It is well known for its subtle flavor and popular use in cooking.

It is also well known for its medical properties. .

Curry leaves are used in ayurvedic medicine and considered as medicinal plant. It is considered good for stomach disorders, diabetes, kidney disorders and many others. .

Curry leaves are considers as efficient antidiabetic agent. They have the ability to prevent diabetes due to hereditary factors as well as that due to obesity. They can be used for eye disorders as well for kidney failure. .

Curry leaves contain -Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Nicotinic acid and vitamin C. .

This bitter herb is a potent blood-purifier and a restorative of the degenerated blood cells. Taken regularly it builds up and strengthens the liver and helps in the metabolism of fatty acids. It is a good tonic for the spleen and pancreas, and promotes the increase of the cells of the islets of langerhans in the Pancreas. .

It is a good digestive , especially after fatty and fried food. Indigestion, nausea, sour belching, heartburn, morning sickness and other digestive disorders such as diarrhoea, dysentery, bilious vomiting and hemorrhoids also respond well to treatment with curry leaves. .

Active agent in composition : B-Carotene, Glucoside viz. Koenigin, Ferrous, Calcium.

Key Properties and Historical Uses According to Ayurveda : Herbal tonic for digestive disorders, diabetes, kidney problems. Prevents early development of cataracts.

A team at the Department of Pharmacy in King's College in London have found that many herbs used in Indian dishes, including curry leaves, are anti-cancer and anti-diabetic agents.

curry leaf may help fight diabetes in people taking it as part of their regular diet, but others should consult a doctor first.

Curry leaves improve functioning of the stomach and small intestine and promote their action. They improve the quality of digestive juices secreted during digestion. Their action starts with intake. Their smell, taste and visual impression initiates salivary secretion and initiates the peristaltic wave, which is the first step in good digestion. They are mildly laxative and thus can tackle multiple digestive problems caused by food intake.

They are directly added to food or an extract in the form of juice is added to buttermilk and consumed at the end of lunch/dinner. In case of a digestive upset, buttermilk enriched with the paste of curry leaves, common salt and cumin seed powder is recommended. This combination is also useful in problems such as loss of appetite, tastelessness of mouth as in case of fever etc. where food intake is a problem. Curry leaves are one of the important ingredients of herbal tonics and are parallel to digestive enzymatic tonics in allopathy.

A paste of these leaves with limejuice and honey/sugar/crystal sugar powder is a time-tested medicine in the treatment of hyperemesis graviderum. Nausea, dry vomiting, vomiting and food intolerance are few other conditions where this paste is used as a remedy. Curry leaves have some role in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and idiopathic loose motions though they are not antidiarrheal in the true sense. Fresh juice/ a paste of fresh leaves/a teaspoonful of powdered dried leaves /a mixture of curry leaves, coriander, mint leaves, etc. is a commonly known home made remedy.

Certain ayurvedic research says that curry leaves have some role in controlling non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. People with DM due to obesity or heredity should try this treatment. A paste of about 8 to 10 fresh, fully-grown curry leaves is to be taken on an empty stomach in the morning for a minimum of 3 months for desired results. Many people have also reported weight loss, which is an additional benefit in diabetic people.

One ayurvedic school recommends powdered root/bark for relief from kidney/biliary pain. Traditional healers have observed some effects on premature graying of hair. Regular intake of these leaves with buttermilk is advised. Few have tried curry leaves for treatment of minor burns, bruises, abrasions, etc. and claim benefits of the treatment.

In general, curry leaves are used confidently in daily cooking without the advice of a medical practitioner. They are food ingredients as well as medicinal ingredients. They add to taste and have digestive properties. They have some role in the management of diabetes, but this needs further research.

Apart from cooking, the curry leaf has a number of medicinal uses also. It is an essential ingredient of almost all traditional medicine systems of peninsular India, sometimes with amazingly good results. Unani, Ayurveda and other systems use it to cure ailments such as piles, to allay heat of the body and are useful in leucoderma and blood disorders, and this has been proven by experts of western medicine also.

INDIAN cuisine is incomplete without the flavours of curry leaves or �currypatta��, but not many people know of its curative properties. Curry leaves are used in the treatment of over one-and-a-half dozen maladies and eating 300-odd curry leaves every day leads to a disease-free life, according to a Naturopath Dr Raj Merchant, who treats his patients with the unique Leaf Therapy.

While, curry leaves, botanically referred to as "Murraya Koenigi," help ease constipation, asthama, diabetes, digestive disorders, obesity, blood pressure, premature greying and falling of hair, leaves of other plants such as kokum, tulsi, garlic and green turmeric, also have immense medicinal properties, Dr Merchant told UNI here yesterday.

The best part is this is one food ingredient you can have without calorie guilt. These oval-shaped green leaves are tremendously healthy. They are packed with minerals, vitamins A, B, C, calcium, phosphorus, iron, nicotinic acid and also carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. The high iron content is a big plus point and the reason they are recommended for anaemia. The juice of these leaves when gently rubbed on many kinds of skin eruptions helps reduce them. In case of burns, bruises and blisters, a poultice is applied over the affected areas. The berries are thirst-quenchers and have a cooling effect on the system.

The plant�s roots and bark are also potent in their health benefit. The bark is acrid, cooling, alexcteric, anathematic and analgesic: and believed in Ayurveda to cure piles, allay heat of the body and reduce blood-motions, diarrhoea, dysentery, leucoderma and blood disorders. It has proved effective in stimulating appetite in poor eaters. Karipatta is also known to strengthen the function of stomach and promote its action. Its leaves are a mild laxative.

A paste of fresh curry leaves boiled in milk was used by ayurvedic practitioners to combat the poisonous bites of animals and insects. A decoction of the leaves, and even of the roots or bark was used to combat the vomiting associated with cholera. Even otherwise, curry leaves are known to counteract nausea associated with morning sickness, indigestion or fatty-food consumption. When you are feeling nauseous, try drinking a simple, lightly-spiced rasam with lots of curry leaves soaked in it. It will work wonders. A fresh juice of curry leaves with lime juice and sugar has a similar effect.

So you can have lots of karipatta-based dishes or add them generously to your sambhars, rasams and curries. Or use it directly. Some people warm their coconut oil with curry leaves, before use. A few others I know, swear by its conditioning properties. They make a thick paste of curry patta along with multani mitti, apply to the hair, let remain for 10-15 minutes, and then wash.

Eat 10 fresh fully grown curry leaves every morning for three months. It is beneficial in controlling diabetes and also prevent diabetes due to heredity factors. It is beneficial in weight loss and also cures diabetes due to obesity.

Fresh juice of curry leaves mixed with lime juice and sugar cures morning sickness, nausea and vomiting due to indigestion.

A glass of buttermilk with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of grounded curry leaf paste, taken on an empty stomach, relieves stomachache.

Chewing the tender leaf helps control loose motions.

Curry leaves cooked in milk and ground to a paste, when applied to poisonous insect bites and other wounds and cuts, relieves pain and removes swelling.

Curry leaves ground with turmeric and taken daily is an effective remedy for allergic reactions.

Curry leaves and black pepper beaten with sour curd is beneficial to those suffering from gas formation due to indigestion.

Curry leaves boiled in coconut oil acts as an excellent hair tonic. It also stimulates hair growth and retains the natural pigmentation.

When ground with raw turmeric to a paste and applied on the foot it prevents cracking.

Kokolu Anka Rao
14th October 2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India


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