Discover the 12 health benefits of curry leaves.
Curry leaves are natural flavoring agents with several important health benefits, which make your food healthy and tasty along with a pleasant aroma.
They contain various antioxidant properties and can control diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes, and a healthy cholesterol balance.
It is also believed that within the multiple health benefits of curry leaves are several cancer-fighting properties and they are known to protect the liver.
Curry leaves are the leaves of the curry tree, scientifically known as Murraya koenigii Spreng, and belongs to the Rutaceae family.
The plant is native to India and is generally found in tropical and subtropical regions, it is cultivated in several other countries such as China, Australia, Nigeria, and Ceylon; the height of the plant varies from small to medium. The useful parts of this plant are the leaves, the root, and the bark.
The leaves have always been sought after for their unique taste and utility in cooking, but there are also several health benefits of curry leaves that are highly recommended for health that makes them very attractive.
When obtaining the leaves of the tree they can be dried or fried, depending on the intended use.
The fresh form is also very popular, both for cooking and for medicinal herbs.
In Ayurvedic medicine, curry leaves are believed to have various medicinal properties, such as anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and hepatoprotective (ability to protect the liver against damage) properties.
The roots are used to treat body aches and the bark is used to relieve snake bite
Its immense herbal properties are used in various local cuisines in India and other parts of Asia as flavoring agents.
Curry leaves resemble ‘neem’ or Indian lilacs and their name in most Indian languages translates as ‘sweet neem‘.
Nutritional properties of curry leaves
The main nutrients found in curry leaves are carbohydrates, energy, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, and minerals.
It also contains various vitamins such as nicotinic acid and vitamins C, A, B, E, antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides, and flavonoids.
Also, it is found in almost zero fat (0.1 g per 100 g).
The other chemical constituents present in curry leaves are carbazole alkaloids.
Studies and research conducted by the Department of Home Economics at Kenmei Women’s Junior College in Hyogo, Japan showed that the alkaloids found in the leaves possess antioxidant properties.
Carbazole alkaloids include mahanimbine, murrayanol, mahanineoenimbine, O-methylmurrayamine A, O-methylmahanine, isomahanine, bismaanine, and bispyrayafoline.
Other studies conducted at the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University suggested that these chemicals also have insecticidal and antimicrobial properties, specifically mosquitocidal properties.
Health benefits of certified curry leaves.
Most people think that curry leaves just add flavor to food and they toss the leaves while eating their soup or curry.
However, they are much more important than many people realize, and instead, the health benefits of curry leaves provide a variety of properties necessary for strengthening health, most importantly, it is without effects.
Let’s see the most striking health benefits of curry leaves.
When referring to the benefits of curry leaves, it should be noted that various studies have concluded in their research that the carbazole alkaloids present in curry leaves have antidiarrheal properties.
Experiments in laboratory rats showed that carbazole extracts from curry leaves had significantly controlled castor oil-induced diarrhea.
A lot of curry leaves can be ground and you can eat the paste or you can consume the juice of the leaves.
2.- Gastrointestinal protection
The use of curry leaves is recommended as a cure for gastrointestinal problems in Ayurveda.
One of them is important because it is considered to have mild laxative properties.
Juice a bunch of curry leaves and add lemon juice.
This mixture should be consumed for indigestion or a paste made with the leaves can be added to buttermilk and taken every morning on an empty stomach, in this way you will absorb much of the benefits of curry leaves.
3.- Antioxidant properties
As we have mentioned before, several scientists have carried out studies on the health benefits of curry leaves, especially in Asian countries, thanks to such research, it has been determined that curry leaves are a good source of antioxidants.
The presence of various vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, and vitamin E help reduce oxidative stress and free radical scavenging activity, these properties can also be obtained in dry powder form.
4.- Anti-diabetic properties
Perhaps one of the greatest health benefits of curry leaves is their use in controlling diabetes.
Precisely, one of the many certified and proven investigations about this plant, demonstrated with palpable tests that the antihyperglycemic properties of the leaves were beneficial to control the levels of glucose present in the blood of the diabetic rats that were the object of study.
5.- Fight cancer
Chemical constituents found in curry leaves, such as phenols, help fight cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.
For example, specialists and connoisseurs of natural medicine in Japan concluded that the benefits of curry leaves showed evidence of cancer-fighting properties in extracts of carbazole alkaloids from curry leaves.
6.- Lower cholesterol levels
Curry leaves are also known to lower the level of bad LDL cholesterol.
Studies conducted over the past decade on the benefits of curry leaves in India have shown that they have the potential to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
7.- Good for hair growth
Curry leaves are believed to help strengthen hair roots.
The dry powder of curry leaves mixed with oil can be applied to your hair with a quick massage, while the paste of curry leaves can also be applied to darken gray hair.
Doing this regularly can also improve hair growth.
8.- Good for the eyes
The benefits of curry leaves for eyesight are proven by science, thanks to the high content of vitamins such as A that each of its branches has.
These types of vitamins are well known for containing carotenoids that protect the cornea, which is the surface of the eye.
That is why it is advisable to add this product to your diet since the absence of this important vitamin can lead to episodes of night blindness or worse, it can form frontal clouds in the eye or the total loss of vision in situations most adverse.
9.- Radioprotective and chemoprotective
As if that were not enough, the series of studies to which the benefits of curry leaves have been subjected throughout history, have shown specialists a great improvement or reduction in the sequelae that some invasive treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
They also offer protection against chromosomal damage, bone marrow protection, and the prevention of free radicals from being activated in the body.
10.- Protects against pathogenic attack
Research on this plant has further revealed that the benefits of curry leaves are also effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
The plant’s leaf extracts have been comparable to conventional antibiotic drugs.
11.- Protects the liver
Your liver plays an important role in the digestive system and must protect itself from any attack by free radicals, as well as viral and bacterial attacks that can lead to infection.
The benefits of curry leave highlight that the tannins and carbazole alkaloids present in them exhibit good liver-protective properties.
They are also useful in protecting the liver from various diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis.
12.- Skin protection
Curry leaves are also useful in skincare.
The juice or paste of the leaves can be applied to burns, cuts, bruises, skin irritations, and insect bites for quick recovery and clean healing.
Frequently asked questions about curry leaves
-Where can I buy curry leaves?
You can buy curry leaves in almost any major supermarket, particularly in the eastern world, but increasingly in the west.
The major chains have curry leaves in various shapes, which means you can even grow your own at home!
Natural medicine and Ayurveda-oriented stores will also have curry leaves for sale – again, they have a wide variety of uses, so there are plenty of places to find them.
-How to store curry leaves?
You need to remove the curry leaves from the stems, wash and dry them.
Place them on a large plate with a sieve or mesh cover and place the leaves in the sun for 2-3 days.
Store the dried leaves in a plastic container; You can even store them in the fridge and just get one when you need it!
-How to use curry leaves for hair?
Curry leaves are very popular in hair care, mainly due to the antioxidants and amino acids that the leaves contain, you can take a handful of these leaves and then mix them with yogurt, crushing them into a paste.
Apply this directly to your hair and leave the mixture for half an hour.
Then wash off the mixture and clean your hair as normal.
This can help rejuvenate your hair follicles and prevent hair loss.
-How to make curry leaf oil?
You should start with a skillet of coconut oil that is heated before dropping the curry leaves.
Let this mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes and then let the oil cool down.
You can brush the oil at that point and then use the remaining curry leaf oil whenever you want to massage your scalp or prevent premature graying.
-How is the curry leaf powder prepared?
To make curry leaf powder all you need is a skillet, curry leaves, and a pinch of salt, heat the dried curry leaves in the pan until they start to brown and curl / crisp. Do not burn the leaves.
Add the salt gradually and place the leaves in a food processor or blender.
The leaves will very quickly pulverize into a fine green spice that you can add to dishes and easy to prepare.
-How should curry leaves be used?
You can use curry leaves in different ways, either in food preparation or for certain health benefits that this unique plant can bestow, you can even make curry leaf oil and use it to increase hair growth or prevent premature aging.
Another option is to make curry leaf powder and add it to your food to benefit from the antioxidant content of the leaves.
You can also grind fresh leaves into a paste and apply it to the skin to avoid infection.
-What is the best way to grow a curry leaf plant?
Curry trees are hardy plants and can be grown in relatively easy home gardens in warm parts of the world.
A whole plant can be grown from the fallen leaves of these trees; so many people choose to grow their own for their seasoning needs.
Although curry plants are tender, they can be grown indoors, especially if you live in a cold region, and can flower from cuttings or seeds.