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Curry Leaves

Most interesting fact is curry leaf isn’t related to curry powder, it doesn’t look like curry powder or taste like it either….

· Spice

What if I tell you that by adding curry leaves, you are not only adding flavor and aroma but lot of health and nutrition to your dishes. Will you agree with me?
If not let’s explore these incredible curry leaves together. Most interesting fact is curry leaf isn’t related to curry powder, it doesn’t look like curry powder or taste like it either…. But curry leaf is important ingredient of many curry dishes for sure.

Exploring Curry Leaves….

Curry leaves (popularly named as Kadi Patta) are the leaves of the curry tree. Native to India curry leaves add flavors to cuisines to many countries including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore.

Why Curry Leaves?

Curry leaves are very popular in Ayurvedic medicine since they have numerous therapeutic properties. Curry leaves have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic properties.
They are packed with vitamins like vitamin C, A, B, E and antioxidants, amino acids. They contain range of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, copper and various flavonoids.
Most important ingredient present in curry leaves are carbazole alkaloids. Due to these carbazole alkaloids curry leaves have tremendous antioxidant power and can be very effective in getting rid of free radicals. Free radicals are thought to be one of the causes of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and the aging process in general.

Health Benefits

1. Curry leaves can help control diabetes

According to the book, 'Healing Spices' by Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, researches have proved that curry leaf may help in controlling type-2 diabetes. Since curry leaves are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin, beta-carotene and especially carbazole alkaloids they can delay oxidative damage from free radicals, which is major cause of type-2 diabetes.

Curry leaves are rich in fiber. Fiber helps in slowing down digestion, slows absorption if sugar and thus keeps blood sugar in check. Finally, curry leaves tend to increase insulin activity and when the body can use insulin properly, blood sugar levels automatically get stabilized.

2. Curry leaves can aid in weight loss.
Since carbazole alkaloids in curry leaves has anti-obesity and lipid-lowering properties it can efficiently burn body fat and bad cholesterol. Eating curry leaves prevents from indigestion issues and improves digestion by comforting the intestinal walls. Regular chewing or drinking of curry leaves tea cleanses and eliminates the harmful toxins from the body. Natural detoxification burns more calories and avoids fat accumulation resulting in weight loss.

3. Curry Leaves can fight cancer
According to researchers at Meiji University in Japan, carbazole alkaloids in curry leaves are very effective against cancer cells, particularly colorectal cancer, leukemia and prostate cancer. Thus, adding curry leaves to your everyday cooking is a great way to protect your body against malignancy.

Home Remedies

1. Grind 10-15 curry leaves into a paste, add pinch of turmeric and apply on acne-infected skin. Leave this face mask for 20-25 mins and wash. Do it daily for 3-4 weeks. Enjoy glowing softer skin. You can use it for whole body massage as well.
2. Boil curry leaves in water for 10-15 mins and drink this like tea everyday on an empty stomach to treat stomach ache and indigestion. This is very effective in weight loss as well.
3. Boiling curry leaves with coconut oil or sesame oil can be a very effective in against graying or thinning hair.
4. For acidity or ulcer or diabetes, chew fresh leaves every morning on an empty stomach and drink lukewarm water.
5. A quick treatment for minor cuts and bruises is washing the wounds twice a day with curry leaves infused water.

Simple ways to add Curry Leaves

1. To add finely chopped curry leaves to salads and salad dressings.
2. Adding curry leaves paste to marinades.
3. Adding curry leaves while pickling.
4. Adding curry leaves to soups, stews or sauces instead of bay leaf for a change.
5. Adding curry leaves to chili.
6. Tempering with curry leaves and adding to rice and sautéed veggies.