Latin name: Pimenta racemosa
Source country: West Indies chiefly Dominica, now Morocco
Aroma: Fruity, herbaceous, medicinal, spicy.
Appearance: Dark yellow to brown liquid.
Derivation: From the bay rum tree, steam distillation of the leaves and twigs.
Chemicals: The marker chemicals are eugenol and chavicol both of which can induce
skin sensitisation. The aroma is mostly due to 1,3 cineole. There are the normal terpenoid
chemicals such as pinenes, myrcene, a terpineol, and geranyl acetate.
Uses: The leaves are used as a flavouring agent and a spice in cooking. As for the oil
itself, Bay rum is a mixture of West Indian bay oil and alcohol. It has been used in the west
as a hair growth promoter for over 100 years. The oil itself is also used to help with muscle
aches and pains such as rheumatism. The oil works by virtue of being a rubifacient - it
irritates the skin and forces blood flow to that particular site thereby helping direct the
bodies defences to the problem area. It is therefore helpful with strains and sprains.It
works the same way on the scalp providing improved blood flow. It should not be used by
Note: As with all pure essential oils, dilute appropriately with a suitable carrier oil
before using on the skin. Do not take essential oils internally