This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Laurus Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. hanrus vulgaris C. B. Laurus nobilis Linn. Bay: an evergreen tree or shrub, with oblong, stiff, smooth leaves, pointed at both ends, pale yel-lowish, monopetalous flowers, divided into four sections; and oblong dry berries, containing, under a thin black skin, a horny shell, within which are lodged two dark brownish seeds joined together. It is a native of the southern parts of Europe, and not uncommon in our gardens; it flowers in April and May, and ripens its berries in September. The shops have been commonly supplied with the berries from the streights.
The leaves of the bay have a light agreeable smell, and a weak aromatic roughish taste: in distillation with water they yield a small quantity of a very fragrant essential oil: with rectisied spint they afford a moderately warm pungent extract. The berries are stronger both in smell and taste than the leaves, and yield a larger quantity of essential oil: they discover likewise a degree of unctuosity in the mouth, give out to the prefs an almost insipid fluid oil, and on being boiled in water a thicker butyraceous one, of a yellowish green colour, impregnated with the flavour of the berry.
The leaves and berries of the bay are accounted stomachic, carminative, and uterine: in these intentions, infusions of the leaves are sometimes drank as tea; and the eflential oil of the berries given, on sugar or dissolved by means of mucilages or in spirit of wine, from one to five or six drops. The principal use of Oleum ex-pressum bac-carum lauri Ph Ed, these simples in the present practice is external: they are made ingredients in carminative gly-sters, warm cataplasms, and uterine baths; and the butyraceous oil of the berries serve as a basis for some nervine liniments, and mercurial and sulphureous unguents.
* Bergius relates that he has very frequently seen protracted intermittents cured by a mixture of two scruples of powder of bay berries and six grains of capsicum seeds, divided into three doses, one given at the first accession of the rigor, another, the next day at the same hour, and the third on the succeeding day. Mat.
Med. i. 144.