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Curry Leaves - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

The curry tree is native to Asia and the plant is often referred to as Murraya koenigii or sweet neem. It is mainly found in India and many other Asian countries.

Thanks to its amazing flavour, curry leaves are often used in cooking, garnishing and to make curry powder which is a part of an amazing spice mixture in Asia.

You may use it in many Indian recipes including curries, dahl and rice recipes. It enhances the taste very well.

Components and Major Properties of Curry Leaves:

Curry leaves are said to have many neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-mutagenic, and antifungal properties.  

The active constituent of curry leaves include bismahanine, murrayanine, murrayafoline-A, bi-koeniquinone-A, bismurrayaquinone, mukoenine-A, mukoenine-B, mukoenine-C, murrastifoline, Murrayazolinol, murrayacine, murrayazolidine, murrayazoline, mahanimbine, girinimbine, koenioline, xynthyletin, koenigine-Quinone A and koenigine-Quinone. (MedCrave)

Health Benefits and Uses of Curry Leaves:

  • Rich in Antioxidants

Curry Leaves are abundant in antioxidants that can prevent many diseases and keep us healthy.

We generally need a lot of antioxidants and chewing just a few curry leaves can do good for us. (Hindawi

These green leaves are excellent in protecting us from the damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals.

They prevent oxidation and encourage cells to regenerate and rejuvenate. 

  • Fights Cancer

The anti-mutagenic properties of curry leaves can protect us and prevent various cancers. The leaves also contain flavonoids that can fight cancerous cells and prevent them from growing. (Pharmeasy)

The leaves are proven to prevent cervical, breast and colon cancers in adults as well as teens. 

  • Aids weight loss

Curry leaves do not contain any calories at all. They’re extremely light and easy to consume.

Their taste makes them an amazing herb to chew on. You may add these leaves in various smoothies, vegetables and salads or dressings.

Curry leaves’ antioxidants help your body to stop oxidation immediately and promote the detoxification process. It clears out your fat cells too.

And, they also prevent the fat cells from storing more fats. This makes your belly slimmer and body toned.

  • Fights Cholesterol

Since bad cholesterol levels can only increase with the process of oxidation, curry leaves can help a lot.

They can reduce the oxidation of the plaque sitting in your arteries and veins and prevent the veins and arteries from clogging up.

It promotes good cholesterol production only. The LDL is reduced and your cholesterol reports come normal. You can chew some curry leaves every morning for the best results.

  • Fights Diabetes

The best benefit includes giving your body a bit of bitter and sweet tastes of curry leaves. The leaves help in stimulating many hormones including insulin.

In a study conducted by NCBI, it was proven how curry leaves can reduce blood sugar levels.

“In mild and moderate diabetic rats, feeding of 5, 10 and 15% diet caused a maximal reduction in blood sugar by 13.1, 16.3 and 21.4% (NS, P<0.05 and 0.005) and 3.2, 5.58, 8.21% (NS), respectively.”

The leaves further help to regulate and convert glucose into energy.

  • Relieves Nausea, Vomiting, Morning Sickness

Nausea, vomiting and morning sickness are common problems during pregnancy. Many people feel nauseous during long journeys. 

Curry leaves can reduce the symptoms by secreting digestive enzymes and promoting metabolism.

It treats nausea in just a few weeks. The digestive enzymes ease the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and morning sickness.

Studies explain how curry leaves reduce the harsh acids in your stomach to prevent them from damaging the esophagus and relieve symptoms of nausea.

  • Fights Gastritis

Curry leaves have proven to prevent bloating, constipation and gastrointestinal diseases. Long term consumption of curry leaves may also help reduce and relieve the symptoms of IBS which may involve bloating too.

A study conducted by NCBI “shows that aqueous curry leaf extract provides protection to the gastric mucosa against piroxicam induced damage in a dose-dependent manner.”

  • Promotes Healing 

When applied topically, these leaves may promote healing wounds due to their antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. 

Many ointments and creams contain curry leaves to heal cuts, burns, bruises or pigmentation of the skin.

Some dermatological products contain curry leaves to heal acne spots and pimples too. 

The aroma of these leaves are so good, they promote healing of the mind by de-stressing it. Hence, many massage and spa centres have started using curry leaves in aromatherapy.

  • Promotes Vision

Curry leaves contain Vitamin A and other minerals that are important for your cornea and retina.

Consuming curry leaves regularly may reduce the risk of nighttime blindness and vision health. The leaves improve overall eye health.

Curry leaves prevent the damage caused by free radicals on your eyes. The antioxidants help the blood flow reach the eyes very well.

  • Treats Cold and Cough

Vitamins and minerals in curry leaves help promote the immunity levels of your body. The antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties of curry leaves can prevent many diseases too.

Since normal cold and cough are mainly caused by bacteria, fungus and virus, curry leaves consumption can prevent these diseases.

Studies prove how curry leaves can reduce headaches, sinusitis and migraines too. See what the study on curry leaves oil states:

“The oil has a maximum zone of inhibition ability against Corynebacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pyogenes, Klebsiella pneumonia and Enterobacter aerogenes.”

  • Fights Hair Problems

Various hair problems including hair fall, greying of hair, thinning, split ends, dandruff, dry, frizzy, colour damaged or damaged hair can be treated with the help of curry leaves or its oil.

These leaves can help your hair cells get nourished and prevent breakage. In some cases, people even notice their grey hair turning black. You need to eat curry leaves regularly to observe the benefits.

Side-Effects of Curry Leaves Consumption:

Curry leaves consumption is considered to be extremely safe in all cases. However, some people may have allergies to some leaves. Please check if you’re allergic to curry leaves.

In rare cases, anyone would be allergic to curry leaves. The side-effects are none unless you consume curry leaves in excess.

Topical application of curry leaves should be done after consulting a doctor only. (1mg)

  • You may experience digestive disorders only on excessive consumption.
  • You may feel a burning sensation when you consume curry leaves on an empty stomach.
  • Topical application may cause allergies in rare cases.
  • If pregnant, consult your doctor before consuming it.
Conclusion:

Since Curry Leaves are natural and safe to consume, you can chew them, add them in a juice or have them regularly without any risks of side-effects.

References

https://medcraveonline.com/MOJBM/curry-leaf-murraya-koenigii-a-spice-with-medicinal-property.html

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2013/263509/

https://pharmeasy.in/blog/health-benefits-of-curry-leaves/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12241985/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551158/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598401/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4104627/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070712/

https://www.1mg.com/ayurveda/curry-leaves-142 

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