The Spice Series: Curry Leaf: Medicinal Benefits
This is a continuation of my Spice Series. Welcome to my information on Curry Leaf!
**The first and most important thing to know about curry leaf is that it is NOT curry powder. It does not look like curry powder, it does not taste like curry powder, and curry leaves are NOT an ingredient in curry powder.
**Curry leaves, are, however, an important ingredient in many curry dishes, especially in India, Thailand, and other Asian countries.
**It is often used in a similar way that Americans use bay leaves: both are used in long simmering stews and soups and are a more passive aromatic addition rather than “THE main” spice for the dishes.
**It has a fragrant, citrus-like flavor and not only has amazing uses for culinary purposes, but also has been used in Ayruvedic medicine for centuries. It would also be a wonderful addition in anyone’s garden and can be grown at home.
This post is only about the Medicinal Benefits of Curry Leaves. Click here for my How to Grow Curry Leaf information. Click here for my Culinary Uses for Curry Leaves.
**Ayruvedic medicine is the traditional medicine of India. Curry leaf has been a common Ayruvedic ingredient for centuries. It has been traditionally used to control diabetes, heart disease, infections, and inflammation.
**Beginning in the 1950s, scientists have been researching curry leaves for their medicinal benefits, since they were curious about their traditional use as medicine in India. They soon discovered that curry leaves are loaded with powerful healing compounds.
**Curry leaf has been found to be rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. Not only is curry leaf high in antioxidants, it is also full of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
**SIDE NOTE: Most of the studies on the medicinal benefits of curry leaves have not yet gone to the human testing level, but the future looks bright for us, according to scientists. Please be advised that these studies have only been done on animals so far. However, as a natural product and spice, adding it to your diet is encouraged, even if only for the culinary uses and the hope of the medicinal advantages.
Curry leaf may also help prevent and/or treat:
- Cholesterol problems:
**In animal studies, researchers have discovered that curry leaf can reduce levels of high blood sugar by a great amount. They also found that it lowered cholesterol levels as well.
- Colon cancer:
**In animal studies, researchers have found that curry leaf significantly reduced the number of colon cancer tumors. The current conclusion is that curry leaf, if put in daily diets, greatly helps protect the colon. More research needs to be done, but the outlook remains hopeful.
- Diabetes, type 2:
**Since Type 2 diabetes is a disease revolving around high blood sugar levels, which then damages blood vessels and causes heart attacks and other circulatory diseases, researchers realized in their studies on curry leaf’s effect on cholesterol that curry leaf can also help those with this type of diabetes. The researchers have concluded that curry leaves greatly improve the management of type 2 diabetes.
- Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease:
**Researchers have currently only studied curry leaf’s effect on memory loss in animal studies, but the results bring hope for future research on humans: Scientists have discovered that the more curry leaves they gave the animals in the study, the better the memory of the animals. It seems that this spice boosts the ‘cholinergic activity’ in the brain. This is the same activity in the brain that, when it decreases, brings about memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
**If you are interested in purchasing curry leaf and you cannot find it at your local grocery store, Indian/Asian market, or natural store, here is an option for you: Click here for a fresh curry leaf to order online.
**Click here for my How to Grow Curry Leaf post.
**Click here for my Culinary Uses for Curry Leaves post.
**Click here for my Spice Series introduction page, which has links to a whole bunch of other amazing spices that I have researched so far.
**If you have any comments/questions for me about Curry leaves, please feel free to add to the comment section below!