Indian Bay Leaf - The Aromatic Spice & Herb

Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta)

Introduction To Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta)

Indian Bay Leaf, scientifically known as Cinnamomum tamala, and commonly known as Tejpatta or Tejpat, is a tree in the family Lauraceae that is native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Himalayas, specifically in Nepal, India, and Southeast Asia up to around 300 - 2500 meters above sea level. The leaves of the Cinnamomum Tamala tree - a large evergreen that can grow up to 20 meters tall - are responsible for this unique taste reminiscent of cinnamon and cloves. The leaves are long and wide and are usually olive green in colour. The plant Grows best in tropical and subtropical environments. It requires full sun and well-drained soil, though they are relatively tolerant of drought. However, regular watering tends to yield greater leaf production. 

Tejpatta is frequently used in a range of dishes like curries, stews, and rice-based meals, along with traditional medicine to treat various health issues such as respiratory and digestive conditions. It is also an important ingredient in the spice blend known as  "garam masala", which translates to "Hot Spice". In Nepal and surrounding areas, people use whole cinnamon leaves in tea preparation, infusing the beverage with its distinctive flavor.   

Medicinal Uses and Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta)

Tejpatta is packed with a variety of medicinal and health benefits and has been recognised and utilised in the traditional forms of medicine for centuries. It's full of bioactive compounds that give it its incredible therapeutic properties. Modern clinical research on tejpatta has also validated its medical significance, though in some cases more research is still needed. Here are some of the top health benefits you can get from using tejpatta:

Improved Digestive Health

Tejpatta works wonders for your digestion by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes, enhancing nutrient absorption, and soothing any digestive discomfort.

Reduced Inflammation

Tejpatta is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that can help alleviate inflammation and bring relief to issues like arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Better Respiratory Health

Traditionally, tejpatta has been used to treat respiratory problems such as coughs, colds, bronchitis, and congestion. Its expectorant properties help clear out mucus and open up your airways.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Tejpatta has shown promise in managing blood sugar levels by boosting insulin sensitivity and keeping glucose metabolism in check. This could be particularly helpful for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing it.

Manage Cholesterol Level

It's loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that work together to lower total blood cholesterol, LDL (the bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. Additionally, the heart-friendly fats found in Tejpatta help boost the levels of good cholesterol, making it a perfect choice for your heart health. 

Antimicrobial Benefits

Tejpatta boasts antimicrobial properties that may help fight off certain bacterial and fungal infections.

Acts as Diuretic

Tejpatta acts as a diuretic as it increases the production of urine and also the concentration of potassium and sodium salts in the urine. 

Relief from Stress

Due to its anxiolytic activity, It is believed that tejpatta has stress-relieving properties and helps in reducing the severity, frequency, and duration of anxiety and depression, thus giving relief from stress and encourage relaxation and tranquility.

While tejpatta does offer many potential health benefits, it's always recommended to speak with a healthcare professional or herbalist before using it for medicinal purposes, especially in case of any existing health issues or are on medications.

How to Incorporate Tejpatta into Cooking??

It is no secret that Tejpatta offers many health benefits. But in everyday life, the frequency of its use for cooking is more than its use medicinal benefits, as cooking is a daily activity. Hence it is important to learn the different ways we can add tejpatta to our daily meals. But we should be careful not to use too much, as it can easily overpower the dish. By experimenting with various techniques, we'll find the perfect balance and bring out the charming flavors of tejpatta in our dishes:- 

  • Add whole tejpatta leaves to your rice to give it a wonderful aroma and taste but it should be taken out before serving. 
  • Add tejpatta in spice mixtures like garam masala or curry powder to increase the richness and intricacy of flavors in your meals. 
  • Use powdered tejpatta as a seasoning in meat, poultry, or seafood marinades for a unique and aromatic flavor. 
  • Put tejpatta leaves in warm milk or cream to make a scented base for custards, puddings, or creamy sweets.
  • Include a few tejpatta leaves while simmering soups, stews, or curries to improve the taste. 
  • Add crushed or ground tejpatta to doughs used for bread, naan, or other baked items to infuse them with a distinct scent. 
  • Combine tejpatta leaves with your preferred tea leaves for a delicious and fragrant tea blend. 
  • Use tejpatta leaves as wrappers when steaming fish or vegetables to infuse them with the leaf's scent during cooking.
  • Toast tejpatta leaves in an empty pan for several seconds to amplify their aroma before grinding them into powder for seasoning. 
  • Gently heat tejpatta leaves in oil to extract their flavors and create infused oil for sautéing or drizzling over dishes. 
  • Put tejpatta leaves into pickling solutions or vinegar-based dressings for an unusual flavor twist. 
  • Incorporate tejpatta leaves into chutneys or sauces to enhance the depth and complexity of your accompaniments.

Non-Medicinal Uses and Benefits of Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta)

Tejpatta's delightful aroma and multifaceted uses allow it to fit in not just within the realm of cooking and herbal medicine but also in various other settings. It enhances our surroundings and provides practical benefits across different aspects of everyday life.  Here are a few notable examples:

Flavor Enhancer

Tejpatta is often used as a seasoning in many dishes, giving a unique and aromatic flavor to curries, stews, and rice dishes.

Food Preserver

Tejpatta's strong aroma makes it an effective preservative for food. Adding these leaves to stored grains, lentils, or dried herbs can keep pests away and maintain freshness.

Natural Air Freshener

Dried tejpatta leaves act as an excellent air freshener, emanating a lovely and invigorating aroma in indoor spaces.

Insect Repellant

Tejpatta's scent is known to ward off insects. Placing these leaves on pantry shelves or near stored clothes can help keep pests like moths and ants at bay.

Potpourri and Art Projects

Incorporating dried tejpatta leaves into potpourri mixtures or using them in arts and crafts adds a touch of nature's beauty and fragrance.

Commercially Available Products of Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta)

Tejpatta has gained popularity thanks to the many advantages it offers. Its consumption comes in many forms; whether it's through tea or decoction, whole leaves added during cooking or ground into powder form, or even through extracted oils from the leaves themselves. This adaptable spice is famous for its unique taste and aroma, making it an essential component in a variety of products. To bring its goodness into the everyday life of the people and enjoy all its benefits, a wide range of its products are available in the market, some of which are mentioned below:

Spice Mixes

As a vital part of spice combinations like garam masala and curry powders, tejpatta contributes its unique taste and fragrance.

Herbal Teas and Infusions

The leaves of tejpatta are commonly used to create herbal teas and infusions, offering a distinctive flavor and possible health advantages.

Essential Oils

Extracted from the leaves, tejpatta essential oil is popular in aromatherapy, perfume-making, and skin care products thanks to its aromatic qualities.

Aromatic Candles and Home Scents

The pleasing smell of tejpatta is harnessed in items such as scented candles, incense sticks, room sprays, and other home fragrance goods, bringing a fresh and natural aroma to indoor areas.

Herbal Hair Care Products

Tejpatta is present in various herbal hair care items like shampoos, conditioners, and hair oils, reputed for promoting hair wellness and tackling common hair problems.

Ayurvedic Remedies

In the realm of Ayurveda, tejpatta is utilized in numerous herbal concoctions and supplements designed to target specific health issues.


To sum up, Indian bay leaf, also known as tejpatta, is an amazing spice that has numerous benefits and uses. Its distinct aroma and flavor and several potential health benefits make it an essential and useful in the everyday life of the people. By embracing its diverse uses and benefits, we can uncover its full potential and enrich our lives.