What are Curry Leaves?
Curry leaves, that ubiquitous aromatic staple in Indian kitchens, have a plethora of health and therapeutic benefits. The vernacular names for this tree are Kadi Patta or Meetha Neem in Hindi, Kariveppilai in Tamil, or Karivempu in Malayalam native to India, Sri Lanka, and many other southeast Asian nations.
This leaf is commonly used as a condiment and lends a distinct flavor to any cuisine. But the modest curry leaf is capable of much more than just fragrance. The fragrant and flavorful leaves are used in curries, meat dishes, veggies, and chutneys. It provides various health benefits in addition to its aroma.
When used fresh, Kari leaf is quite fragrant, but it loses its flavor strength when dried. Whole smashed and shredded fresh or dried curry leaves are employed. A new leaf has a spicy, powerful piney-lemony scent as well as a somewhat tangerine peel-like flavor.
Curry Leaves Nutrition
They are high in carbs, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin E, which help your heart operate better, fight infections, and revitalize your hair and skin. They also have almost no fat (0.1 g per 100 g).
It Contains the following Chemical Components
In this section, we’ll discuss the chemical constituents present in curry leaves & in their oil. About 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent essential oil, predominantly monoterpenes, is present in the young leaf. Fresh leaves have more volatiles than older leaves due to a progressive drop in volatile content as they mature.
Following are the the most common essential oils found in it are:-
- Sabinene (9 percent to 34 percent)
- pinene (5 percent to 27 percent)
- dipentene (6 percent to 16 percent)
It constitutes following chemical compounds like:-
- caryophyllene (8 percent to 20 percent)
They are high in vitamin A (12,600 IU/100 g), as well as calcium (810 mg/100 g), phosphorus (600 mg/100 g), iron (3.1 mg/100 g), vitamin C (4 mg/100 g), and fibers (6.1 % ).
Curry Leaves in Ayurveda
In ayurvedic medicine, it was used for various therapeutic benefits. Anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and hepatoprotective (ability to protect the liver from harm) qualities are all thought to exist in them. The essential oil obtained from it were often used to treat skin and hair difficulties, hyperglycemia, vision problems, frequent infections, gastroenteritis, and other ailments in traditional holistic care.
The curry leaves have tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent) characteristics. It is blessed Tikshna and Laghu (light), Rukhsha (dry) with all the tribunals (sharp). It contains Ushna Virya and Katu Vipaka (both of which have a high potency) (pungent metabolic property). It aggravates Pitta’s doshas (digestion) while calming Vata’s (air) and Kapha’s doshas (earth and water).
The antioxidants and minerals in these leaves work wonders in providing one with long glossy hair. This product repairs damaged hair, stimulates the roots, prevents hair from falling out and eliminates dandruff. It’s also a natural remedy for premature greying of the hair.
12 Health Benefits of Curry Leaves
They are beneficial and loaded with health potential. They are high in antioxidants, which may protect your body by lowering oxidative stress and free radical scavenging. It may have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and pain-relieving properties. Let us discuss the benefit in the description:-
1. Antioxidant Powerhouse: It contains a high concentration of plant chemicals that are effective antioxidants. These molecules keep us healthy and defend us against a variety of ailments. They protect us from oxidative damage, which can lead to disorders of the neurological system, cardiovascular system, and renal, among other things.
2. Reduce the Risk of Cancer:- It contains antimicrobial properties. They defend our bodies against various malignancies. Curry leaves contain flavonoids, which are anti-cancer agents. These are effective at preventing breast cancer cells from growing. It also helps to prevent colon cancer. They also aid in the prevention of cervical cancer in our bodies.
3. Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease: curry leaves help to keep our hearts healthy by avoiding oxidative stress. It can also help to reduce cholesterol levels. It also helps to lower triglyceride levels. As a result, decreasing risk factors helps to protect us from cardiovascular disease.
4. Aids in the Control of Diabetes: Curry leaf consumption aids in treating diabetes and its consequences. They are very effective at lowering blood glucose levels. They are high in fiber, which slows metabolism and prevents blood sugar levels from rising too quickly. They also aid people with diabetes by increasing insulin production.
5. Aid in treating Gastrointestinal Problems: Curry leaves are excellent for stomach problems like diarrhea and constipation. It contains carbazole alkaloids, which aid in diarrhea management. It also has mild laxative effects that aid in the relief of constipation and heartburn.
6. Effective in the treatment of Morning Sickness: The intake of curry leaves tea can successfully decrease morning sickness and nausea. Curry leaf tea is beneficial for pregnant ladies who are suffering from morning sickness.
7. Effects on the Nervous System: It has been shown to increase antioxidants that protect our brain. They’ve also been found to help with Alzheimer’s disease by preventing oxidative damage to the neurons. Curry leaves have also been proven to help with amnesia (memory loss), frequent among the geriatric.
8. Effects on the Hepatoprotective Liver: They are high in antioxidants and protect our liver from oxidative stress-related damage. They also help to keep our liver healthy by preventing infections and reducing inflammation. Curry leaves are helpful for the treatment of liver cirrhosis.
9. Relieves Respiratory Issues: Curry leaves have powerful antibacterial and expectorant qualities, making them useful for various respiratory issues. It relieves chest congestion and helps eliminate mucus and rheum deposits from the nose canal. This leaf’s calming properties make it ideal for healing dry, irritated throats.
10. Aids in the Prevention of Anemia:- Iron and folic acid are abundant in curry leaves. Folic acid is primarily responsible for transporting and absorbing iron, and kadi patta is a high source of both chemicals, making it a one-stop natural cure for anemia.
11. Promotes Weight loss:- Curry leaves, as surprising as it may seem, can help you lose weight. Carbazole alkaloids assist the body in regulating cholesterol levels and prevent weight gain. It can thus be consumed to help with weight loss. You can eat dry curry leaves or add fresh or dried curry leaves to your meals to improve your intake. You may also mix it in with your salad. For faster weight loss, use curry leaves with a nutritious diet and frequent exercise.
12. Helps in the Maintenance of Vision:- They are said to influence vision positively. They help to prevent cataracts from developing early in life. This is because curry leaves are high in Vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness, vision loss, and cloud formation in the eyes. As a result, the leaves shield the retina and prevent visual loss.
Curry Leaves for Hair
Curry leaves are abundant in protein, which is an essential component of hair growth. They include protein and beta-carotene, which assist in preventing hair thinning. Curry leaves contain antioxidants that can help to remove dead follicles from the scalp.
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Following are the benefits of curry leaves for hair:-
- It increases hair growth
- It slows down the rate of hair fall
- It strengthens the hair
- It prevents premature graying
- It prevents dandruff & dry scalp
- It treats frizzy hair
You can apply curry leave paste directly on the hair, massage its oil or consume fresh curry ten leaves daily, empty stomach for better result.
Curry Leaves Recipes
Make curry leaves a part of your regular diet in addition to utilizing them externally for significant effects. Whatever you eat, it reflects in your body and hair. Curry leaves are commonly used to season most Indian foods. The only thing left is to eat the curry leaves instead of fishing them out and throwing them away. To avoid chewiness, use fresh, young, and tender curry leaves. Dry the curry leaves and ground them into a fine powder if you’re still not a fan. Some of the popular dishes made out of it are:
- Meetha neem herbed rice
- Curry leaves tomato chutney
- Meetha neem added with eggplant
- Curry Patta poha
- Curry Patta chilli chutney
- Curry Patta churna[powder]
How to Store Curry Leaves?
Separate the leaves from the stalk, let them dry in sunlight, and keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To extend the life of the leaves, place a piece of soft cloth or kitchen napkin, tissue paper in the bottom of the container to absorb moisture and keep the leaves dry. With this procedure, the curry leaves will readily last for up to 10 days.
If they start to wilt, spread them out on a tray and let them out in the sun for an afternoon to dry. The dried leaves then can be used to cook. They are also used to make curry leaf oil and in hair masks with fresh yogurt in powder form. The leaves should be dried and ground into a fine powder before being stored in an airtight jar.
Side Effects of Eating Raw Curry Leaves
Even though curry leaves are edible, some individuals avoid them. They use them in the kitchens to generate a distinct scent. Curry leaves, on the other hand, are entirely safe to consume and have no negative consequences. It can only show any side effect if you are allergic to it. “Add 8-10 leaves to your vegetable juice to incorporate curry leaves into your everyday diet. Take one teaspoon per day, which is beneficial for pregnant women who suffer from uneasiness and morning sickness.
The botanical name for this curative leaf is Murraya koenigii & it belongs to the family: Rutaceae. It can be commonly found in India and popularly used in the Indian kitchen to add a different flavor. It is a green color with small-sized leaves. It is also known as meetha neem, kadhi patta, Curry vepillaietc.
Curry leaves have a negligible amount of fat and possesses immense potential health benefits, which you learn above. It is also suitable for bad breath, and acts as a mouth freshener. You can consume four leaves, chew it properly and then drink water. Performing this will prevent you from stinking your mouth. It has a positive effect on hair, skin, digestive system, immune system, etc.
We can make many tempting dishes out of it. Although curry leaves do not have any adverse effect, it is still advised to consume in moderation under the guidance of experts. Do not forget to wash the leaves properly if consuming raw to avoid bacterial infections.