From Weight Loss to Hair Growth: Health Benefits of Curry Leaves
Curries are a mainstay of Indian cuisine, and anyone who's even heard of Indian cuisine knows what curry is. But if you're a true lover of Indian food, you'll know the difference that curry leaves makes - it's the difference between a flat curry and one smacking with flavor!
I love to add a bit of these leaves to the sambar and rasams I cook often, it gives a wonderful taste and aroma! And, a bit of a green thumb, I grow the curry leaves too.
But great taste is not all that curry leaves bring to the table. These little dark green leaves are powerhouses of all kinds of valuable nutrients that can fix anything from an upset tummy to your liver. Yes, these humble leaves can do all that and more!
Curry leaves are native to India and Sri Lanka, and many homes in these countries grow their own leaves. You’ll find these leaves being used abundantly in cooking, that gives a rich burst of flavours to the cuisine. They also have a place of pride in traditional medicine like Ayurveda.
Here are ten amazing benefits of curry leaves.
• Aids Weight Loss
Curry leaves contain carbazole alkaloids, which help speed up your weight loss efforts. Traditional experts suggest munching on 7-8 fresh curry leaves first thing in the morning to help detoxify the body and improve digestion.
• Helps Stomach Problems
Curry leaves can work wonders on an upset tummy. In many South Indian homes, a drink of buttermilk tempered with curry leaves is offered after a meal to ease digestion. Curry leaves are believed to support digestive enzymes because of which they are a suitable remedy for diarrhoea and indigestion.
• Promotes Hair Growth
Curry leaves are famous for their hair health-promoting properties. Not only do they stimulate hair follicles to promote growth, they also prevent premature greying and dandruff. A cup of coconut oil steeped with boiled curry leaves is a preferred hair oil to maintain jet black hair.
• Relieves Morning Sickness
Speaking of stomach problems, pregnant women who've been through morning sickness know how harrowing it can be. For many Moms-to-be, the sickness lasts all day and not just the morning. Sipping on a juice of curry leaves helps to ease pregnancy nausea, without any harmful side effects.
• Stabilizes Blood Sugar
One of the biggest challenges diabetics face is the rapid fluctuation of blood sugar levels. Curry leaves affect the body's insulin activity thereby ensuring that blood sugar levels remain stable. A diet rich in curry leaves have given several people long term diabetic benefits.
• Improves Eyesight
Carrots aren't the only thing that'll give you healthy eyes; curry leaves work too! Rich in Vitamin A whose carotenoids protect the cornea, regular consumption of curry leaves helps to maintain good eyesight, while also preventing age-related degenerative diseases like cataract.
• Encourages Healing of Wounds
Several practitioners of traditional medicine resort to a paste of ground curry leaves for many common skin ailments and wounds, like mild burns, boils, bruises or insect bites. The paste has antibacterial properties, is instantly cooling and speeds up the body's natural healing process.
• Prevents Anaemia
Iron deficiency anaemia is one of the most common deficiencies seen in children in our country, especially among girls. Curry leaves are rich in iron and they also contain folic acid that help in the absorption of iron by the body. A 'tea' of steeped curry leaves can help prevent anaemia.
• Lowers Bad Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that leads to heart disease. Curry leaves prevents the oxidation and formation of LDL cholesterol and in turn increases the amount of HDL cholesterol, which is the good kind. This balance is important to prevent lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disease.
• Protects Against Free Radical Damage
Curry leaves have been shown to protect the body against free radical damage, which is a big step in preventing serious illnesses. The tannins and carbazole alkaloids in curry leaves protect the body from liver damage as well as several types of cancer.
It's probably surprising to know that something so mundane has so many health benefits for all parts of the body! But that's the magic of curry leaves! Now the next time you add them to a curry, know that you're giving your family an extra dash of health!
(Pratibha Pal spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. She grew up reading a variety of books that let her imagination wander and still hopes to come across the Magic Faraway Tree. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)