Curry leaves, also known as sweet neem leaves or Kadi Patta are highly used ingredient in every kitchen. They are highly aromatic and used in many dishes such as dals, chutney, curries, and soups to enhance the flavor of the recipes. They can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks and can also be dried in the sun to keep for longer period of time.
Curry leaves are native to India and have been used in the holistic treatment from ancient times such as in Ayurveda and even in traditional Chinese treatments. They are considered to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and pungent metabolic properties.
People mostly get confused with the name “curry powder” and “curry leaves”. They are not same. While curry leaves are the herbs grown on the curry leaf tree, curry powder is a processed spice mix made of ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, pepper, and dry ginger.
Nutritional facts -
Curry leaves are the powerhouse of essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, carbohydrates, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamins like vitamin A, B, folic acid, vitamin C, E, antioxidants, flavonoids, carotene, plant sterols, nicotinic acid, glycosides, and carbazole alkaloids.
Health Benefits of curry leaves -
Heart: Curry leaves are packed with dietary fiber and antioxidants that help in lowering triglycerides levels and help in the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol. They help to increase the amount of good HDL cholesterol and protect the body from coronary heart diseases.
Tips - Add 5-10 curry leaves in every meal or drink curry leaves juice or tea 2-3 times in a week for the best result.
Skin: Curry leaves are blessed with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. They are also rich in vitamin A and C which cleanse the skin impurities and provide wrinkle and acne free healthy skin. Curry leaves also have healing properties which help to cure insect bites, burns, cuts and bruise.
Tips - Use curry leaves’ paste with lemon, rose water and turmeric for acne and scars, curry leaves paste with multani mitti (fullers earth) for wrinkles, and curry leaves with curd or milk for smooth and glowing skin. Apply on the face for 20-30 mins and wash with cold water, use at least once in a week for better results.
Hair: Curry leaves are well known for treating dandruff, hair fall, damaged, and premature greying of the hair. They contain beta-carotene and a favorable amount of protein or amino acids that strengthen the scalp and hair follicles to support healthy growth of hair.
Tips - Take coconut oil or any other hair oil, add 15-20 fresh curry leaves and heat it for 1-2 minutes. Cool it properly, sieve in a jar, apply on hair scalp and wash after 2 hours with normal water. Apply twice in a week for healthy, strong, and shiny hair.
Liver and kidney: Curry leaves help to protect the liver and kidney from various infections. They support the liver from oxidative stress and detoxify toxic substances in the body. Consuming curry leaves water or tea at least 3-4 times in a week gives relief from liver and gallbladder problems.
Tips - Soak 8-10 curry leaves in water overnight, take out all the leaves, and have water directly on an empty stomach in the morning.
Digestion: Curry leaves contain alkaloids that have anti-diarrheal properties and are also an excellent source of dietary fiber that helps to treat digestive disorders like indigestion, constipation, and bloating.
Tips - Take half glass of buttermilk or water, add 1 tablespoon of curry leaves juice along with few drops of lemon (if taking water) and a pinch of salt. Drink for 2-3 days regularly to cure indigestion.
Eyes: Curry leaves contain vitamin A which is one of the essential nutrients for eye health. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye i.e. cornea and also provides good vision and a healthy immune system.
Tips - Drink curry leaves juice or mix curry leaves in healthy dry snacks to support eyesight and immunity.
Cancer: In research, it is shown that the compound carbazole alkaloid and the essential antioxidants such as flavonoids, glycosides, and phenols present in curry leaves demonstrate anti-cancer properties and help in fighting various types of cancers such as blood cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate and breast cancer.
Brain health: Curry leaves have memory boosting properties and help to relieve the symptoms of stress by calming our mind and the body.
Tips - Chew curry leaves or take curry leaves powder or juice with water to cure numerous health issues.
Anemia: Curry leaves contain a good amount of iron and folic acids which help in preventing anemia.
Tips - Include a few drops of lemon in curry leaves’ dishes to improve the absorption of iron.
Diabetes: Curry leaves have anti-diabetic properties which help in regulating the insulin activity by reducing the blood sugar levels and control diabetes naturally.
Tips - Take 1 teaspoon dry curry leaves powder with 1 teaspoon fenugreek powder or seeds on an empty stomach every morning. Also, consume 8-10 curry leaves in every meal.
Weight Loss: Curry leaves help in burning the stubborn fat from the body. They improve metabolism, flush harmful toxins and detoxify the body.
Tips - Chew 8-12 curry leaves on an empty stomach in the morning. Curry leaves tea is best for rapid weight loss.
Tea method - Heat 2 cup water, add 5-7 curry leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds or 1-inch cinnamon stick, and 1-inch ginger piece. Boil for 1-2 minutes, switch of the flame, add few drops of lemon and pinch of black salt and serve hot.
Recommended amount of curry leaves:
Adults can have 10-15 fresh curry leaves or 2-3 teaspoon dry curry leaves powder per day.
It also can be given to children after 1.5 to 2 years of age. Suitable amount for children is around 3-5 curry leaves or 1 teaspoon dry curry leaves powder per day.
Note - Excess consumption of curry leaves in any form can cause some side effects such as stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, acidity, and some allergic reactions.
If you also keep the curry leaves aside in your food plate, then stop doing for your health benefit. Enjoy the green leaves in different recipes and reap its multiple health benefits.