Benefits of Bay Leaf
There are several types of plants that are called bay leaves, but the only true bay leaf is Laurus nobilis. Leaves from any other plant cannot be said to have the same health benefits, and some can be toxic. According to the Herb Society of America, the Kalmia latifolia is poisonous, even though it is related to and looks similar to the bay leaf. Leaves of the California laurel, or Umbellularia californica are sometimes sold as California bay leaves, but they can damage the central nervous system and cause respiratory distress when inhaled.