A2Z 2020 — essential oils — U — Umbellularia californica (CA Bay Laurel)

U letter

California Bay Laurel has long been valued for its many edible, medicinal, insecticidal, and ceremonial uses throughout its range by native cultures including the Cahuilla, Chumash, Pomo, Kashaya Pomo, Miwok, Yujki, Coos, Concow, Maidu, Costanoan, Yukok, Tongva, Tolowa, Ohlone, Karuk, Karok, Mendocino Indians, and Salinan people. – from Tree Girl

File:Umbellularia californica 02.jpg - Wikipedia
Umbellularia_californica

California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica) is NOT the same as Bay Laurel (laurus nobilis)

This is the only essential oil beginning with the letter “U” I could find. From what I’ve read at various sites about it, you had better be well-educated about it before trying to use it. Please take a look at the link in the quote above to learn more about Umbellularia californica.

Today’s offering is shorter in words, but the following video is excellent in identifying the tree and learning about it.

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa says:

    I grew up with California bays in my back yard in Northern California. We used the leaves in cooking. They grew wild in the local hills. They are wonderful trees. Even my local nurseries carry the laurus nobilis, which is not always hardy enough if we have a harsh winter. I am barely over the CA border in Oregon, so I don’t know why no one seems to know about the California bay. There is an online nursery in Oregon that carries it, but they are out of stock right now. I want one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I did a little research on them and see the leaves are way more pungent/powerful than the imported nobilis. There is a youtube out there that shows how to roast the seeds that fall from them also. Have you ever tried roasting them?

      Like

  2. Frédérique says:

    Well done with your U! Pretty bush, fine leaves, I don’t know this species of laurel.

    U is for Unique Style

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you learned of it today, Frederique.

      Like

  3. Tarkabarka says:

    I know it’s not the same as laurel, but I love laurel scent… reminds me of the Mediterranean.

    The Multicolored Diary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It would be nice to live where it grew wild, as it has a lot of great properties.

      Like

  4. I wondered what you’d come up for your U entry – good one! It’s always fascinating to learn how indigenous folk used botanicals. There is so much for us to relearn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Deborah. I was impressed by the guy’s knowledge in the video as well. Yes, there is!

      Like

  5. Kathe W. says:

    excellent U post! I wonder if I could grow one up here in Washington…maybe too cold in the winter?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      On first thought I would say yes too cold, BUT! I’ve read about people growing out-of-zone trees in far north, keeping them upright in warm weather, but laying them sideways and protecting them with mulch in winter. If they can grow in containers, I would think you could try and see what happens 🙂

      Like

  6. A short piece with a very long title!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tamara says:

    Some letters are definitely harder than others, right?

    My U is for the bleak uniformity I as a Swiss perceived upon returning from the Costa Rican 🇨🇷 jungle.

    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-z-2020-switzerland-uniformity.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      For sure, Tamara.

      Like

  8. The leaves look like bay leaves (used in cooking). It’s amazing how “plain” some of these useful plants look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      They are similar but much more pungent than bay leaves (laurel nobilis) so used in smaller amounts. I guess “dyanamite comes in [plain] packages” 🙂

      Like

  9. Wow. I have never heard of Umbellularia californica before this. The next letters are going to be increasingly difficult. All the best in advance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, it is new to me also, but looks like a good one. Thanks for the well-wishing on the tough letters 🙂 I have them all done except “Z.” Good luck for you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great. I’m taking it one at a time, each day. We are nearing the home stretch! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. soniadogra says:

    Thank you Jade. A new variety for me. So much to learn here. I understand the last few letters get rather difficult

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re welcome. Yes, they do! I’m still searching for a “Z” essential oil…

      Like

  11. Frewin55 says:

    I must get some Bay Leaves for my culinary cupboard – I don’t expect I can get these ones but it was good to read about them..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you learned about them today.

      Like

  12. jazzfeathers says:

    Didn’t know about this variety of laurel. It does sound like it should be taken with caution.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Arti says:

    What a find Jade– an essential oil that begins with U and sounds adorable too–like an umbrella for fairies or one carried by wandering minstrels. I think I’m so taken by the way these names sound, I’m not paying much attention to their healing properties!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What a wonderful comment, Arti, thank you!

      Like

  14. Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    Interesting!

    An A-Z of Faerie: Werehyena

    Liked by 1 person

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