Curry leaves plant overview
Curry leaves are aromatic spicy leaves in south Asian countries.It is a must in Sri lankan and Indian Cuisine. It is an important spice that play a big role in the Sri lankan cuisine. It grows in the wild in Srilankan dry zone and intermediate zone. A plant that grows several meters height and possess compound leaves of dark green color.
The Curry leaves are very aromatic and 11-20 leaflets can be found in one leaf.The leaflets are 1-2 cm broader.
It is a shrub type plant and possess self pollinating white color small flowers . The small berries contains relatively large seed in it. The wild birds eats the berries and drop the curry leaves seeds that germinate in everywhere. Other than the seeds basically village people get these planted using the broken roots. It is a very practical way of getting the new plants
This spicy aromatic leaves are found in India Sri Lanka and Thailand as reported. Any way what is more natural about this plant is that it is very easy to grow in a home garden and does not require a special attention on it for the growth
Simply it can survive in harsh conditions as well during dry seasons unless we scratch the plant to get whole curry leaves. There plants become weak suddenly and will ultimately die.
So what normally villagers do is planting 5,6 plants in the plot of the land they are living . There they use all the curry leaves plants without putting stress on one plant. People use cow dung to the plants sometimes.
The uses of the Curry Leaves
People use the curry leaves specially for the culinary purposes. The Onions ,garlic and curry leaves when frying in a pan with coconut oil , that smells the whole around. So there the curries become more aromatic
People have used to put curry leaves in to almost all curries. Dhal curry, meats, potato and sambol and all.Sri Lankan recipes without curry leaves are not much liked by the people.
When villagers need to keep the coconut oil for a long duration, my parents put sliced onions , curry leaves and other medicinal plants and heat up. They make the oil more aromatic and then oil does not get rancid. It can be kept for considerably long duration and also it makes the oil perfect for applying on hair.
People call curry leaves “Karapincha” in sinhala and they use to make the “Karapincha kenda”or the thick beverage like a smoothie made using rice . There villagers have perceived that this beverage is good for reducing the cholesterol levels in the body.
There i know some of the people who do not seek medical treatments having gone to hospitals though check the blood cholesterol level time to time and consume curry leave included thick beverage and other herbals in order to maintain blood cholesterol in proper range.
I wish to share with you the preparation method of “Karapinchcha kenda “, traditional Srilankan cooking recipe very shortly.
Nutritional benefits of curry leaves
1. Curry leaves contains important plant compounds
There’s no doubt that curry leaves contain high content of plant compounds that are important to give them the unique smell and the distinct flavor. Some people say that it has a flavor notes of citrus as well.
The compounds present in curry leaves have been showing anti oxidant properties which mean these can act against the free radicals in human body scavenging them to reduce the oxidative stress. Many of the diseases tempt to occur in human body due to the presence of these free radicals.
So no doubt that , since it is rich with antioxidants these are playing a very good role to reduce oxidative stress and subsequently a healthy life.
2.Help to lower the blood cholesterol levels
We have to maintain the blood cholesterol levels always within the limits. If the levels go up unnecessarily high , that may end up with definitely worse out comes.
From the very ancient times sri lankans have been putting curry leaves to their meals and making beverages including this herb.
The researches done using rat in the laboratories have shown that this is an effective way of reducing the fatty acids and the cholesterol levels in the blood.
Scientists believe the high levels of mahanimbine, an alkaloid is responsible for this effect.
3. Protection to neuron cells
Alzheimer disease is the irreversible , progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys the brain cells. Medical researchers have found that this has a correlation with oxidative stress.
Again laboratory evidences are available where the scientists did using the rats . The use of curry leaves promotes the improved memory conditions as well
4. Anticancer effects
The compounds present in curry leaves have been showing significant effects on cancer cells to kill them and for the reduce the vitality of the cells.
These have been medical researches associated with the breast cancer cell development.
Other than these research evidences are there to prove how much valuable this plant is.
- antibacterial effects
- anti inflammatory effects
- pain relieving properties
The village people give the juice of the curry leave plant’s root for snakes bites in ayurvedic medicine. They do this along with other medications and it helps to a kind of detoxification.