In classical antiquity the laurel, Laurus nobilis, L., was utilized as symbol of victory and fame5) but found no other use than that of a decorative plant. During the middle ages its bark and leaves were used medicinally.

The mixture of fatty and volatile oil, or butter, the oleum laurinum obtained by boiling the fruits with water was used

1) Peter Kalm, Beschreibung der Reise nach dem nordlichen Nord-amerika im Jahre 1748 - 1749. German translation. Gottingen 1754. Vol.3, p. 355.

2) Ibidem vol. 2, p. 482.

3) C. S. Rafinesque, Medicinal Flora or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America. 1830. Vol. 2, p. 235.

4) Johann David Schopf, Reise durch die mittleren und sudlichen Ver- einigten nordamerikanischen Staaten, nach Ost-Florida und den Bahama-Inseln in den Jahren 1783 - 1784. Erlangen 1788. Vol. 1, p. 415. 5) Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und fiaustiere in ihrem Ubergang aus Indien nach Griechenland und Italien. 3rd ed. 1877. pp. 196-201. 9* during antiquity. In the older literature it is enumerated among the substances used for anointing and for medicinal purposes,1) also among the aromatics.2) It found a place in the first edition of the Dispensatorium Nor/cum of 1543.

The volatile oil of the fruits appears to have been used formerly for medicinal purposes. At least it is included in the price ordinance of Frankfurt of 1582 and in others of a later date.