Bay leaves come from the bay laurel tree cultivated through all recorded history. Perhaps respect for its great age led ancient Greeks and Romans to glorify it as the symbol of honor. They wove its precious leaves into wreaths to crown the victorious. Thus our expressions: “resting on your laurels”, and “look to your laurels” that means “don’t besmirch your reputation.” In the Bible, bay leaves symbolize prosperity, honor and fame. To Christians, the leaves of this timeless tree represent Christ’s resurrection, and are often used in rituals re-enacting it. The Greek name for this herb, daphne, comes from Greek mythology. Daphne, daughter of the river god and earth goddess, was a beautiful nymph transformed by her worried parents into a bay laurel tree to escape Apollo's lustful pursuit and retain her virginity. Bay leaves therefore also represent purity and purification, key components of honor.