Sadly, the answer is not pork. But the good news is that it’s a much cheaper and more common ingredient: laurel leaves.
While this leaf is more commonly known in Pinoy households as a staple flavoring in classic dishes like adobo and paella, folks have actually used it as medicinal herb since ancient times. And according to recent scientific research, its ancient use as medicine isn’t just all myth and folklore.
A closer look at the humble laurel sweet bay leaf (laurus nobilis) reveals that it contains potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium. It’s also a good srouce of vitamin B complex (pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and panthothenic acid). All of these chemicals make this common household flavoring a virtual powerhouse of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that promote overall health and wellness.
According to some experts, the laurel bay leaf can be used to speed up the healing of wounds, prevent bacterial infections, optimize digestion, treat acne and other skin infections, alleviate respiratory ailments, lessen the effects of migraine, optimize digestion, and even improve the health of your heart.
There are, of course, plenty of different ways to consume the leaf. Here’s how to turn it into an essential oil that can be rubbed on your skin:
– 30 grams of dried laurel bay leaf
– 200 ml of olive oil
– sealed glass jar
– clean cotton, cheesecloth, or a strainer
Use a mortar and pestle (or just your hands) to crush and grind the laurel leaves as finely as you can, releasing the oils inside the leaves. Once you’re sure that they’re crushed enough, put them in a sealed glass jar with 200ml of olive oil. Leave the concoction in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks, making sure to shake the jar once a day or at least every other day.
After 2 weeks, use a piece of clean cotton, some cheesecloth, or a kitchen strainer to separate the solid leaves from the oil. Make sure that you place the resulting laurel essential oil into a sealed container to prolong its shelf life.
You can use the oils on inflamed joints to ease the pain, rub it on your face to control acne, or rub it on your temples if you’re suffering from a migraine.