Bay Laurel
Overview
The bay laurel also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, or simply laurel, is an aromatic evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 or large shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

 with green, glossy leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

, native to the Mediterranean region. It is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking. Under the simpler name "laurel," Laurus nobilis figures prominently in classical Greek, Roman, and Biblical culture.

Worldwide, many other kinds of plants in diverse families are also called "bay" or "laurel," generally due to similarity of foliage or aroma to Laurus nobilis, and the full name is used for the California bay laurel (Umbellularia
Umbellularia
Umbellularia californica is a large tree native to coastal forests of California and slightly extended into Oregon.It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia....

),
also in the family Lauraceae.
The laurel can vary greatly in size and height, sometimes reaching 10 – tall.
Encyclopedia
The bay laurel also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, or simply laurel, is an aromatic evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 or large shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

 with green, glossy leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

, native to the Mediterranean region. It is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking. Under the simpler name "laurel," Laurus nobilis figures prominently in classical Greek, Roman, and Biblical culture.

Worldwide, many other kinds of plants in diverse families are also called "bay" or "laurel," generally due to similarity of foliage or aroma to Laurus nobilis, and the full name is used for the California bay laurel (Umbellularia
Umbellularia
Umbellularia californica is a large tree native to coastal forests of California and slightly extended into Oregon.It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia....

),
also in the family Lauraceae.

Characteristics

The laurel can vary greatly in size and height, sometimes reaching 10 – tall. Laurus
Laurus
-Overview:Laurus is a genus of evergreen trees belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The genus includes three species, whose diagnostic key characters often overlap ....

is a genus of evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae
Lauraceae
The Lauraceae or Laurel family comprises a group of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. The family contains about 55 genera and over 3500, perhaps as many as 4000, species world-wide, mostly from warm or tropical regions, especially Southeast Asia and South America...

. The genus includes three species, whose diagnostic key characters often overlap (Mabberley 1997).

The laurel is dioecious (unisexual), with male and female flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s on separate plants. Each flower is pale yellow-green, about 1 cm diameter, and they are born in pairs beside a leaf. The leaves are 6–12 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with a characteristic finely-serrated and wrinkled margin. The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is a small, shiny black berry about 1 cm long.

Ecology



Laurus nobilis and Ilex aquifolium are widespread relics of the laurisilva
Laurisilva
Laurisilva or laurissilva is a subtropical forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterised by evergreen, glossy-leaved tree species that look alike with leaves of lauroide type...

 forests that originally covered much of the Mediterranean Basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 when the climate of the region was more humid. With the drying of the Mediterranean during the Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

 era, the laurel forests gradually retreated, and were replaced by the more drought-tolerant sclerophyll
Sclerophyll
Sclerophyll is the term for a type of vegetation that has hard leaves and short internodes . The word comes from the Greek sclero and phyllon ....

 plant communities familiar today. Most of the last remaining laurisilva forests around the Mediterranean are believed to have disappeared approximately ten thousand years ago at the end of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 era, when the Mediterranean Basin became drier and with a harsher climate, although some remnants of the laurel forest flora still persist in the mountains of southern Turkey, northern Syria, southern Spain, north-central Portugal and northern Morocco. Indigenous laurisilva forest also persists in Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

 near the North Atlantic Ocean, which has moderated these climatic fluctuations.

The ecological requirements of the species, are those of the laurel forest
Laurel forest
Laurel forest is a subtropical or mild temperate forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterized by tree species with evergreen, glossy, enlongated leaves, known as laurophyll or lauroide...

 and like most of their counterparts laurifolia in the world, it is vigorous species with a great ability to populate the habitat that is conducive. Laurus nobilis responded to favourable climatic periods and expanded across the available habitat. Laurus nobilis occur as opportunistic species across wide distribution with close relatives and few species, indicating the recent divergence of this species. The extant laurel species of this group are relatively young.

The laurus genus is characteristic of the formations of laurel forest
Laurel forest
Laurel forest is a subtropical or mild temperate forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterized by tree species with evergreen, glossy, enlongated leaves, known as laurophyll or lauroide...

 and was more widespread in the Tertiary. It has led to endemic species on islands, but not so widespread geographically as in the past.
The genus come from a few relict species living in temperate areas and more distributed in the Tertiary. The main centers are found inhabiting montane forests or coastal forest in low-altitude. Laurus nobilis species have adapted to more extreme conditions but mostly depending on favorable soil edaphic conditions, as presence of aquifers, groundwater periodic flows, etc.

The patterns of speciation in the Lauraceae
Lauraceae
The Lauraceae or Laurel family comprises a group of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. The family contains about 55 genera and over 3500, perhaps as many as 4000, species world-wide, mostly from warm or tropical regions, especially Southeast Asia and South America...

 family, where laurus genus belong, indicate that since the onset of aridification on the continents 15 million years ago, rainforest diversified in species numbers with the majority of species the product of vicariance
Vicariance
Vicariance is a process by which the geographical range of an individual taxon, or a whole biota, is split into discontinuous parts by the formation of a physical barrier to gene flow or dispersal. Vicariance of whole biotas occurs following large-scale geophysical events such as the uplift of a...

. One of the products of aridification is the current island like archipelagos of rainforests along the planet. The fragmentation of once more continuous rainforest facilitated isolation of populations and this likely caused the increase in the rate of speciation as found in the Lauraceae.
In Europe the genus is represented by a single species, the named Laurus nobilis. In macaronesian islands this former arose from a common ancestor in the area of laurisilva
Laurisilva
Laurisilva or laurissilva is a subtropical forest, found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable and mild temperatures. They are characterised by evergreen, glossy-leaved tree species that look alike with leaves of lauroide type...

 in the Mediterranean area. The islander laurels of Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

 in the eastern Atlantic, are closely related to this species.
A recent study found that native stands classified as L. nobilis in northern Spain shared greater genetic and morphological similarity to L. azorica than to populations of L. nobilis native to rest of Spain, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 [Arroyo-Garcia et al. 2001]. This populations like the Cortegada Island
Cortegada Island
Cortegada is an island in the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain. It is part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park.Originally a village of the municipally of O Carril , it was offered as a present to King Alfonso XIII at the start of XX century, then sold to a private company...

 population, in Galicia, famous for its large grove of laurels, come from seeds dispersed by birds but is not indigenous to the island, as this islander forest originated spontaneously from laurel specimens that were planted after the original vegetation was destroyed.

Fossils dating from before the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 glaciations show that species of Laurus were formerly distributed more widely around the Mediterranean and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, when the climate was more humid and mild than at present. It is currently thought that the drying of the Mediterranean basin during the glaciations caused Laurus to retreat to the mildest climate refuges, including southern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and the Macaronesia
Macaronesia
Macaronesia is a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean near Europe and North Africa belonging to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde...

n islands. With the end of the last glacial period, L. nobilis recovered some of its former range around the Mediterranean.

Chemical constituents

The most abundant essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

 found in laurel is cineole, also called eucalyptol. The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils (ol. lauri folii), consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% terpene
Terpene
Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers, though also by some insects such as termites or swallowtail butterflies, which emit terpenes from their osmeterium. They are often strong smelling and thus may have had a protective...

s, 3-4% sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of three isoprene units and have the molecular formula C15H24. Like monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes may be acyclic or contain rings, including many unique combinations...

s, 3% methyleugenol, and other α- und β-pinene
Pinene
Pinene is a bicyclic monoterpene chemical compound. There are two structural isomers of pinene found in nature: α-pinene and β-pinene. As the name suggests, both forms are important constituents of pine resin; they are also found in the resins of many other conifers, as well as in non-coniferous...

s, phellandrene
Phellandrene
Phellandrene is the name for a pair of organic compounds that have a similar molecular structure and similar chemical properties. α-Phellandrene and β-phellandrene are cyclic monoterpenes and are double-bond isomers. In α-phellandrene, both double bonds are endocyclic and in β-phellandrene, one...

, linalool, geraniol
Geraniol
Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol. It is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil . It also occurs in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils. It appears as a clear to pale-yellow oil that is insoluble in water, but soluble in most common...

, and terpineol
Terpineol
Terpineol is a naturally occurring monoterpene alcohol that has been isolated from a variety of sources such as cajuput oil, pine oil, and petitgrain oil. There are three isomers, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-terpineol, the last two differing only by the location of the double bond...

.

Both essential and fatty oils are present in the fruit. The fruit is pressed and water-extracted to obtain these products. The fruit contains up to 30% fatty oils and about 1% essential oils (terpenes, sesquiterpenes, alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

s, and ketone
Ketone
In organic chemistry, a ketone is an organic compound with the structure RCR', where R and R' can be a variety of atoms and groups of atoms. It features a carbonyl group bonded to two other carbon atoms. Many ketones are known and many are of great importance in industry and in biology...

s).

Food

The plant is the source of several popular spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s used in a wide variety of recipes, particularly among Mediterranean cuisines. Most commonly, the aromatic leaves
Bay leaf
Bay leaf refers to the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel . Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance. The leaves are often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean cuisine...

 are used, fresh or dried. For cooking purposes, whole bay leaves have a long shelf life
Shelf life
Shelf life is the length of time that food, drink, medicine, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption...

 of about one year, under normal temperature and humidity. Bay leaves are used almost exclusively as flavour agents during the food preparation stage; even when cooked, whole bay leaves can be sharp and abrasive enough to damage internal organs, so they are typically removed from dishes before serving, unless used as a simple garnish.
Ground bay leaves, however, can be ingested safely and are often used in soup
Soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

s and stocks
Stock (food)
Stock is a flavoured water preparation. It forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups and sauces.- Preparation :Stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water, including some or all of the following...

, as well as being a common addition to a Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary (cocktail)
A Bloody Mary is a popular cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, Peri-Peri Sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consomme or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olive, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt...

. Dried laurel berries and pressed leaf oil can both be used as robust spices, and even the wood can be burnt for strong smoke flavouring.

Traditional medicine

Aqueous
Aqueous solution
An aqueous solution is a solution in which the solvent is water. It is usually shown in chemical equations by appending aq to the relevant formula, such as NaCl. The word aqueous means pertaining to, related to, similar to, or dissolved in water...

 extract
Extract
An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material, often by using a solvent such as ethanol or water. Extracts may be sold as tinctures or in powder form....

s of bay laurel can also be used as astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

s and even as a reasonable salve for open wounds.

In massage therapy, the essential oil of bay laurel is reputed to alleviate arthritis and rheumatism, while in aromatherapy
Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function or health....

, it is used to treat earaches and high blood pressure. A traditional folk remedy
Folk medicine
-Description:Refers to healing practices and ideas of body physiology and health preservation known to a limited segment of the population in a culture, transmitted informally as general knowledge, and practiced or applied by anyone in the culture having prior experience.All cultures and societies...

 for rashes caused by poison ivy
Poison ivy
Toxicodendron radicans, better known as poison ivy , is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it...

, poison oak
Poison oak
Poison oak may refer to* Toxicodendron diversilobum, grows on West Coast of North America* Toxicodendron pubescens, grows in the Eastern United Statesdamnnnnn tissss is terribleee...

, and stinging nettle
Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle or common nettle, Urtica dioica, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of the nettle genus Urtica...

 is a poultice
Poultice
A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed, or painful part of the body. It can be used on wounds such as cuts...

 soaked in boiled bay leaves.

The chemical compound lauroside B isolated from Laurus nobilis is an inhibitor of human melanoma
Melanoma
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye...

 (skin cancer) cell proliferation at high concentrations.

Other uses

Laurel is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

 in regions with Mediterranean
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 or oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

s, and as a house plant or greenhouse plant in colder regions.

Laurel oil is a main ingredient, and the distinguishing characteristic of Aleppo soap
Aleppo soap
Aleppo soap is a handmade, hard bar soap. Aleppo soap is also known as savon d'Alep, laurel soap, or ghar soap . It derives its English and French names from the city of Aleppo, Syria, where it is reputed to have been made for thousands of years...

. Aleppo soap is revered worldwide for its skin care properties.

Symbolism

Bay laurel was used to fashion the laurel wreath
Laurel wreath
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel , an aromatic broadleaf evergreen. In Greek mythology, Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head...

 of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, a symbol of highest status. A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Games
Pythian Games
The Pythian Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, a forerunner of the modern Olympic Games, held every four years at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi....

 because the games were in honor of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

, and the laurel was one of his symbols.

Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 tells the story that laurel tree was first formed when the nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 Daphne was changed into a laurel tree because of Apollo's pursuit
Apollo and Daphne
Apollo and Daphne is a story from ancient Greek mythology, retold by Hellenistic and Roman authors in the form of an amorous vignette;The curse of Apollo, the god of the sun and music, was brought onto him when he insulted the young Eros Apollo and Daphne is a story from ancient Greek mythology,...

 of her. Daphne is the Greek name for the tree.

The symbolism carried over to Roman culture, which held the laurel as a symbol of victory. It is also the source of the words baccalaureate
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

and poet laureate
Poet Laureate
A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events...

, as well as the expressions "assume the laurel" and "resting on one's laurels".

In the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, the laurel is often an emblem of prosperity and fame. In Christian tradition, it symbolizes the resurrection of Christ.

In Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore includes songs, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.-Folktales:...

, there is a great laurel tree on the moon, and the Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 name for the laurel, , literally translates to "moon-laurel". This is the subject of a story of Wu Gang
Wu Gang
Wu Gang, or Wu Kang, is a character in Chinese folklore and Taoism. He is known for endlessly cutting down a self-healing Bay Laurel on the Moon. The story has often been associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival...

, a man who aspired to immortality and neglected his work. When the deities discovered this, they sentenced Wu Gang to fell the laurel tree, whereupon he could join the ranks of the deities; however, since the laurel regenerated immediately when cut, it could never be felled. The phrase ("Wu Gang chops the tree") is sometimes used to refer to endless toil, analogous to the legend of Sisyphus
Sisyphus
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity...

 in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

.

See also

  • Cherry laurel
  • California Bay Laurel
    Umbellularia
    Umbellularia californica is a large tree native to coastal forests of California and slightly extended into Oregon.It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia....

  • Spotted laurel
    Aucuba japonica
    Aucuba japonica, the spotted laurel, is a shrub native to woods in lowland and mountains all over Japan and China. In rich forest soils of moist valleys, dense forests, thickets, by streams and near shaded moist rocks in China. The leaves are opposite, broad lanceolate, 5-8 cm long and...


External links

  • MeSH: Laurus - Laurus nobilis (Bay Laurel)
  • MeSH: 3-oxo-eudesma-1,4(15),11(13)triene-12,6alpha-olide [Substance Name]
  • MeSH: anhydroperoxycostunolide [Substance Name]
  • MeSH: magnolialide [Substance Name]
  • PubMed search: "Laurus"[MAJR]
  • PubMed search: "anhydroperoxycostunolide" OR "magnolialide" OR "3-oxo-eudesma-1,4(15),11(13)triene-12,6alpha-olide"
  • PubMed: Laurus nobilis, induces apoptosis in human melanoma cells
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