Curry leaves … no, we are not speaking about the famous spice to season rice and sauces but about real leaves of a plant called curry, scientific name Murraya koenigii. The plant belongs to the Rutaceae family, the same as bergamot, oranges, lemons and rue, and is native to India where it is a very appreciated culinary ingredient but also the basis of various Ayurveda medicinal remedies. Nowadays you can buy curry leaves in well-stocked and online herbalists’s shops. But let's have a look at the properties of curry leaves that are a true health elixir and a powerful beauty remedy for skin and hair.
Curry leaves for health
Curry leaves contain carotenoids, flavonoids, mineral salts such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and magnesium, and vitamins, including C and A. Curry leaves play an important role in protecting the cardiovascular system. In fact, as reported by scientific studies (Firdaus et al, Toxicol Rep, Jul 2014 - Kesari et al, J Ethnopharmacol, Jun 2007), they are able to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar and to increase at the same time the values of HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol, thus resulting useful in case of type 2 diabetes, overweight and hypercholesterolemia. Curry leaves are antioxidant and therefore fight free radicals, in addition to this, based on scientific research (Ghasemzadeh et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2014), there are some antioxidant substances contained in curry leaves, such as myricetin, quercetin and epicatechin that have demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of some breast cancer types. Curry leaves can be used as a spice to flavor soups or vegetables or it is possible to prepare an infusion. Bring a cup of water to a boil, then remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of curry leaves, leave to brew for 10 minutes, then filter, let it cool down a bit and drink. Given the hypoglycemic action, ask your doctor for advice if you are taking drugs that affect your blood sugar levels.
Curry leaves, for the beauty of skin and hair
Although no scientific studies have yet been performed on the use and efficacy of curry leaves as a beauty cosmetic, this remedy is traditionally considered a beauty product for skin and hair due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action (Sharma et al , Anc Sci Life, Apr 2017), thus resulting useful in case of wrinkles, acne and hair loss. In particular, the antioxidant action strengthens the scalp and the hair follicle, it prevents hair loss and also the early graying caused by external stress factors. You can get a lotion based on coconut oil and curry leaves, melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a double boiler. Then remove from the heat and add a handful of curry leaves, leave to infuse overnight and the product is ready to be massaged on the skin. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with shampoo. And for an anti-aging and anti-acne effect on the skin of the face you can prepare a decoction of curry. Bring to boil a cup of water and 1 tablespoon of plant, let it simmer for 10 minutes, then filter. Use the herbal tea as a tonic on the face or to prepare masks with ventilated green clay, excellent in case of impure skin.