Murraya koenigii originates from South India, where it is known by its general name “curry leaf tree”. The word curry is derived from the Tamil ‘Kari' that means spiced sauces. The curry leaves consist of carbazole alkaloids which have various medicinal properties, including antioxidant, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory factors.
The curry leaf tree can grow to a height ranging between four meters and six meters. The trunk of the plant measures up to 40 centimeters. The plant has leaves that are pinnate in shape, and they have leaflets ranging between 11 and 21 in number on each leaf.
Each of the leaflets is approximately two centimeters in length and one centimeter in width. The herbaceous plant gives rise to black berries that are safe for human consumption. However, the seeds of the curry leaf tree are poisonous. Most Indians use curry tree leaves in the preparation of various dishes.
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The herbaceous plant originated from India, and it grows in the regions having tropical and sub-tropical climates. The plant is also grown in other countries apart from India, as long as they have warm temperatures. The curry leaf tree can be found in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, China, and Australia.
The valuable parts of the curry leaf tree include its bark, the aromatic leaves, and the roots. The herbaceous plant is proliferated by raising little suckers that are obtained from its base. The herbaceous plant cannot be propagated utilizing its seeds or root cutting.
In the field of Ayurveda medicine, the curry leaf tree has several medicinal uses. The curry leaves can be utilized in the management of diabetic patients, cancer, and infections.
The herbaceous plant is also hepatoprotective, meaning that it protects the liver from damage. The plant's roots can be used to treat various dermatological conditions like acne, and its bark can be used to relieve the effects of a snake bite.
Health Benefits of Murraya Koenigii
Murraya Koenigii has various uses both in medicine and in the culinary arts. The leaves of the herbaceous plant can be added to several dishes to enhance their flavor. Consumption of the leaves can bring various health benefits. The following are the health benefits that are associated with the curry leaf tree.
1. Antidiarrheal Properties
According to a study that was performed by Ashish Pagariya and Maithili V., the carbazole alkaloids that are found in Murraya koenigii have antidiarrheal properties. The two scientists conducted experiments on lab rats to confirm the antidiarrheal properties of the herbaceous plant.
The study concluded that the alkaloids are in position to regulate castor-oil induced diarrhea. The curry leaves can be taken by grinding them and eating the paste. The juice of the herbaceous plant can also be taken orally.
2. Antioxidant Properties
A study was conducted at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre by Mylarappa B. Ningappa to find out the antioxidant properties of the curry leaf tree. The study concluded that the curry leaf tree is a good source of essential antioxidants.
The herbaceous plant is rich in vitamins A, E, and C, which help in the removal of harmful free radicals in the body. The antioxidant activity of these vitamins helps in reducing the scavenging activity of the free radicals. The vitamins also reduce the level of oxidative stress in the body. Leaves of the curry tree can be added to vegetable stews and soups. It is also available in the form of dried powder.
3. Prevention of Cancer
Curry leaves consist of chemical components that play a significant role in the prevention of growth of cancer cells in the body. The phenols found in curry leaves can help in fighting various cancers in the body, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and colorectal cancers.
According to study that was conducted at the Department of Medical Chemistry at Mejio University, Japan, carbazole alkaloids have the ability to fight the growth and spread of cancerous cells in the body.
4. Curry Leaves Lower Cholesterol Levels in the Body
Curry leaves have been shown to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. When taken, they act on the low-density cholesterol, lowering its level in the body.
The ability of the curry leaves to lower cholesterol concentrations in the body was confirmed through a study that was performed at the University of Kerala’s Department of Medical Chemistry in India.
5. Murraya Koenigii Promotes Healthy Growth of Hair
Curry leaves promote healthy growth of hair by strengthening the hair roots. The curry leaf powder is mixed in oil before it is applied to hair with a massage.
Curry leaves can help in the prevention of gray hair. A regular application of curry powder to the scalp has been shown to improve the growth of hair.
6. Protection of the Digestive Tract
Ayurvedic methodology recommends the use of curry leaves in curing gastrointestinal disorders. The chemical ingredients found in curry leaves are known to possess mild laxative properties.
Consumption of juice extracted from curry leaves in combination with lime juice helps in relieving indigestion problems. A paste made from curry leaves can be mixed with buttermilk, and the mixture should be taken every morning to help relieve gastrointestinal problems.
7. Hepato Protective
The liver plays various roles in the body. The liver needs to be protected from free radicals and bacterial organisms that could lead to its damage.
Studies have revealed that the alkaloids and tannins contained in curry leaves can help in protecting the liver from any damage.
Risks and Side Effects Associated With the Use of Curry Leaves
Curry powder is safe when it is consumed in moderate amounts. However, taking the powder in large quantities has been linked to various side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and, diarrhea. The gastrointestinal effects are thought to be caused by the presence of turmeric in curry.
Turmeric in curry powder can also lead to increased risk of bleeding. Turmeric present in curry powder prevents the formation of blood clots by the platelets. Individuals who are taking anticoagulant medications such as warfarin and aspirin are contraindicated from using curry powder. The combination of curry powder together with anticoagulant drugs may increase bleeding risks.
Murraya Koenigii Review Summary
Murraya koenigii is an important herbaceous plant in the management of various diseases. Individuals who are taking curry powder are advised to take it in moderate doses to avoid its side effects. Persons who are on anticoagulant medications should seek medical advice from a pharmacist or medical doctors before using curry powder.