Health Benefits 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 • 8 min read
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 well documented in ancient scriptures. Even today curry leaves are used as ingredients in preparation of many Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha medicines. Read more to know about the nutritional value, medicinal uses and health benefits of curry leaves.
Health benefits of curry leaves
1. Benefits of curry leaves for hair growth
Curry leaves help in hair growth and minimising hair fall. When you eat curry leaves, not only is the hair root strengthened, premature greying is also prevented and sometimes cured.
2. 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 promotes faster healing of wounds and burns. For quick relief, apply a thick layer of a paste made of curry leaves.
3. 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.
4. Benefits of eating curry leaves on an empty stomach
Have you tried having curry leaves on an empty stomach? Excellent for treating stomach upsets, having curry leaves early in the morning is good for various 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 enjoy 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.
Medicinal uses of curry leaves
The humble curry leaves have many medicinal values. Here are some of these.
- Boosts immunity: Curry leaves are loaded with several vitamins and are a good source of iron and calcium. It helps build immunity and protects you and your family from diseases.
- Treats gastric complaints: If you are suffering from an upset stomach, constipation or diarrhoea, curry leaves can come to your rescue. Just mix some curry leaf powder in buttermilk and drink it on an empty stomach to find relief. It is also useful in relieving symptoms of morning sickness and nausea.
- Treats indigestion: Curry leaves are good for indigestion. It stimulates the release of digestive enzymes which help in breaking down the food inside your stomach and gut.
- Battles infection: The antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curry leaves help the body to fight against various diseases.
- Boosts heart health: Its antioxidative properties helps to regulate the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in blood and increases HDL or good cholesterol level which is vital for good heart health.
- Regulates blood sugar: Curry leaves are rich in fibre content. Dietary fibre helps to slow down digestion which ensures proper utilisation of insulin and keeps the blood sugar level in check.
- Improves eyesight: Curry leaves are a rich source of vitamin A which is beneficial for good vision and eye health.
Side effects of eating raw curry leaves
Consuming curry leaves in moderate quantities has no side effects per se. However, consuming too many can result in acidity, stomach upset and symptoms of nausea.
Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), nutritional value per 100g
- Energy 266 KJ
- Protein 7.41g
- Fibre 16.83g
- Phosphorus 83.29mg
- Calcium 659mg
- Iron 8.67mg
- Magnesium 182mg
- Riboflavin 0.13mg
- Niacin 0.85mg
- Vitamin C 6.04mg
- Total folates 117µg
*Sources as per IFCT, National Institute of Nutrition
Recipe: How to make curry leaf powder (makes 3/4 cup)
- 3 cups of curry leaves tightly packed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 red chilly and salt to taste.
- Wash the curry leaves and dry them.
- Next, dry roast them and keep aside. Dry roast the other ingredients except for salt and grind together.
- Add the curry leaves and grind again.
- 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.
- It can also be used to flavour or tadka dhals or curries like the potato masala in masala dosai.
- 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 expert:
Reviewed by Dr A Radhakrishna on 1 November 2016
Dr A Radhakrishna is an Ayurveda practitioner.
About the author:
Written by Shashwathi Sandeep on 1 November 2016; updated on 29 June 2020
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