Tag Archives: Helichrysum italicum

Curry Plant

Batanical Name:Helichyrsum italicum.
Family: Asteraceae.
Synonyms: Helichrysum angustifolium – (Lam.)DC.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Genus: Helichrysum
Species: H. italicum
Parts used:Dried Flower,
Habitat :  It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean, South Europe.

Common Name : Curry plant

Description:
It is a Perennial herb.Curry Plant looks very similar to a Lavender in its leaf stage. But, as the picture to the right shows, it looks totally different in bloom. Curry Plant likes it warm and dry. It is native to Turkey and thrives on sunny slopes.The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60cm or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in Summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.
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The plant is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects

Related to the very popular dried Strawflower, Curry Plant proves once again that the useful plants in a genus don’t usually inherit the beauty genes.

While not very tasty, Curry Plant smells strongly like Curry spices. But, Curry Plant is not where Curry Seasoning comes from. Curry is actually a blend of many different herbs. The herbs used in real Curry vary from region to region.  When Curry Plant is mentioned with food, it is always used sparingly, a few leaves in a mayonnaise or a sprig tucked in a cavity of a chicken. The flavor is not Curry but is strong. It is also difficult to describe. However, trimming Curry Plant in the garden will leave you pleasantly reeking like an Indian restaurant the rest of the day.

Cultivation:
Requires a light well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered position. Intolerant of excessive moisture. Established plants are drought resistant. Plants have proved to be fairly wind tolerant in an exposed site in Cornwall. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c. Plants can be pruned back to the old wood in spring in order to maintain the shape of the plant and promote lots of new growth. The whole plant smells of curry, especially after rain. The flowering stems are often dried and used as ‘everlasting flowers’. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow February/March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5cm with a heel, June/July in a frame. Roots in 4 weeks. Good percentage.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
Leaves – used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. They have a slight flavour of curry, though they do not impart this very well to other foods. An essential oil (from the leaves?) is used as a flavouring to enhance fruit flavours in sweets, ice cream, baked goods, soft drinks and chewing gum. A tea is made from the flower heads.

Additional Uses:
Oils in flowers appear to be useful as moisturizers according to one of the comments here and in reducing scarring as noted on A Healing Essence’s website.
The plant tolerates low water and is useful for xeriscaping.  It is also said to be deer resistant
Can be trimmed into a small hedge-like border at the edge of an herb garden.
Flowers can be dried for use in arrangements.
Propagation: methods include division, stem cuttings, and seeds.

Medicinal Uses:
The antioxidant activity of carbon dioxide extracts are under investigation. Preparations are used as anticoagulant, anasthetic, antispasmodic agents and for their antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

Essential oils distilled from flowers are used in aromatherapy. The antioxidant activity of carbon dioxide extracts are under investigation. Preparations are used as anticoagulant, anasthetic, antispasmodic agents and for their antiviral and anti-fungal properties.

The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which is used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent. It soothes burns and raw chapped skin. It is used as a fixative in perfumes, and has an intense fragrance.

It has been claimed on some gardening forums that the curry plant is as effective a cat deterrent as the “scaredy-cat” plant, Plectranthus caninus (also known as Coleus canina). This may be not so much a recommendation for Helichrysum italicum as a comment on the efficacy of Plectranthus caninus.

The Anada Apothecary has a detailed entry listing the properties and uses of the oil of the flowers.  Here the plant is also referred to as “Everlasting Oil” and is referred to as “one of the most important essential oils in aromatherapy because of its healing properties.  Of special note to me was mention of the oil in treating joint pain.  Additional aromatherapy uses can be found at Nature’s Gifts, A Healing Essence, and Lavender Notes.

A more simplified entry is provided by Rocky Mountain Oils, where 15ml of the oil costs $35.00, lists the uses and properties of helichrysum italicum as:
“This species is much less expensive. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic used for cuts, wounds, bruises, ulcers, herpes, rheumatism, gingivitis, pyorrhea, gastritis, sore throat, and typhoid fever. Induces menstruation, aids painful menstruation and headaches, and induces milk formation.”

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.

Resources:
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/heltalicum.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helichrysum_italicum
http://kaleidescopeliving.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/curry-plant-helichrysum-italicum/
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Helichrysum+italicum

Curry Leaves

Botanical Name : Murraya koenigii
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Murraya
Species: M. koenigii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
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 β-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).

You may click to see the pictures

Plant family:  Rutaceae (citrus family).

Description:
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.

 click &b see the pictures.>…..   tree……….flowers……....berries……..

Uses:
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[citation needed]. 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.

Propagation:
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.
Sensory quality:
Fresh and pleasant, remotely reminiscent of tangerines.

Main constituents:
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): β-caryophyllene (2.6 ppm), β-gurjunene (1.9), β-elemene (0.6), β-phellandrene (0.5), β-thujene (0.4), α-selinene (0.3), β-bisabolene (0.3), furthermore limonene, β-trans-ocimene and β-cadinene (0.2 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 (β-phellandrene, α-pinene, β-pinene), whereas South Indian samples yielded sesquiterpenes: β-caryophyllene, aromadendrene, α-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 Réunion island. Outside the Indian sphere of influence, they are rarely found.

In Burma, however, a completely different definition of “curry” is in use: Burmese “curries” 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 “curries”, whatever this may mean (except, perhaps, the least common denominator of all those: Spiciness).

Medicinal Uses:-

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.

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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

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm