They are called curry leaves but they have nothing to do with the yellow and fragrant powder that we add to sauces and risottos. In fact, these are the leaves of the Murraya koenigii plant that not only give culinary preparations a fascinating aroma but also enrich them with immunomodulating, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and, as we know from today, anticancer properties. This latter effect emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Molecules (Hobani, Molecules, 2022).
The battle against cellular degeneration
The fight against cellular degeneration is a battle that is keeping science busy, constantly looking for effective anticancer treatments. The aim is to find substances capable of inducing apoptosis, that is, the death of diseased cells. In the research we are talking about today, attention was focused on curry leaves, already known for their anti free radicals action, able to support the immune system, useful in combating obesity and high cholesterol. Since some active ingredients isolated in the plant have shown anticancer properties, researchers have tried to understand the effectiveness of this remedy in counteracting cellular degeneration.
Curry leaves are anticancer, the experiment
Extracts of mahanimbine, the main active ingredient in curry leaves, have been placed in contact with cells from a type of breast cancer. What emerged was that the extracts were able to cause cell death, that is, apoptosis, of diseased cells. The mechanism underlying this action is the ability of mahanimbine to increase free radicals within cells with degeneration. Free radicals cause ever greater cell damage and, as a consequence, the death of the diseased cell. In addition, mahanimbine is also able to inhibit the migration of diseased cells, thus proving useful in avoiding metastases.
Warnings and conclusions
Here is another proof that nature offers different tools to take care of our health. However, we must not make the mistake of thinking that curry leaves can be used as an alternative to diagnostic tests and treatments. With this article we only want to emphasize how, thanks to some small changes and precautions, we can adopt a daily anticancer lifestyle, capable of helping us prevent cellular degeneration. Curry leaves can be found in specialized stores and online and can be used to perfume our dishes. Alternatively, it is also possible to find curry leaves in the form of a supplement, but in this case caution is required, always talk to your doctor before starting any treatment to avoid possible interactions with medications already in use and in any case the supplements must be included in a varied and healthy diet.