Curry Leaves / Barg-e-Kari (برگ کڑی) is also known as Murraya Koenigii. The plant is native to India and is usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is cultivated in various other countries such as China, Australia, Nigeria and Ceylon. Height of the plant ranges from small to medium. The most useful parts of this plant are the leaves, root and the bark.
In Ayurvedic medicine, curry leaves are believed to have several medicinal properties such as anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and hepatoprotective (capability to protect liver from damage) properties.
The leaves, with their vast herbal properties, are used in various local cuisines across Asia as flavoring agents.
The main nutrients found in curry leaves are carbohydrates, energy, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, copper and minerals. It also contains various vitamins like nicotinic acid and vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides and flavonoids. Also, nearly zero fat (0.1 g per 100 g) is found in curry leaves.
Most people think that curry leaves just add flavor to the food and they throw the leaves away while eating eating their soup or curry. However, curry leaves are far more important than many people realize, and they offer a number of health benefits without the side effects of other medicines.
Use of curry leaves is recommended as a cure for gastrointestinal issues in Ayurvedic methodology. One important is due to the fact that they are considered to possess mild laxative properties. Make juice out of a bunch of curry leaves and add lime juice. This mixture is to be consumed for indigestion or a paste made from the leaves can be added to buttermilk and taken every morning on an empty stomach.
The presence of various vitamins in curry leaves like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin E help in reducing oxidative stress and free radical scavenging activity.
Curry leaves help your blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity of the body and reduces one’s blood sugar levels. Also the type and amount of fiber contained within the leaves play a significant role in lowering blood sugar levels.
The chemical constituents found in curry leaves such as phenols are helpful in fighting cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer and colorectal cancers.
Many research shows that curry leaves have properties that can help in lowering one’s blood cholesterol levels. Packed with antioxidants, curry leaves prevent the oxidation of cholesterol that forms LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This in turn helps in increasing the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) and protects your body from conditions like heart disease and atherosclerosis.
- Curry leaves are believed to help in strengthening hair roots. Dry curry leaf powder mixed in oil can be applied to your hair with a quick massage. The paste from curry leaves can also be applied in cases of gray hair. Doing these on a regular basis can improve hair growth as well.