“Laurel”..a fire-resistant aromatic plant with medicinal and nutritional benefits

“Noble laurel” is an aromatic evergreen plant that spreads widely in Syria and is concentrated in oak and coniferous forests, as well as within cedar and fir forests.

The Head of the Forestry and Nurseries Section at  the Forestry Department in the Directorate of Agriculture in Lattakia Province Eng. Abeer Zabout , indicated to SANA  that laurel is an aromatic and  evergreen plant. Its length reaches  10 - 18 meters with yellowish-green color.

Eng. Zabout pointed out that the flowering date is in the months of March and April, and the harvest time is between September and November, when they are collected by hand from the ground or directly from the tree. 

She  explained that the laurel plant is a multi-purpose plant "productive and environmental." It is a fire-resistant plant, so it is planted as insulating tapes between conifers, which reduces the risk of fires

She stressed that It is a highly desirable plant by the local community, where it benefits from its leaves and fruits , referring it is entered annually in the afforestation plans adopted  by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Zabout  clarified  that  the number of trees planted in afforestation sites in the last ten years reached 258108 ones  from 2011 to 2020, and the number of trees planted in afforestation sites  during  the current year  is 88,008 ones. 

In turn ,  head of the Investment Department  in the Directorate of Agriculture in Lattakia, Engineer Iyad Tobal Ali, confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture had taken a decision to stop the export of laurel for a year, in order to protect this species, as the production of a ton of laurel leaves needs to cut down more than a hundred twenty-year-old laurel trees.

The laurel tree has gained a noble character due to its versatility and great benefits. It is used in cooking and has a distinctive taste. It is also considered one of the most important herbs beneficial to health. It is a good food source for bees. 

Laurel oil  is extracted from its leaves and fruits,  which is  used in many types of soap, shampoo, cosmetics and luxury perfumes. laurel is characterized by its high ability to give liquid, which contributes to alleviating the effects of forest fires.

It is worth mentioning that the ancient Greeks used to make laurel wreaths, which were presented as prizes and rewards for the winners of tournaments. It was also placed on the heads of nobles as a symbol of prosperity and fame. The name of this type was mentioned in some holy books as a symbol of resurrection and rebirth and the victory of humanity.

 

Rawaa Ghanam