Curry leaves - Kadi Patta (Murraya koenigii) have always been sought after for their unique flavor and usefulness in cooking, but there are also a number of health benefits that make them highly appealing. According to Ayurveda, Curry leaves have a blood pressure-lowering effect, antibacterial activity, antiviral activity, antifungal activity, antiprotozoal activity, laxative effect, anti-diarrhoeal activity, wound-healing action, anti-cancer activity, anti-diabetic activity, anti-inflammatory action, antioxidant action, cholesterol-lowering effect, anti-ulcer activity and anti-tumour activity.Curry leaves are best hair tonic, blood purifier and ideal natural calcium supplement.
Curry Leaves is a small shrub growing upto 2-2.5 meter tall. Stem is dark green and brown in color. Leaves are pinnate, bearing 12 – 24 leaflets and have reticulate venation. Flowers are white, funnel-shaped arranged in panicles and have sweet aromatic smell. Fruits are round to oblong in shape, 1.4-1.6 cm in length, green in color and turn black when fully ripe. Each fruit contain one seed, spinach green in color.
Botanical Name : Murraya koenigii Synonyms– Murraya paniculata (Linn.)
Family – Rutaceae
Sanskrit Name – Surabhinimba; Hindi Name – Mitha Neem, Kurry Patta, Kadi patta, Kathnim; Bengali Name – Barsanga, Kartaphulli; Gujrati Name – Gorenimb; Marathi Name – Kadhi limb.
Rasa (Taste)- Astringent, Bitter and Sweet
Guna (Characteristics)- Laghu (light to digest), Snigdha (Unctous)
Veerya (Potency)- Sheeta (cold)
Vipaka (Post digestion effect)- Katu (Pungent)
Action (Karma) -Ruchya (improves taste), Deepana (Kindles digestive fire), Pachana (Improves digestion), Vishagna (Antitoxic), Varnya (improves complexion)
Effect on Doshas -Kaphapittahara – Balances Kapha and Pitta dosha
Parts Used : Leaves, Bark, Stem, Fruits and Roots
Potential benefits of curry leaves are:
- They lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. Animal studies have shown that curry leaf extract can reduce these levels significantly, possibly by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol and enhancing its excretion.
- They have anti-diabetic effects, by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Curry leaves may also protect against diabetic complications, such as kidney damage and oxidative stress.
- They have anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties, by modulating the production of inflammatory mediators and protecting the gastric mucosa from damage. Curry leaves may also help in healing wounds and preventing infections.
- They have anti-cancer effects, by inducing apoptosis (cell death) and inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells. Some of the compounds in curry leaves, such as mahanimbine and murrayanol, have shown promising anti-cancer activity in vitro and in vivo.
- They help in weight loss, by stimulating digestion and metabolism. According to Ayurveda, curry leaves have Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties, which can help in burning fat and preventing obesity.
- It balances vata and kapha doshas and be beneficial for asthmatic patients and those with cold and cough.
Some tips to use curry leaves are:
- - To retain their flavor and nutrients, add curry leaves at the end of cooking or use them as a garnish.
- - To make Curry Leaf Tea, boil a handful of fresh or dried leaves in water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink hot or cold. You can add honey or lemon for taste.
- - To make curry leaf oil, heat some coconut oil or sesame oil in a pan and add some curry leaves. Fry them until they turn crisp and then turn off the heat. Let the oil cool down and then strain it. Store it in a glass bottle and use it for hair or skin care.
- - To make curry leaf powder, dry some fresh leaves in the sun or oven until they become brittle. Grind them into a fine powder and store it in an airtight container. Use it as a spice or supplement.
- - To make a curry leaf paste, grind some fresh or dried curry leaves with water or yogurt to form a smooth paste. Apply it on your face, scalp or hair and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse it off with water or shampoo.
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Precautions and side effectsCurry leaves are generally safe and well-tolerated when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, some precautions and side effects to be aware of are:
- If you are allergic to curry leaves or any of their constituents, avoid using them.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using curry leaves.
- If you have any medical condition or are taking any medication, consult your doctor before using curry leaves.
- If you experience any adverse reaction, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, or itching, stop using curry leaves and seek medical attention.
Curry leaves are a versatile and beneficial herb that can enhance your health and beauty in many ways. Try incorporating them into your daily routine and see the difference for yourself.