Curry leaves are derived from a beautiful, aromatic and more or less deciduous shrub growing up to 0.9 meter, or a small downy tree, up to 6 meter in height and 15 to 40 cm in diameter. The leaves are slightly bitter and aromatic.
Curry leaves posses the qualities of herbal tonic. They strengthen the functions of stomach and promote its action. They are also used as a mild laxative. The leaves may be taken mixed with other mild tasting herbs. The juice extracted from 15 grams of leaves may be taken with buttermilk.
An analysis of curry leaves shows them to consist of moisture 66.3 percent, protein 6.1 percent, fat (ether extract) 1.0 percent, carbohydrates 16.0 percent, fiber 6.4 percent and mineral matter 4.2 percent per 100 grams. Their mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorous, iron, nicotinic acid vitamin C.
Fresh leaves on steam distillation under pressure yield a volatile oil. Besides the oil, the leaves contain a residual gluucoside named as koenigin.
Botanical Name- Murraya koenigi
Indian Name- Curry patta
Below are some of the medicinal properties of cumin seeds:
- Fresh juice of curry leaves, with lime juice and sugar, is highly beneficial in treating morning sickness, nausea and vomiting due to indigestion and excessive use of fats. One or two teaspoons of juice of these leaves mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice may be taken in these conditions. The curry leaves, ground to a fine paste and mixed with buttermilk, can also be taken on an empty stomach with beneficial results in case of stomach upsets.
- Tender curry leaves are valuable remedy for treating diarrhea, dysentery and piles. They should be taken, mixed with honey. The bark of the tree is also useful in bilious vomiting. A teaspoon of the powder or the decoction of the dry bark should be given with cold water in this condition.
- Eating ten fresh fully grown curry leaves every morning for three months will help to prevent diabetes due to heredity factors. It also cures diabetes due to obesity, as the leaves have weight reducing properties. As the weight drops, the diabetic patients stop passing sugar in urine.
- Curry leaves can be used with gratifying results to treat burns, bruises and skin eruptions. They should be applied as a poultice over the affected areas.
- Fresh juice of curry leaves suffused in the eyes makes then look bright. It also prevents the early development of cataract.
- The root of the curry plant also has medicinal properties. The juice of the root can be taken to relieve pain associated with the kidneys.
- Liberal intake of curry leaves is useful in preventing premature graying of hair. These leaves have the property of nourish the hair roots. New hair roots that grow are healthier with normal pigment. The leaves can be used in the form of chutney or the juice may be squeezed and taken buttermilk.
- Fruits of the tree, which are berries, are edible. They are green when raw, but purple when ripe. Juice of these berries mixed with equal proportion of lime juice, is an effective fluid for external application in insect stings and bites of poisonous creatures.
- When curry leaves are boiled in coconut oil till they are reduced to a blackened residue, the oil forms an excellent hair tonic to stimulate hair growth and in retaining the natural pigmentation.