Curry leaves are an essential part of Indian cuisine. It is widely used in South India. North India is not averse to this fragrant leaf, but the consumption is minimal. Sri Lanka also uses this aromatic herb extensively in their fish preparations.
The botanical name of this plant is Murraya Koenigin Sprengel. It belongs to the family of Rutaceae. It is a small tree which grows up to 4-6metres tall. The leaves are deep green in color. A fully grown curry leaf tree can produce 100 kg of leaves every year. The leaf of the tree is used generally. It is grown in almost everywhere in India except the higher regions of Himalayas. It is also found in Burma, Malaysia, and South Africa etc.
Curry leaves are mostly used as a natural flavoring substance. In fact these leaves give all the dishes a distinct taste and aroma. Raw, fresh curry leaves are good for this purpose. They are extremely fragrant and this makes them immensely popular.
Curry leaves have several medicinal values. But people always keep it aside when they come across it in a preparation. Actually it should be eaten with gusto. The leaves contain vitamin A and B. It also contains carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, alkaloids etc. It is an excellent source of calcium also. It helps for easy digestion. It induces appetite and is given for small children in powdered form. It reduces blood sugar. It cures burns and bruises. It is also effective in curing eruptions and the bites of poisonous animals.
Curry leaves are an excellent hair tonic. This is one of its less known qualities. Most people are not aware of this property of curry leaves. It stops graying of hair. A regular intake of curry leaves is extremely good for the health of the hair. It stops hair loss and helps to grow luxuriant hair. The paste made from the seeds of the curry leaves is excellent for the treatment of lice on the head.