We’ve always loved curry leaves in sambhar, with dhokhlas and in other dishes. But they add more than taste to our food, they are also health-giving. The health benefits of curry patta have been known for centuries. A nutritional component analysis shows that it is rich in minerals like manganese, chromium, zinc, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. It is also rich in riboflavin, thiamin and folic acid.
Since plants are connected to the earth, they are a good source of minerals, and therefore an important part of a healthy diet. Plants and leaves also have natural enzymes and fibres that help regulate intestinal motility and gut hygiene. Diets that are deficient in plants are more prone to lead to gut pathology and may even predispose one to cancerous conditions.
Curry patta is good for:
Nausea and discomfort: Chew a few leaves. Or else, sauté a few curry leaves in butter and add them to buttermilk along with cumin and rock salt. This drink is a very useful herbal remedy for nausea. Or else eat a paste made of curry patta, lime juice and mishri.
Indigestion and irregular bowel movement: While it doesn’t act directly in cases of constipation or diarrhoea, chewing five curry leaves on an empty stomach first thing in the morning helps regulate peristaltic movements. You will notice that bowel movements and gas formation improve.
Hair: Roast curry leaves and add to your usual hair oil. It makes a good hair tonic.
Minor skin irritations and insect bites: Make a paste of curry patta and apply on the affected area.
Adult onset diabetes and high cholesterol: Regular consumption of curry patta can help if you have diabetes with the co-morbidity of high cholesterol. Chew 8 to 10 curry leaves every morning. It helps reduce blood sugar and high cholesterol.