Medicinal uses of curry leaves

Do you keep aside the curry leaves which are used for tempering, from your food? Apart from bringing flavour to the food, curry leaves has many medicinal uses. This article lists out some of them.

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.

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
  • Heals wounds, burns and skin eruptions: A paste made of curry leaves is applied on the affected area for quick relief. 
  • Helps in hair growth:  The leaves also help 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.  
  • Improves memory
  • Aids in weight-loss
  • Good for kidney:

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 potato. Then, watch how your children polish off a plate of potato chips along with curry leaves. 

Recipe of 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 super food 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.

With inputs from Ayurveda practitioner Dr A Radhakrishna. 

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