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What is Health Benefits of Curry Leaf

Updated on July 23, 2013

Curry Leaves and its Importance

In many parts of the world people can’t even think of dishes or curries that do not contain curry leaves. Curry leaf is a spice that can’t be avoided by Indians, especially those in Southern India. Apart from India, this spice is used in food for its exotic fragrance by almost all Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam etc. Even the Asian countries are attracted to curry leaves for its fragrance and medicinal value. The people in England and America have tried cultivating it. But since the plant cannot survive in the cold and snowy atmosphere there, it is usually grown indoors within pots, as a decorative plant.

Different Types of Curry Leaves

Curry leaf agriculture is not only seen in Southern states but also in the northern states . Most part of the curry leaves that come to Kerala are from Tamilnadu. Two types are curry leaves are found here. Those with red leaf veins and those with green leaf veins. Most of the farmers cultivate the curry leaves with red veins, known as Shangombo. Even the Dharvad-1 and Dharvad-2 varieties of curry leaves brought out by the Dharwad agricultural university of Karnataka is also in fame.

Curry Leaves in My Kitchen Garden
Curry Leaves in My Kitchen Garden

Benefits of Curry Leaves

  • Curry leaves are fragrant providing leaves that should be used raw and fresh.
  • As the leaves get ripened the quantity of the volatile oil and oliorus present in the leaves go on decreasing.
  • Koenigin, alpha pinene, beta pinene and terpening that provide the fragrance to curry leaves is highly present the medium ripened leaves.
  • 70% of the fragrant providing substances are lost if the leaves are used dried or powdered.
  • The leaves contain Vitamin A and lots of calcium.
  • It is advisable to include curry leaves in the food that we take daily because it is very good for the health of eyes, teeth and bones.
  • If curry leaves are directly put into the hot oil the Vitamin A is completely lost.

How to Grow Curry Leaf?

Generally the plant is cultivated using seeds.

  1. The black seeds are planted either in pots or polythene bags
  2. They are transferred to the main agricultural land after a period of one year.
  3. It should be planted in the soil before the monsoon season.
  4. They should be planted at a distance of 90-120 cm in pits having length, breadth and height of one meter.
  5. These pits can be filled with cattle manure and compost.
  6. When there is less rainfall the plants should be watered at least once in three days.
  7. Though it can be cultivated using bio fertilizers alone, 20 kg of chemical fertilizer can be used for a single plant once a year for a better yield.

Harvesting can be done after one year from the time of planting. Prune the top most branch in the first year which will encourage the growth of five or six other side branches.

This will help in getting double the yield of the first year, within two or three years. If the cultivation is done in a big manner it will help in getting a yield of 400 kg the first year, 2 tons the second year, 2.2 tons the third year, 2.5 tons the fourth year and 3.5 to 5 tons from the fifth year onwards. If protected well, the plant once planted will give yield continuously from 20-25 years. Harvesting can be done once in 2 1/2 to 3 months.

How to Prune Your Curry Leaf Tree

Suitable Atmosphere for the Growth of Curry Leaf

When compared to the Neem trees the curry leaf plant is a small tree or a shrub. It grows slowly. If the top most branch is not cut, it will grow to a height of about five to six meters. But for the convenience of harvesting, the top most branch is usually pruned when it grows to a height of one meter. This will encourage the growth of side branches. Though curry leaf plant can be grown in almost all types of soil with sand content is most suitable for its growth. It can be cultivated in places at a height of 1000 meters from the sea level. Though it can bear a bit of heat and drought, it cannot sustain snowfall. Sunlight and water is very essential for its growth.

Curry Leaf
Curry Leaf
Dry Curry Leaf
Dry Curry Leaf

Foreign Market for Curry Leaves

The curry leaf is an important item among the vegetables that are exported from India. It is mostly exported to places where there are lots of Indians and Asians. The most important among these are the gulf countries. The curry leaves are being exported from the airports of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and Karipur. It is exported by collecting the curry leaves from places like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala etc.

Recently the U.A.E government had set some restrictions for the export of curry leaves from India. This restriction was made because some pesticides that causes cancer was found in the curry leaves exported from India. Following this there was immense scarcity of curry leaves in these countries. The cost of it rose very high in markets. 1 kg of curry leaves that cost 8-10 dirham reached up to 20-30 dirham. The exporters are given instructions to submit lab reports of Indian government that certify clear information about the amount of pesticides present in the products.

When compared to the export of curry leaves from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram airports more curry leaves are exported through Kozhikode and Karipur airports. The major portion of the curry leaves to be exported is got from the agricultural lands of Therambalayam, Karamadai and Palladam in Coimbatore. Endosulphan and many other deadly chemicals were sprayed on curry leaves earlier to keep them free from pests and to protect them from being faded. Likewise 10 tons of curry leaves were exported to Saudi Arabia daily. But now due to the submission of lab reports, the use of such deadly pesticides has decreased.

Since such a restriction is made, the Indians living in Gulf countries have started planting at least one curry leaf plant on the terrace or similar places. So its advisable to plant curry leaf plants in each house to keep away from such poisonous substances and get the full benefits from it.

Summery of Benefits of Curry leaf tree

Curry leaf, which is a widely used spice in South India, is one of the most important spices that is a must for an aromatic and appetizing dish. It is believed to give a special finishing touch to dishes. The numerous benefits of curry leaves and the things to be noted while growing them are mentioned in the article.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Curry leaf is one of my best aromatic spice and so much like to plant in a pot.

    • LensMan999 profile image

      LensMan999 4 years ago from Trans-Neptunian region

      Hi , Sanjay

      Thank you for your supporting comment

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 4 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Nice hub.Well done.