The present study was designed to determine the effects of the essential oil of Laurus nobilis L. (Lauraceae) and its three main components on a-glucosidase and reactive oxygen species scavenging activity. The chemical composition of the essential oil from Laurus nobilis L. leaves was analyzed by GC/GC-MS and resulted in the identification of 29 compounds, representing 99.18% of the total oil. 1,8-cineole (68.82%), 1-(S)-alpha-pinene (6.94%), and R-(+)-limonene (3.04%) were determined to be the main components. The antioxidant features of the essential oil and its three main components were evaluated using inhibition of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, hydroxyl, and superoxide radicals, inhibition of hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation assays. The results show that the DPPH, hydroxyl, and superoxide radical as well as hydrogen peroxide scavenging activities of the essential oil are greater than the positive controls and the three main components of the oil when tested independently. The inhibition of lipid peroxidation by the oil occurred less frequently than with 1,8-cineole and R-(+)limonene alone, but the effects were more pronounced than those seen with 1-(S)-alpha-pinene and the positive controls. An a-glucosidase inhibition assay was applied to evaluate the in-vitro antidiabetic activity of the essential oil. IC50-values were obtained for laurel essential oil, 1, 8-cineole, 1-(S)-alpha-pinene, and R-(+)-limonene: 1.748 mu L/mL, 1.118 mu L/mL, 1.420 mu L/mL and 1.300 mu L/mL, respectively. We also found that laurel essential oil and 1, 8-cineole inhibited the a-glucosidase competitively while 1-(S)-alpha-pinene and R-(+)-limonene were uncompetitive inhibitors.