Are Laurel Leaves Poisonous? Mountain laurel and other laurels of the genus Kalmia have poisonous leaves, as does cherry laurel, a common garden shrub of the genus Prunus. Bay laurel is not closely related to either of these plants and is a source of the bay leaves used in cooking.
History. Until the mid- to late 19th century, cherry laurel leaves were distilled and made into cherry-laurel water, which was a source of prussic acid, according to The Poison Garden.
Bay (laurel) leaves are frequently packaged as tejpatta (the Hindi term for Indian bay leaf), creating confusion between the two herbs. In the Philippines, dried bay laurel leaves are used in several Filipino dishes such as menudo, beef pares, and adobo. Bay leaves were used for flavouring by the ancient Greeks.
The Prunus laurocerasus has enough of the poison in the leaves to be used by entymologists as a way of killing insect specimens without physical damage. They seal the live insects in a vessel containing the crushed leaves. Confusing the two laurels and using the leaves of this plant as bay in cooking has resulted in poisoning.
Bay tree (Laurus nobilis), also known by various names such as bay laurel, sweet bay, Grecian laurel or true laurel, is appreciated for the aromatic leaves that add a distinctive flavor to a variety of hot dishes.However, this delightful Mediterranean tree has a reputation for being toxic. What’s the real truth about bay leaves? Are they poisonous?
Laurel Hedge WARNING: Common garden plant can quickly turn into deadly CYANIDE ONE of the most common plants used to beautify English gardens across the country turns into deadly cyanide when cut ...
Laurel toxicity occurs following ingestion of leaves, stems, or flowers from the laurel shrub. Hydrogen cyanide poisoning, the toxic ingredient, combines with hemoglobin and oxygen to prevents oxygen from being distributed to the cells. Systemic poisoning often results in poisoning of the heart muscle.
The toxicity of the laurel lies in the neurotoxin that it contains, called grayanotoxin. The toxin is located in the leaves, petals and even pollen of the laurel plant. The grayanotoxin produced in the laurel plant has chemical properties that closely resemble turpentine, and this causes some burning in the mouth when it is chewed.
Toxic Plant Parts. All green plant components, as well as the flowers, twigs and pollen, are poisonous if ingested. Mountain laurel produces andromedotoxin, similar to turpentine and arbutin, a ...
Laurel leaves are said to repel moths and can be placed in closets for protection of cloth items. A poultice made from laurel leaves is traditionally known to treat nettle stings or poison ivy. Laurel leaves are also a popular culinary ingredient.