Dried leaves of Cinnamomum tamala, also known as Indian bay leaves, are a lesser-known spice used in the Indian subcontinent. It imparts a warm, peppery, clove-cinnamon like flavor to a variety of food preparations. Besides food applications, the leaves have also been traditionally used for curing a number of ailments and for other perceived health benefits. They find mention in the Aurvedic, Yunani, and other traditional medicinal literature. This review summarizes the effect of Cinnamomum tamala leaves on biological systems such as immune system, gastro-intestinal tract, liver and its antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antimicrobial activity. Chemical components that may be responsible for its flavor as well as bioactivity, have also been discussed.