Medicinal uses of curry leaves

Do you keep aside the curry leaves which are used for tempering, from your food? Apart from bringing flavour, curry leaves also has many medicinal uses. Read about the health benefits of curry leaves.

By Shashwathi Sandeep

Medicinal uses of curry leaves

Native to India, curry leaves are extensively used in South Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, especially in curries. Apart from adding a nice aroma to the curries, the leaves are said to be good for a host of ailments. The medicinal uses of curry leaves are known, so for ages curry leaves are a part of our daily diet. Read more to know about the curry leaves health benefits.

Health benefits of curry leaves

The humble curry leaves have many medicinal values. Here are some of these.

  • Boosts immunity:  As the curry leaf contains a large amount of calcium, it helps build immunity and protect you and your family from diseases.  
  • Helps in treating dysentery, constipation, and diarrhoea: If you have diarrhoea due to indigestion, curry leaves can come to your rescue.
  • Removes indigestion: Curry leaves are good for indigestion.  At the start of a meal, if you eat rice mixed with curry leaf powder, it helps greatly in digesting the following courses. 
  • Relieves morning sickness and nausea
  • Eliminates bacteria
  • Good for diabetics
  • Improves eyesight
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves memory
  • Good for kidney

Benefits of curry leaves for hair 

Curry leaves help in hair growth and minimise hair fall. When you eat curry leaves, not only is the hair root strengthened, premature greying is also prevented and sometimes cured. 

Benefits of curry leaves for skin

Curry leaves have excellent properties which are good for your skin.  If you have small wounds, burns or any skin eruptions, a paste of curry leaves is all you need. It heals wounds and burns. For quick relief, apply a thick layer of a paste made of curry leaves.   

Benefits of curry leaves for weight loss

Trying to knock down a few kilos from your weight? Try curry leaves as it aids in weight loss. It also cleanses your body from harmful chemicals.

Benefits of eating curry leaves on an empty stomach 

Have you tried having curry leaves on an empty stomach? Excellent for treating stomach upsets, curry leaves early in the morning is good for several other stomach-related issues. Just grind some dried curry leaves and add it to buttermilk. Drink this concoction first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach to deal with diarrhea, constipation and dysentery.

Tip for parents: If you want your child to eat curry leaves and get its many health benefits, try frying it till crisp and add it to fried root vegetables like a potato. Then, watch how your children polish off a plate of potato chips along with curry leaves. 

Recipe: How to make curry leaf powder (makes 3/4 cup)

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups of curry leaves tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 red chilly and salt to taste.

Method: 

  1. Wash the curry leaves and dry them. 
  2. Next, dry roast them and keep aside. Dry roast the other ingredients except for salt and grind together. 
  3. Add the curry leaves and grind again. 
  4. Add salt and mix well. This mixture has a very long shelf life. It is mixed with rice and ghee for a tasty rice dish.
  5. It can also be used to flavour or tadka dhals or curries like the potato masala in masala dosai.
  6. For a spicier version, add more pepper and a few pods of dry-roasted garlic.

We don't need superfood for optimal health, simple, day-to-day ingredients like curry leaves can do wonders for our health. So the next time you want to throw out a curry leaf from your plate, think twice.

About the author:

Written by Shashwathi Sandeep on 1 November 2016.

About the expert:

Reviewed by Dr A Radhakrishna on 1 November 2016. 

Dr A Radhakrishna is an Ayurveda practitioner. 

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