The aroma that wafts through our kitchens when curry leaves are added to hot oil is simply mesmerizing! Curry leaves often known as kadi patta or meetha neem are native to India and have made their way to many Asian kitchens owing to the amazing and distinct flavour they possess.
Wait! Are you by any chance one of those who likes to remove any leaves or whole spices that are added as tempering and cover up your dishes? If yes, then once you get to know the benefits of curry leaves, trust me, you will want to eat them all!
Apart from providing an enchanting aroma and adding bursts of flavour to dishes, curry leaves can transform your health too! They also have a pride of place in traditional Ayurveda medicines as it is believed that having fresh curry leaves every morning is a great way to deal with many ailments such as bad cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and so much more.
Curry Leaves Nutrition Facts
Talking about the nutritional value of curry leaves or kadipatta, they are rich in vitamins like Vitamin A, B, C and B2, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, minerals, nicotinic acid, antioxidants, amino acids, flavonoids, Phew..the list just goes on!
Health Benefits of Curry Leaves
With an increase in health awareness, curry leaves have turned out to be a fad for health enthusiasts due to their umpteen benefits. Let’s get to know the amazing benefits of eating curry leaves every day.
#1 Helps in Weight Loss
Thinking of shedding those extra pounds? Well, curry leaves can help do the trick! As per studies, mahanimbine, one of the carbazole alkaloids that curry leaves contain, has anti-obesity and lipid-lowering effects.
They also help the body get rid of unwanted toxins thereby, improving your health and promoting weight loss.
The best way to add these leaves to your diet is by eating a few sun-dried or fresh curry leaves early in the morning or you can also boil a handful of fresh leaves in water, strain them, and your curry leaves tea is ready! Oh yes, it might take some time for you to adapt to the taste, so you can add a dash of honey or lemon to your tea and have it early in the morning.
Consider having Curry leaves for weight loss and see the tremendous results for yourself!
#2 Keeps your Heart Healthy
Owing to the abundance of alkaloids in curry leaves, they are beneficial for keeping your heart healthy and also play a vital role in treating heart-related conditions.
Talking about cholesterol levels, the oxidation of cholesterol results in the formation of LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol in the body. Curry leaves that are rich in antioxidants, help in reducing the oxidation of cholesterol thereby, controlling the LDL levels.
Curry leaves are also known to strengthen the heart muscles, prevent lipid build-up and in turn, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, and so much more!
#3 Helps fight Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which your blood lacks red blood cells and hemoglobin, and in order to increase the hemoglobin levels, you need to consume iron-rich foods.
Curry leaves are a great source of iron and folic acid. The presence of folic acid helps the body in absorbing iron. Without sufficient folic acid in the body, the iron is excreted without being absorbed properly. Curry leaves help you in maintaining this balance by providing the right amount of both iron and folic acid that your body needs.
So, if you’re looking to amp your iron levels, curry leaves are a perfect choice!
#4 Protects the Liver
Your liver plays a major role in the digestion process. Curry leaves contain tannins and alkaloids that exhibit hepatoprotective properties i.e. the ability to prevent liver damage. They can help offer a boost of protection from oxidative stress and harmful toxins owing to the presence of antioxidants like kaempferol.
The anti-oxidative property of curry leaves when combined with Vitamins A and C that it contains, not only protects the liver but also stimulates it to work more effectively. This is not it; curry leaves also quell liver damage from heavy alcohol consumption. So, just by adding these small leaves to your daily routine, you can keep your liver healthy and in turn, protect yourself from a host of other ailments. Amazing right!
#5 Good for Eyesight
Vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins for keeping your eyes healthy and curry leaves are loaded with it!
The combination of Vitamin A and Beta-carotene in curry leaves plays a vital role in improving your eyesight and treating other eye-related problems. They help prevent the cornea from drying up and formation of cloud in front of the eyes, thereby reducing the chances of night blindness and Xeropthalmia, a condition in which the eyes fail to produce tears.
Curry leaves also help prevent the early onset of cataract. So, if you’re looking out for simple ways to keep your eyes in a healthy state, curry leaves are your go-to herb!
#6 Helps Reduce Pain
We have all experienced some sort of body ache or muscle pains and very well know that getting through them is pretty dreadful! Curry leaves have medicinal properties and are used traditionally as an analgesic (pain reliever). This is backed by research too!
#7 Helps in Relieving Morning Sickness during Pregnancy
Morning sickness and nausea are very common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Consumption of curry leaves increases the secretion of digestive enzymes that in turn, provide relief from nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness.
Boil about a handful of curry leaves in water, strain them, and consume the water to alleviate the urge to vomit. You can also make fresh curry leaves juice by blending 5-10 curry leaves and a glass of water. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice or add a pinch of jaggery or gur for making it palatable.
#8 Stress Reliever
The majority of us try to keep stress at bay but our long working hours and busy lifestyles make it difficult to evade. Stress can lead to major health issues so it is extremely important to tackle it.
Curry leaves can help with this too! The aroma helps in relieving stress symptoms by calming your mind and body. Try drinking a piping hot cup of curry leaves tea after a tiring day and see the results for yourself!
#9 Helps in Digestion
Are you battling with digestive issues? I was until sometime back and out of the lifestyle and dietary modifications I made, curry leaves proved to be quite beneficial. Since the time I have started having few fresh curry leaves in the morning, the digestion related issues that used to bother me so much, have improved significantly.
Curry leaves have a carminative nature meaning that they can relieve gas and flatulence. If you’re prone to acidity, there are various other tried-tested home remedies that can provide instant relief. To know, read 10 Instant Effect Home Remedies for Acidity.
Ayurveda also suggests that kadi patta has mild laxative properties and can balance the pitta levels in the body. The high content of fiber in curry leaves not only aids digestion but also prevents constipation, nausea, bloating, etc. This is because curry leaves stimulate the release of digestive enzymes which help in breaking down the food inside your stomach and gut.
To deal with gastric troubles, chew few fresh curry leaves or sun-dry the leaves and add them to a glass of buttermilk. Just remember to have these first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
#10 Reduces Congestion
Curry leaves or Kadi patta are an age-old home remedy for treating a wet cough, sinusitis, or chest congestion. Curry leaves have decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties and are packed with Vitamin C, A, and a flavonoid – kaempferol that helps in loosening up the congested mucous.
Whenever those dreadful cough symptoms set in, take a spoon of powdered curry leaves, mix it with honey to make a paste, and eat it twice a day to get relief from congestion.
#11 Helps Prevent Skin Infections
Curry leaves possess a combination of antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties and are known to be a powerful home remedy for common skin infections and fungal infections of the nail.
#12 Blood Sugar Control
As per research, curry leaves act as an effective antihyperglycemic agent meaning that they lower the glucose levels in the blood and avert blood sugar spikes.
They also protect the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas from damage caused by free-radicles. Since diabetes can be significantly controlled by the quality of diet, diabetic patients should incorporate curry leaves in their daily routines and reap the benefits.
#13 Anti-cancer Benefits
Curry leaves have anti-mutagenic properties and the chemicals such as phenols that are found in them, are known to be beneficial in protecting you from various types of cancers. This has been scientifically proven too!
#14 Dental Care
Owing to the powerful anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, curry leaves are effective in maintaining good oral health. As per a study, curry leaves create an environment that prevents the build-up of bacteria in our mouths.
The essential oils present in curry leaves strengthen the gums and teeth, protects them from any foreign microbes and infections, and also removes bad odour.
#15 Beauty Benefits of Curry Leaves
Makes your Hair Healthy
The benefits of curry leaves for hair are huge right from preventing hair fall, dandruff, hair thinning, premature greying, and the list goes on!
Curry leaves have beta-carotene and protein that strengthen the hair follicles, prevent the thinning of hair, and promote hair growth. So, if you are tired of hair loss, then it’s time to add these magical leaves to your beauty regime!
Curry leaves are also high in antioxidants that help in moisturizing the scalp and removing dead hair follicles.
As per a study, curry leaves when boiled with coconut oil makes an excellent hair tonic that stimulates hair growth and prevents greying.
You can prepare curry leaves hair oil by taking some coconut oil in a small pan, once it’s warm, add 10 to 12 curry leaves and let them crackle. Turn off the heat once you see the leaves blackening at the edges. Once it cools down, gently massage the oil on your scalp and hair, and leave it overnight. Wash off in the morning with a mild shampoo, you would be able to see the difference in your hair in just 2-3 applications!
Makes your Skin Glow
Curry leaves are the go-to herb if you have acne, pimples, or other skin problems. The benefits of eating curry leaves for skin are enormous as they are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, which are extremely beneficial for providing beautiful healthy skin.
The anti-bacterial properties in curry leaves help in removing the dirt from skin pores and preventing infections associated with acne, pimples, and boils.
You can make an exfoliating face pack by grinding some dried curry leaves and making powder out it. Then, adding some turmeric, lemon juice, and rose water to it. Apply this curry leaves pack to your face and wash it off after half an hour. Use this pack twice a week for excellent results.
These benefits of curry leaves are not all! Their regular consumption is also known to reduce the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Also, applying the paste of curry leaves on wounds, cuts, or burns helps in rapid healing and avoiding the spread of infections.
How to Add Curry Leaves to your Diet?
Curry leaves are highly versatile and can be used in various ways.
As a Tempering
Add as a tempering to your curries, soups, and rice to impart a distinct and an amazing flavour.
Curry Leaves Juice
Make a power-packed juice with few curry leaves and spinach, kale, Indian gooseberry, or any of your favourite greens to kick-start your day.
Curry Leaves Chutney
Grind them into a chutney along with few coriander leaves, garlic, ginger, freshly squeezed lemon, and salt. You can relish this curry leaves chutney with each meal while reaping its benefits.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with this aromatic herb as curry leaves are surely going to give a burst of flavours to anything that they are added on to!
Side Effects of Curry Leaves
Although the side effects of curry leaves are none, excess consumption can lead to some digestive issues. As it is said, too much of anything is bad, so is the case with curry leaves. So try to limit yourself to the following ideal dosage:
- 10 to 12 fresh Curry leaves per day or
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Curry leaf powder per day or
- 1 to 2 Curry leaves capsules per day
It is not necessary to look out for a superfood to attain good health, simple, day-to-day ingredients like curry leaves or kadipatta can do wonders for your health. Curry leaves are power-packed with nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties, and what not! The health benefits of curry leaves are enormous, right from weight loss, to relieving stress, pain, making your heart and liver healthy, making your skin glow, treat hair fall, and I can just go on and on. So next time, you are tempted to throw out a curry leaf from your dish, think twice as this small ingredient can make you healthy inside out!