Sambar. Upma. Dal. Poha. What do they all have in common? A tempering rich in curry leaves. But curry leaves – or kadi patta, as they are commonly known in India – do more good than simply seasoning your food.
In The Ayurvedic Cookbook, Gita Ramesh says the many curry power benefits include weight loss and a drop in cholesterol levels.
But there’s lots more that the kadi patta can do. We give you 13 reasons to chew on those curry leaves that pop up on your plate.
To keep anaemia away
The humble kadi patta is a rich source of iron and folic acid. Anaemia crops up when your body is unable to absorb iron and use it. “Folic acid is responsible for iron absorption and as kadi patta is a rich source of both compounds, it’s the perfect choice if you’re looking to amp up your iron levels,” says Alpa Momaya, a Diet & Wellness consultant with HealthifyMe.
To protect your liver
If you are a heavy drinker, eating curry leaves can help quell liver damage. A study published in Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research has revealed that curry leaves contain kaempferol, a potent antioxidant, and can protect the liver from oxidative stress and harmful toxins.
To maintain blood sugar levels
A study published in the Journal of Plant food for Nutrition has revealed that curry leaves can lower blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity.
To keep your heart healthy
A study published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that “curry leaves can help increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) and protect you from heart disease and atherosclerosis,” Momaya says.
To aid in digestion
Curry leaves have a carminative nature, meaning that they prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and facilitate the expulsion of gas if formed. Ayurveda also suggests that kadi patta has mild laxative properties and can balance the pitta levels in the body. Momaya’s advice: “A juice of curry leaves with a bit of lime juice or added to buttermilk can be consumed for indigestion.”
To control diarrhoea
Even though curry leaves have mild laxative properties, research has shown that the carbazole alkaloids in curry leaves can help control diarrhoea.
To reduce congestion
Kadi patta has long been a home remedy when it comes to dealing with a wet cough, sinusitis or chest congestion. Curry leaves, packed with vitamin C and A and rich in kaempferol, can help loosen up congested mucous.
To help you lose weight
Kadi patta is known to improve digestion by altering the way your body absorbs fat. This quality is particularly helpful to the obese.
To combat the side effects of chemotherapy
Curry leaves are said to protect the body from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They also help protect the bone marrow and halt the production of free radicals in the body.
To improve your vision
Kadi patta is high in vitamin A, which contains carotenoids that can protect the cornea. Eating a diet rich in curry leaves can help improve your vision over time.
To prevent skin infections
Kadi patta combines potent antioxidant properties with powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiprotozoal properties. It is a common home remedy for common skin infections such as acne and fungal infections of the nail.
To get better hair
Kadi patta has long been used to prevent greying of the hair by our grandmothers. It also helps treat damaged hair, tackle hair fall and dandruff and add bounce to limp hair.
To take care of skin
Curry leaves can also be used to heal damaged skin. Apply a paste on burns, cuts, bruises, skin irritations and insect bites to ensure quick recovery and clean healing.
Add more kadi patta to your diet and enjoy the benefits of curry leaves. Make this curry leaf chutney a part of your weekly menu.
25 curry leaves, 1/2 cup grated dry coconut, 1/4 cup roasted chana dal, 2 whole dry Kashmiri red chillies, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp, salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients, except the tamarind pulp, in a deep non-stick pan and dry roast on a medium flame for 7 to 8 minutes or till they turn crisp while stirring continuously. Transfer the roasted mixture into a mixer, add the tamarind pulp and blend it to a smooth powder, without using any water. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and use within two days.