By Ugochi Obiajunwa
The curry leaf tree (Murraya koenigii) was originally grown in India for its aromatic leaves and for embellishing ornaments. It soon found its way to the Asian kitchen, the leaves or kadhi patta being added as a flavoring agent in most meals.
But there’s more to curry leaves than just a unique aroma and an appetite-tickling flavour. They are a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, and B2, calcium, and iron. Because of this, they have been used in folklore medicine to treat calcium deficiency, among several other conditions. See how beneficial curry leaves are to the body:
- Gets rid of Bacteria And Cell-Damaging Free Radicals
Some of the illnesses we suffer from are caused by infections or involve oxidative cell damage at some point or the other. In times of growing incidence of antibiotic-resistant strains, alternative remedies to infections are crucial. That’s where curry leaves help out.
Curry leaves have these properties (carbazole alkaloids, compounds) that have antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer properties. The compound linolool, primarily responsible for the flowery scent of curry leaves, is also capable of killing bacteria and eliminating cell-damaging free radicals.
- Treats Wounds and Burns
A paste made from curry leaves can serve as a DIY medicine for wounds, rashes, and burns. Curry leaves have the ability to accelerate the healing in wounds that were not too deep. Not only did they seal the skin gap but also restored hair growth in the affected area.Curry leaves have similar curative effects on boils, itchy or inflamed skin, and first-degree burns (mild burns).
How To Use:
Grind fresh curry leaves into a paste. Add a little water if need be. Apply this paste on burns, bruises, and skin eruptions like boils (after you clean the affected area). It’s best to leave the paste on overnight. Cover wounds with a bandage after applying the paste.
- Aids Weight Loss
Curry leaves help reduce total body fat, thus, helping you shed some pounds.
Curry leaves play the successful underdog when it comes to weight loss. A study in obese rats showed that the carbazole alkaloids in curry leaves, particularly mahanimbine, work against body weight gain and reduce total body cholesterol. This is good news for those trying to shed off a few layers of fat from their bodies.
How To Use:
Munch on dried curry leaves as snacks or add fresh or dried leaves to your meals. They are a must in green salads. Regularly eating these leaves along with a balanced diet and exercise may help you reach your weight loss goals sooner.
- Lowers sugar level
Including curry leaves in your diet helps one protect and stimulate insulin-producing pancreatic cells which in turn lowers sugar level.
A study on diabetic mice showed that curry leaves can reduce blood glucose levels.
Curry leaves have minerals (like iron, zinc, and copper) that makes it able to lower sugar level and stimulate the pancreas.
Though the nutrients in curry leaves may account for only 1–2% of your recommended daily intake, researchers believe it is a good step in the treatment of diabetes.
How To Use:
Eat as many curry leaves as you can, raw or in your meals. Bear in mind its spicy flavor.
- Stimulates Hair Growth, and Cures Dandruff
Curry leaves can be ground into a hair mask for thicker, younger looking hair.
Curry leaves stimulate hair follicles, promoting the growth of healthy strands with normal amounts of hair pigment. They, thus, can be used in treating hair loss and premature graying. Dandruff is commonly caused by a Malassezia furfur fungal scalp infection. This fungus causes hair loss and makes the scalp flaky. Curry leaf extracts have shown antifungal properties toward this fungus, which is why it can be used to treat dandruff.
How To Use:
For hair fall and dandruff, grind dried curry leaves into a powder and mix in some coconut oil. The quantity of oil you add depends on the length of your hair. Massage the mix into your scalp. Leave for half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo. Do this at least once a week.
For gray hair, crush fresh curry leaves into a paste. Massage it into your scalp and wash off after half an hour. Do this, too, at least once a week.
Am sure after reading this, we will never look down on curry leaves again as we can all see what we stand to gain when we consume it or even use it raw. For something that is so easy to add to your diet, you should definitely give it a try and let us in on your journey in the comments section.
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