Many herbs and plants have ancient roots in folklore and are linked to ancient Greek tales and traditions.
Bay leaves are easily obtained in many supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, and often used to flavour curries. Whilst they have antibacterial properties and work well in a biriyani, they also have more magical and mystical abilities.
In ancient Greece, bay leaves were thought to represent victory and power, and anyone who had a bay tree growing next to their house would be protected from illness. Said to protect against evil and as a way to physically and morally cleanse, this plant is all about clearing out the old and anything negative and welcoming a new, powerful energy. The fresh or dried leaf can also be placed under your pillow at night to encourage prophetic dreams (ones that let you see into the future).
At this time of year, we can see many traditions taking place, and this is one that can be easily practiced at home. If you’re in need of warding off negativity (especially when the in-laws visit at Christmas!), illness during cold and flu season, or you’re looking for something to relax your mind and inspire a more positive outlook, grab some bay leaves and burn just one leaf at a time to release the aroma.