Indian Bay Leaf, Cinnamomum tamala

Cinnamomum tamala is a tree species. The species may also be referred to as the Indian bay leaf, the Tejpat, Malabar leaf, Indian Bark, Indian cassia or Malabathrum. C. tamala belongs to the Lauraceae family. The plant is indigenous to India, Nepal, Bhutan and China. The plant is closely related to the Cassia, Cinnamon and Saigon cinnamon species.

C. tamala plants commonly grow measuring up to 66 feet tall. Its leaves are sought after because they are used both medicinally and for cooking. The plant produces leaves that are both long and wide and are commonly olive green in color. C. tamala leaves are aromatic, often having a cinnamon fragrance. In old medieval times the plant’s leaves were the major source for medicinal malabathrum. The leaves may often be mistaken for Bay Laurel leaves, which have completely different features. C. tamala tree’s bark may also be used in cooking.

Image Caption: Indian bay leaf (Cinnamomum tamala). Credit: J.M. Garg/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)