Amazing Curry Leaf
It is very common in South India to have a curry-patta plant in the backyard of every house. Curry leaves are extensively used in South Indian dishes. Especially, in rasam/sambar etc. Some dishes cannot be prepared without the flavour of curry-patta. Besides giving flavour to our dishes it has wonderful medicinal qualities. It keeps the hair strong, shiny and healthy. It strengthens the roots of the hair and prevents hair fall. It is considered a nutritious tonic for hair and scalp. It is a good source of Vitamin ‘A’ and Vitamin ‘C’. It also strengthens the functioning of the stomach.
Since, the leaf is not tender. People remove it out before eating from their dish like upma or pulihora or sambar. It has been prescribed by Unani doctors and is used in preperations of their medicines. These doctors’ advise not to throw the leaf from the food but to chew and eat it, as it is very good for digestion. It gives relief from constipation. It is very common in southern parts of India to offer buttermilk to guests with curry leaves and salt added to it. It gives flavour to the buttermilk and protects from heat stroke as well.
Relief from nausea: Paste of curry leaves added with honey and lemon juice gives relief from nausea.
Relief from stomach ailments:
- Wash curry-patta thoroughly and crush them along with coriander leaves and mint leaves and take one tablespoon daily. This can give relief from regular stomach upsets.
- Grind curry leaves and add to buttermilk and can be consumed in the morning to get relief of stomach related problems.
For black and shiny hair:
- Regular use of curry leaves in your diet can give you shiny and black hair and protects from hair fall.
- Take a cup of curry leaves, add 250g of coconut oil and heat them on slow flame, till all the leaves turn black. After cooling, strain the oil. This oil acts as an excellent hair tonic and stimulates hail growth.
- It can also stop premature greying of hair.
- Chewing a few curry leaves early in the morning keeps the cholesterol level and Sugar level under control.
- This also helps in reducing weight.
For insect bites: Extract the juice of the purple fruits of the curry plant and add equal amount of lemon juice and apply on the insect bite and stings to get very effective relief from pain.
For skin: Curry leaves are used in treating burns, bruises and skin inflammation. The bark, root and leaves are to be crushed and applied to cure skin eruptions.
For the cure of dysentery: The green leaves are to be eaten raw to check dysentery.
To check vomiting: The infusion of the roasted leaves is useful to check vomiting.
To control or get rid of fever: The decoction (extracting flovour by boiling) of curry leaves is used to control or reduce the fever.
Used as purgative:
- The decoction of the root works as mild purgative.
- The bark of the root promotes the flow of urine.
- Hot decoction of the bark is used for fomentation of inflamed parts.
- The juice of the root and bark is used for ear aches.
- A few drops of the above are placed in the cavity to relieve toothache.
- The bark of the stem is used as cardiac stimulant in asthma, cough and other respiratory disorders.
- The tender leaves are cooked and eaten to fight scurvy.
- The poultice of the leaves is used to apply on wounds and bruises.
- The juice of the leaves is mixed with honey in the treatment of eye diseases.
- The fresh root of a young tree is good for intermittent fevers, epilepsy, hysteria, palsy, chronic rheumatism, gout, dropsy and enlargement of liver and spleen.
- The paste of the root mixed with salt is applied on inflammatory swellings, rheumatic joints and paralytic parts.
- The decoction of the root is used in gargle for hoarse throat.
- Tender pods are given for liver and spleen problems, articular pain, tetanus and paralysis.
- Oil extracted from seeds is externally applied for gout and rheumatic joints.
Lactating mothers and those who are recovering from long bout of fever and cold etc are especially given curry leaf chutney powder along with rice, idly etc. This gives them good taste and increases the appetite.
By N Suguna
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