Its taste is reminscent of cloves and mint; the fragrance is somewhat like pepper. It is used in Indian cooking, as Europeans would use bay leaves.
It is used dried and ground in garam masala; it is not really used dried and ground for many other other purposes.
The tree grows in northern India, Bangladesh, Burma (aka Myanmar), and Nepal. It can be propagated from seed.
It is a tropical evergreen growing up to up to 25 feet (7 ½ metres) tall, with a trunk up to 3 feet (1 metre) wide. It has rough, greyish and reddish-brown bark, with glossy leaves.
A tree’s leaves starts being harvested when the tree is around 10 years old, and are gathered October through to March. The leaves are then sun-dried.
Folium Indicum is also pressed for its oil for use in perfumes.
The Romans used Folium Indicum for cooking and for perfumes.
The leaves were used in Europe up until the Middle Ages, then fell out of fashion.