Health benefits of curry leaves

Health benefits of curry leaves

Spluttering curry leaves into your dishes magically enhances the flavour

One ingredient that is common in many dishes in India is the curry leaf. And it is used a lot more in the southern part of the country, whether it is to make rasam, sambar or any vegetable dish. Or if Bisi Bele Bath is being made, it is not complete without tempering curry leaves, mustard, dry red chillies and asafoetida.  

Here are a few health benefits of curry leaves.

The curry leaf belongs to the Rutaceae family and is also known as sweet neem. It is a staple in the kitchen. However, apart from giving a wonderful flavour to the dish, it is also a health food because it contains many nutrients. Curry leaves are also an important part of Ayurveda.  It contains protein, carbohydrate, several vitamins, calcium, magnesium, sodium, among others.   

Here are a few health benefits of curry leaves  

Good for the stomach

In India and parts of Asia, it is ancient or common knowledge that curry leaves are good for relieving acidity and improving digestion.  

Anti-ageing properties  

According to a publication in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), USA, curry leaves contain flavonoids. “These natural products have been shown to have antioxidant properties and are capable of scavenging free superoxide radicals, thus providing anti-ageing benefits as well as reducing the risk of cancer,” it says.  

Controls blood sugar levels

Another publication in the NCBI said that oral administration of curry leaf extract for a period of 30 days significantly decreased the levels of blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, urea, uric acid and creatinine in diabetic treated group of animals. 

Other health benefits  

A third publication in the NCBI states: “Different parts of M Koenigii (curry plant) have been used in traditional Ayurveda medicine for the treatment of cough, hypertension, hysteria, hepatitis, rheumatism, poisonous bites, and skin eruptions. In addition, curry leaf has been reported to have anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycemic effects.” 

How to consume

Include it in daily cooking. Curry and coriander leaves, a bit of jeera and green chillies can be ground to a paste and added to buttermilk with a little bit of salt. This makes a refreshing beverage and will settle the stomach too.  

(Health benefits listed are guidelines and not substitutes for professional medical advice.)