Botanical Name : Murraya koenigii
Species: M. koenigii
Syninyms: Bergera koenigii, Chalcas koenigii
Common Names: Curry Tree or Curry-leaf Tree,The Curry Tree (Tamil: karivepallai, Malayalam: kariveppila, Kannada: karibevina soppu, Konkani: karibeva paallo, Telugu: karivepaku , kadipatta, Bengali: Kari Gaas) It produces the leaves known as Curry leaves or Sweet Neem leaves. Karivepillai in Tamil means black neem as the appearance of the leaves look similar to the neem leaves.
The small and narrow leaves somewhat resemble the leaves of the Neem tree; therefore they are also referred to as Kadhi Patta (Hindi), Mithho Limdo (Gujarati) Kadhielimba (Marathi), (Patta meaning leaf and Kadhi being a popular dish that consists of a thin soup or stew made from yogurt, among dishes this leaf is used to spice) Karivepaku in Telugu (aaku means leaf), Karuveppilai (translated to Black Neem leaf) in Tamil and Malayalam, Karu/Kari meaning black, ilai meaning leaves and veppilai meaning Neem leaf. In the Kannada language it is known as Kari Bevu. Other names include Karivepaku Karuveppilai, noroxingha (Assamese), Bhursunga Patra (Oriya), and Karapincha (Sinhalese).
Habitat: .The curry tree is native to India; today, it is found wild or become wild again, almost everywhere in the Indian subcontinent excluding the higher levels of the Himalayas. In the East, its range extends into Burma.
The name curry plant is often used for Helichrysum italicum (Asteraceae), a relative of immortelle; several subspecies grow in the European Mediterranean countries. The essential oil shows considerable infraspecific variation; its main components are monoterpene hydrocarbons (pinene, camphene, myrcene, limonene) and monoterpene-derived alcohols (linalool, terpinene-4-ol, nerol, geraniol, also their acetates); further important aroma components are nonterpenoid acyclic Î²-ketones, which give rise to a somewhat disagreeable flavour (e.g., 2,5,7-trimethyldec-2-en-6,8-dione, 2,5,7,9-tetramethyldec-2-en-6,8-dione, 2,5,7,9-tetramethylhendec-2-en-6,8-dione, 3,5-dimethyloctan-4,6-dione, 2,4-dimethylheptan-3,5-dione).
Plant family: Rutaceae (citrus family).
It is a small tree, growing 4-6 m tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter. The leaves are pinnate, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm broad. They are highly aromatic. The flowers are small white, and fragrant. The small black, shiny berries are edible, but their seeds are poisonous.
The species name commemorates the botanist Johann König.
The leaves are highly valued as seasoning in South Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, much like bay leaves and especially in curries with fish or coconut milk. They are also used as an ingredient in the popular marathi dish karhi. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life though they may be stored in a freezer for quite some time; however, this can result in a loss of their flavour[original research?]. They are also available dried, though the aroma is much inferior.
The leaves of Murraya koenigii are also used as a herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Their properties include much value as an antidiabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-hypercholesterolemic etc. Curry leaves are also known to be good for hair, for keeping them healthy and long .
Although most commonly used in curries, leaves from the Curry Tree can be used in many other dishes to add spice.
Seeds must be planted fresh; dried or shriveled fruits are not viable. Plant either the whole fruit (or remove the pulp) in potting mix and keep moist but not wet.
Fresh and pleasant, remotely reminiscent of tangerines.
Fresh leaves are rich in an essential oil, but the exact amount depends besides freshness and genetic strain also on the extraction technique. Typical figures run from 0.5 to 2.7%.
The following aroma components have been identified in curry leaves of Sri Lanka (in parentheses, the content in mg/kg fresh leaves): Î²-caryophyllene (2.6â€‰ppm), Î²-gurjunene (1.9), Î²-elemene (0.6), Î²-phellandrene (0.5), Î²-thujene (0.4), Î±-selinene (0.3), Î²-bisabolene (0.3), furthermore limonene, Î²-trans-ocimene and Î²-cadinene (0.2â€‰ppm). (Phytochemistry, 21, 1653, 1982)
Newer work has shown a large variability of the composition of the essential oil of curry leaves. In North Indian plants, monoterpenes prevail (Î²-phellandrene, Î±-pinene, Î²-pinene), whereas South Indian samples yielded sesquiterpenes: Î²-caryophyllene, aromadendrene, Î±-selinene. (Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 17, 144, 2002)
Uses: Its leaves are highly aromatic and are used as an herb. Their form is small and narrow and somewhat resemble the leaves of the Neem tree; therefore they are also referred to as Kari Bevu, translated to Black Neem, in the Kannada language and Karivepaku in Telugu again translating to the same meaning. In Tamil and Malayalam it is known as Karuveppilai, ilai meaning leaves. Other names include Kari Patta (Hindi), Kadi Patta (Marathi), Limda(Gujarati) and Karapincha (Sinhalese).
They are commonly used as seasoning in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, much like bay leaves and especially in curries with fish or coconut milk. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life and may be stored in a freezer for up to a week; they are also available dried, although the aroma is clearly much inferior.
Curry leaves are extensively used in Southern India and Sri Lanka (and are absolutely necessary for the authentic flavour), but are also of some importance in Northern India. Together with South Indian immigrants, curry leaves reached Malaysia, South Africa and RÃ©union island. Outside the Indian sphere of influence, they are rarely found.
In Burma, however, a completely different definition of â€œcurryâ€ is in use: Burmese â€œcurriesâ€ owe their flavour to a fried paste of ground onions and other spices (see onion for details). Lastly, in Indonesia, any spicy food may be termed a curry (kari in Indonesian). Sometimes, one even hears about Ethiopian (see long pepper) or Caribbean â€œcurriesâ€, whatever this may mean (except, perhaps, the least common denominator of all those: Spiciness).
Said to be tonic and stomachic. In India, the young leaves are taken for dysentery and diarrhea. The leaves and the stem are used as a tonic, stimulant and carminative. An infusion of the toasted leaves is anti-emetic. A paste of the bark and roots is applied to bruises and poisonous bites. The seeds are used to make a medicinal oil called ‘zimbolee oil.’ Fresh juice of the leaves mixed with lemon juice and sugar is prescribed for digestive disorders, and eating 10 curry leaves every morning for 3 months is thought to cure hereditary diabetes. A few drops of the juice are believed to keep eyes bright. A liberal intake of curry leaves impedes premature greying of the hair. The leaves, boiled in coconut oil, are massaged into the scalp to promote hair growth and retain color. The leaves may also be used as a poultice to help heal burns and wounds. Juice from the berries may be mixed with lime juice and applied to soothe insect bites and stings.
Curry leaves possess the qualities of herbal tonic.They strengthen the functions of stomach. and promots its action.They are also used as a mild laxative.The leaves may be taken mixed with other mild testing herbs. The juice extracted from 15 grams of leaves may be taken with buttermilk.
Digestive Disorders:Fresh juice of curry leaves and sugar,is an effective medicine for morning sickness,vomiting and nausea due to indigestion and excessive use of fats.One or two teaspoon of juice leaves mixed with teaspoon of lime juice may be taken in these conditions.The curry leaves ground to a fine paste and mixed with buttermilk can be taken in an empty stomach with beneficial results in case of stomach upsets.
Tender curry leaves are used in diarrhoea,dysentry and piles.They should be taken mixed with honey.The bark of the tree is also useful in bilious vomiting.A teaspoon of powder or decoction of the dry bark should be given with cold water in this condition.
Diabetes: Eating 10 fresh fully grown curry leaves every morning for three months is said to prevent diabetes due to heredity factors. It can cure diabetes due to obesity as the leaves have weight reducing properities.
Kidney Disorders:The root of the curry plant also has medicinal properities.The juice of the root can be taken to relieve pain associated with kindeys.
Premature Greying of Hair: Liberal intake of curry leaves is considered beneficial in preventing premature greying of hairs.These leaves have the properity of naurishing the hair roots.New hair roots that grow are healther with normal pigments.The leaves can be used in the form of CUTNEY or the juice may be squeezed and taken in buttermilk or lassi.
Burns and Bruises: Curry leaves can be effectively used to treat burns,bruises and skin eruptions.They should be applied as a poultice over the affected areas.
Eye Disorders: Fresh juice of curry leaves suffused in the eyes makes them look bright.It also prevents the early development of cataract.
Insect Bites: Fruits of tree,which are berries,are edible,They are green when raw but purple when ripe.Juice of these barries, mixed with equal proportion of lime juice is an effective fluid for external application in insect stings and bites of poisonous creatures.
Hair Tonic: When leaves are boiled with coconut oil till they are reduced to blackened residue, the oil forms an excellent hair tonic to stimulate hair growth and in retaining the natural pigmentation.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Help taken from:h,ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry_leaves http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Murr_koe.html and Herbs That Heal
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