Curry Leaves, Kadi Patta, Bansang, Mitha neem, Kadhinim, whatever you call them, are widely used in Indian cuisine. The origin of the plant is in the Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh, India. This leaf is generally used as an aromatizing agent in food preparations, but curry leaves possess incredible medicinal property. Curry leaves are anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, have an anti-oxidant property, and also improves digestion. Ayurveda recommends eating curry leaves regularly to have a good digestive system and avoid obesity, cholesterol, bowel related problems, etc. The nutrients and hair tonic properties of curry leaves make it a useful remedy for hair fall.We must say curry leaves are a versatile plant product.
How did the “Curry” word originate?
Murraya koenigii is the scientific name of curry leaf. The word “Curry” is of Indian origin. In Tamil, which is a South Indian language, the word “Kari" means "soup" or "sauce." And Kariveppilai means curry (Kari) leaf (ilai); from this, the name "Curry leaf" came.
Treating diseases/health problems using Curry Leaves
• Obesity-related problems
In this fast and Stressful lifestyle, people eat lots of unhealthy food, which directly increases body weight and weakens the digestive system. In Ayurvedic terms, unhealthy food reduces digestive fire. Impaired digestive ability leads to the accumulation of Ama (undigested food residue), and this causes an imbalance in Meda dhatu (body fat in general), and if this condition is untreated, then it will lead to obesity.
Curry leaves are a great option for fixing body metabolism. Deepan (act as an appetizer) and Pachan (helps to digest) quality helps process the undigested food and thus controls obesity.You can chew 5-6 Curry Leaves in the morning or on an empty stomach, or you can incorporate some fresh Curry leaves in food; it will give the food an additional taste and will help indigestion.
• Curry leaves help to Cure Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the discharge of watery, loose stools, which decrease stools' consistency and increase bowel movements. According to Ayurveda, Diarrhea (Atisar) occurs due to impure water, toxins in food or water, improper food, or even mental stress. Besides all of this, one of the biggest reasons is a weak digestive system or Agnimandya. All of this causes a serious imbalance in metabolism, this causes other tissues to lose water, and that water comes to the intestine and mixes with the stool.
Making the stool watery and thus causes diarrhea. Curry leaves are great for this situation as it can improve the digestive fire, and as it acts as an appetizer, one can take curry leaves as a food supplement to cure diarrhea.Curry leaves powder is preferred; mix ¼-½ teaspoon curry leaves powder with water after taking light food. This will help to control diarrhea.
• Curry leaves improve digestion
As per Ayurveda, Aggravated Kapha or imbalanced body energy is the main cause of incomplete or improper digestion means indigestion. This imbalance in energy causes Agnimanday (weak digestive fire) and increases Ama, which leads to other problems.
Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) quality of curry leaves help to improve the Agni or digestive fire, which helps to digest food faster and easily, thus improving digestion.
• Curry leaves in Hair loss
Curry leaves can serve as a hair tonic. Hair fall mainly occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy food, water-related problem, stress, and other diseases. According to Ayurveda, hair fall happens due to Vata dosha, which means an imbalance in body energy.
Curry leaves Ayurvedically proven to balance Vata dosha, and as it also possesses Keshya (hair tonic) property, it helps to reduce hair fall.
Curry leaves oil mainly applied on the scalp to reduce hair fall and regenerate hair follicles. to prepare curry leaf oil -
- 5-10 grams of curry leaves powder id added with coconut oil
- mix it to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to the scalp properly and leave it there for 1-2 hours.
- wash your head with shampoo properly.
- repeat this process twice a week to achieve effective hair growth.
• Mouth Ulcer problem
Mouth ulcers are painful and cause irritation in the mouth; if untreated and the ulcer is severe, this can turn into mouth cancer. Mouth ulcers can occur due to various reasons like viral/ bacterial or fungal infection, chemicals, medications, or other medical conditions. In Ayurveda, a mouth ulcer is known as Mukh Pak, and it can appear inside the cheeks, inside the lips or gums, and on the tongue. Curry leaves can heal these ulcers quickly because of its Roman or healing property.
- Make a paste of a ¼-½ teaspoon of curry leaves powder with 5-10 ml of honey.
- Apply this paste inside the mouth on the affected area to manage and cure mouth ulcers.
Ways of using Curry leaves in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
• Raw curry leaves
Curry leaves, as it is in the raw form, can be used in different ways.
- Chewing 5-6 curry leaves in the morning on an empty stomach helps to improve the digestive system.
- Tadka is an Indian thing in cooking. Here curry leaves are added to hot oil for tempering.
- Curry leaves can be used in various food recipes like Dal, Idli, Sambhar, Dosa, etc.
• In the form of powder
Curry leaves powder can be used as a food supplement; it helps to manage diarrhea, improves Agni, and reduces weight. Paste 1-2 teaspoon Curry leaves powder with coconut oil helps in hair growth.
¼-½ teaspoon curry leaves powder with water is preferred before lunch or dinner.
Scientifically it is proven that curry leaves have an anti-diabetic property, which helps to manage blood glucose levels. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and due to its anti-oxidant property, it prevents cell damage. To fight these problems, curry leaves capsules can be used as a food supplement, and 1-2 capsules a day is recommended.
• Curry leaves face pack.
Curry leaves paste with turmeric is a very good face pack. Turmeric acts as an anti-bacterial where the curry leaves help clean facial pores; these properties are great for fighting acne problems. Curry leaves also have an anti-oxidant property, which will help to fight to age.
To prepare this face pack
- Make a paste of freshly picked curry leaves and add 1-2 pinch of turmeric.
- Apply this paste on your face and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Wash your face properly with water.
- Applying this face pack once or twice a week helps to reduce acne and give your face a natural glow.
• Curry leaves the hair pack.
Curry leaves help manage Vata dosha, and its keshya property induces hair growth. For hair treatment, curry leaves are used as a paste or pack.
- mix 1-2 teaspoons of curry leave powder with coconut oil, and make a paste.
- apply the paste to your hair properly so that it reaches the scalp.- leave it for 1-2 hours, then wash your hair thoroughly with water or use shampoo.
- repeat this remedy twice a week to reduce hair fall and have effective hair growth.
Possible side effects of curry leaves
Curry leaves are generally safe to consume with relatively no possible side effects. But excess consumption of curry leaves can create some side-effects like acidity, which gives a burning sensation, an upset stomach, and nausea.
FAQ’s about curry leaves
1. Is curry leaves safe to consume?
Generally, curry leaves are used in cuisines to give it a characteristic aroma. In India, it is used in dal, dosa, idli, etc. Not many people preferred to eat raw curry leaves, but it is actually very healthy and helps indigestion. Limited consumption Curry leaves do not cause any side effects.
2. Do curry leaves have a spicy taste?
No, curry leaves are not spicy. Actually, curry leaves do not contribute to the food's taste; rather, it gives the food a characteristic aroma. It is mostly used in Indian cuisine, a preferred ingredient used in Tadka, especially in South Indian dishes.
3. Is curry powder is a product of curry leaves?
Curry leaves and curry powder are totally different things. Curry powder is a mix of multiple spices where curry leaves are leaves of curry plant.
4. Does curry leaves have anti-diabetic properties?
Curry leaves are good for digestion and promote insulin secretion from the pancreas, thus increasing glucose uptake in the cells. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curry leaves help to decrease free radicals in the body. Decreased levels of free radicals prevent damage to pancreatic -cells, and this helps to manage insulin levels.
According to Ayurveda, diabetes or Madhumeha happens due to Vata dosha and indigestion. A weak digestive system leads to an accumulation of toxic undigested food or Ama in the pancreatic cells, which impairs its function and disturbs insulin levels. Curry leaves help to improves the digestive system and overall metabolism due to its Deepan and Pachan property. This eventually manages insulin level and, thus, a balanced blood glucose level.
5. Curry leaves reduce cholesterol levels. Is it true?
Curry leaves not only reduces cholesterol levels, but it also increases the good cholesterol level in the body.
Imbalanced Pachak Agni or digestive fire is a cause of impaired digestion, which leads to the accumulation of Ama or undigested toxic food residues. This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in blood vessels, causing numerous problems. Curry leaves are very helpful in reducing body cholesterol levels because they possess Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties, which improves digestive fire.
6. Are curry leaves good for liver health?
Curry leaves are hepatoprotective agents that help to protect the liver, and as Curry leaves are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, it is good for liver health.
7. Do curry leaves improve the memory capacity of the brain?
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the memory and learning ability of the brain. Breaking down acetylcholine reduces memory capacity. Cholinesterase is an enzyme in the brain that breaks down acetylcholine, and curry leaves inhibit Cholinesterase's activity. Thus curry leaves help improving memory, and it is given in case of Alzheimer's disease.
8. Can curry leaves cure Gastric ulcer?
Yes, curry leaves can help in gastric ulcer as it has Roman or healing property. It also inhibits the function of Ulcer, causing bacteria H. pylori and neutralizes gastric acid. These functions of curry leaves help to treat gastric ulcer problems.
9. Does curry leaves helps in morning sickness and prevent nausea?
Indigestion is the cause of nausea and morning sickness. Curry leaves are carminative, and it improves digestive function. Thus it helps to manage morning sickness and nausea.
Curry leaves deepen, and pachan property improves Agni or digestive fire. Proper digestion reduces ama and manages nausea and morning sickness.
10. Does curry leaves improve eyesight?
Vitamin A or retinol is good for eyesight, and curry leaves are rich in vitamin A. consuming curry leaves regularly improves eyesight and reduces the risk of cataract.
11. Are curry leaves hair tonic?
Yes, curry leaves act as a hair tonic, and it promotes hair growth, infects it is rich in vitamin C, which is very good for hair health. It also helps in maintaining the black color of hair and prevents hair fall.
12. Do curry leaves possess wound healing property, true or false?
True, curry leaves have Ropan or healing property, which helps healing wound. It actually reduces the size of the wound, and the anti-inflammatory and disinfectant property promotes wound healing.