhibit/stop a certain disease process. In that sense, it might induce anti-inflammatory responses, like when one is afflicted with bunions. 

2) Lolo Gibbins, a reader of The Toxicologist Today, presented me with a very different question concerning the use of bay leaves to get rid of rats. I will not prolong this one request for long. Using specifically bay leaf as a pesticide against rats... or rodents... I never heard of. Not meaning it's impossible, but I never heard of. What I heard about is of a quite recent article by Chaudhary et al (2017) [2] that discusses the advances in the knowledge gained on the potential of Azadirachta indica (also known popularly as neem leaves  - post image) as a biopesticide. As you may know biopesticides also encompass rodenticides (a substance capable of killing rodents). It's worth reading. And if you are willing to pay me for the time invested, I can read  itand summarise it for you ;) 

3) And the last one comes from an unknown reader who have questioned me on if bay leaves combustion fumes are toxic for cats. My answer couldn't be blunter and humbler. I simply do not know and found no information whatsoever on the matter. Probably the best advice is indeed for the reader to revisit that post on the toxicology of burning bay leaf wood as a source of fuel that can be accessed HERE.

1) Hussain, A., Brahmbhatt, K., Priyani, A., Ahmed, M., Rizvi, T. A., Sharma, C. (2011). "Eugenol enhances the chemotherapeutic potential of gemcitabine and induces anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory activity in human cervical cancer cells". Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals, 26(5), pp. 519-527.

[2] Chaudhary, S., Kanwar, R. K., Sehgal, A., Cahill, D. M., Barrow, C. J., Sehgal., R., Kanwar, J. R. (2017). "Progress on Azadirachta indica based biptesticies in replacing synthetic toxic pesticides". Frontiers in Plant Science, 8(610), pp. 1-13.

Post image kindly taken from Neem, Dr. Haushcka, [].

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