Tejpata (Indian Bay Leaf) – Cinnamomum Tamala

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Tejpata (also spelled as Tej Patta, Tejpatta, and Tejpat, in English named as Indian Bay Leaf, and botanically Cinnamomum Tamala) is an Indian spice as well as ayurvedic medicine. It is commonly used in Indian Kitchen for enhancing the taste of the different foods. Additionally, it stimulates the digestive enzymes, which helps to improve digestion of food and increases the bioavailability of the nutrients during the digestion process in the intestine.

In Ayurveda, Tejpata used to reduce AMA toxins in the body and for the problems with the digestive health. It reduces gas formation, flatulence, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea, common cold and asthma.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

Botanically, Tejpata is recognized as Cinnamomum Tamala and belongs to Lauraceae (laurels) family and a relative of cinnamon.

Common Names

Botanical NameCinnamomum Tamala
English NameIndian Bay Leaf, Indian Cassia, Malabar Leaf, Indian Bark, Malabathrum
Hindi NameTej Patta, Tejpatta And Tejpat
Sanskrit NameTamalpattara

Botanical Classification (Plant Taxonomy)

KingdomPLANTAE
Sub-KingdomVIRIDIPLANTAE
Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA (Land Plants)
Super DivisionEMBRYOPHYTA
DivisionTRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)
ClassMAGNOLIOPSIDA
Super OrderMagnolianae
OrderLaurales
FamilyLauraceae  (laurels)
GenusCinnamomum (cinnamon)
SpeciesCinnamomum Tamala (C. Tamala) – Indian Bark

MEDICINAL PARTS

The dried leaves of Cinnamomum Tamala plant/tree are called Tejpatta and used as a spice and in ayurvedic medicine. The flowers of this plant are also used in folk medicine.

PHYTOCHEMISTRY (Chemical Composition)

The leaves (Tej Patta) of Cinnamomum Tamala contain a volatile oil, which contains phytochemical constituents such as MONOTERPENES and SESQUITERPENES.

The essential oil and oleoresins in Cinnamomum Tamala leaves contain EUGENOL.  EUGENOL is responsible for the anti-bacterial and anti-fungi activities of the Indian Bay Leaf (Tejpatta). So, it can also be used in human yeast infections.

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIONS

Tejpatta (Indian Bay Leaf) is an antioxidant. When it is added in fat rich food, it increases the shelf-life by preventing oxidative degradation of lipids. So, it can become the alternative to synthetic antioxidants used in food preservation.

Furthermore, it acts as a digestive stimulant, which is likely to induce the appropriate secretion of digestion enzymes. Therefore, it helps to maintain the proper digestion and enhances assimilation (absorbing the nutrients from the food).

Medicinal Properties

  1. Carminative
  2. Anti-spasmodic
  3. Immunostimulant
  4. Antioxidant
  5. Anti-Diabetic
  6. Anti-Inflammatory
  7. Anticancer
  8. Antimicrobial
  9. Anti-tubercular
  10. Cardiac Stimulant
  11. Blood purifier (correctly detoxifier)
  12. Anodyne
  13. Mild Diuretic
  14. Galactagogue
  15. Digestive stimulant

Ayurvedic Properties

RASA (Taste)KATU (Pungent), MADHURA (Sweet)
GUNA (Main Quality)LAGHU (Light), TIKSHNA (Sharp)
VIRYA (Potency)USHNA (Hot)
VIPAKA (Resultant)KATU (Pungent)
PRABHAVA (Action)Digestive
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies KAPHA & VATA
Dhatu (Tissue) EffectRASA, RAKTA, MEDAS
Organs EffectStomach, Intestine, Liver

According to Ayurveda, Tejpatta prevents AMA (Toxins) formation and digests and eliminates the formed AMA. It is more effective in problems occurring with weak digestive fire and accumulation of the AMA toxins in the body.

Tejpatta Therapeutic Indications

  1. Intestinal Gas, Bloating, Belching and abdominal distension
  2. Abdominal pains and cramps
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Fever
  5. Common cold
  6. Asthma
  7. Uterus detoxification after delivery (along with cinnamon and green cardamom seeds)
  8. Atonicity of uterus or reduced the elasticity of the uterine wall

Benefits & Medicinal Uses

Tejpatta (Indian Bay Leaf) is an important ingredient of Trijataka, which is an excellent remedy for the abdominal diseases. Individually, Tejpatta is also used due to its action on Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha. In the ancient India, spices were used to prevent water-borne diseases and one of these spices is Tejpatta. It also induces sweating and digestive stimulant in higher dosage.

Gas & Abdominal Distension

Tejpatta is an excellent remedy to remove the gas from the human gut. It is anti-flatulent, antispasmodic, and digestive. It is likely to prevent gas formation in the gut when added to the food. You should remember it should only be used in cases of Vata and Kapha predominance. In people having intestinal gas along with gastritis or acidity, then it is not the suitable remedy.

Abdominal Pain & Cramps

Tejpatta has antispasmodic and carminative action, which helps to treat abdominal pain and cramps. It is more likely to be effective when pain or cramps are due to accumulated gas in the abdomen.

High Cholesterol & Triglycerides

Tejpatta reduces cholesterol and helpful in the treatment of Hyperlipidemia. We can use it along with herbs like Dalchini (Cinnamon), Laung (clove), and Trikatu herbs.

Dosage & Administration

The general dosage of Tejpatta (Indian Bay Leaf) is as follows.
Children10 to 20 mg per Kg body weight *
Adults500 mg to 3 grams *
Lactation500 mg *
Maximum Possible Dosage6 grams Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with water
Best Time to Take: With food or After Food

Safety Profile

Tejpatta (Indian Bay Leaf) is non-toxic and considerably safe when used in food. Its dosage less than 1 gram per day is also likely to be safe when used for therapeutic purposes. The dosage more than 1 gram per day may induce sweating and dieresis in some people.

Tejpatta Side Effects

The most common side effect of Tejpatta is excessive sweating (perspiration) that occur with higher dosage. In some people already having gastric troubles, it can worsen the following symptoms:

  1. Heartburn
  2. Burning sensation in the abdomen
  3. Sour belching
  4. Burning sensation after defecation

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy: The safety profile of Tejpatta is not well-established in pregnancy. However, it might be safe in the food amounts, which should be less than 500 mg per day.

In ayurvedic medicine, it is used to prevent miscarriage in some women with the weakened uterine wall. It provides strength to the uterine musculature and supports the pregnancy. According to this point of view, it might be safe during pregnancy.

Lactation: Tejpatta has Galactagogue action, which means it increases breast milk supply. Therefore, it can be used during lactation and considerably safe for both mother and child.

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