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CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT

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Curry leaves, an inevitable part of spicing up dishes are not a part of mere garnishing. They are rich in medicinal, nutraceutical properties and have even cosmetic uses. But from the age old days it is customary to pick up curry leaves from dishes and throw it out first before even tasting it.Mustard seeds sizzling in hot oil...into it go chopped onion and curry leaf... "sssssshh"... No curry in South India is complete without this step. Indian cuisine experts, especially in South India made it a habit to include curry leaves in our daily diet. More than adding to the multi-hued look and spicy taste, there was definitely some other reason why the wise Indian ladies included curry leaf a necessary ingredient in all our dishes. Though it is customary to remove these deep green leaves from dishes we are truly unaware of its health benefits. In this article we are exploring curry leaf health benefits besides the taste in our daily life.
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Indian J.Sci.Res.4 (1): 46-52, 2014 ISSN: 0976-2876 (Print)
ISSN: 2250-0138(Online
1Corresponding author
CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT
SUMAN SINGH
a1
, P.K.OMRE
B
AND SANDHYA MADAN MOHAN
c
a
Head and A.P. Dept. of Home Science, Bhilai Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Bhilai
b
Prof and Senior research officer, GB Panth uni. of research and tech., Pantnagar
c
Research scholar, Dept. of process and food Engg., College of tech., Pantanagar
ABSTRACT
Curry leaves, an inevitable part of spicing up dishes are not a part of mere garnishing. They are rich in medicinal,
nutraceutical properties and have even cosmetic uses. But from the age old days it is customary to pick up curry
leaves from dishes and throw it out first before even tasting it.Mustard seeds sizzling in hot oil...into it go chopped
onion and curry leaf... "sssssshh"... No curry in South India is complete without this step. Indian cuisine experts,
especially in South India made it a habit to include curry leaves in our daily diet. More than adding to the multi-hued
look and spicy taste, there was definitely some other reason why the wise Indian ladies included curry leaf a
necessary ingredient in all our dishes. Though it is customary to remove these deep green leaves from dishes we are
truly unaware of its health benefits. In this article we are exploring curry leaf health benefits besides the taste in our
daily life.
Key Words: Nutraceutical Properties, Ingredient, Health Benefits.
Curry leaves are a popular leaf-spice used
in very small quantities for their distinct aroma due
to the presence of volatile oil and their ability to
improve digestion. “Let food be your medicine and
let medicine be your food.” Herbal and natural
products of folk medicine have been used for
centuries in every culture throughout the world.
Scientists and medical professionals have shown
increased interest in this field as they recognize the
true health benefits of these remedies. The
important advantages claimed for therapeutic uses
of medicinal plants in various ailments are their
safety besides being economical, effective and their
easy availability. Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) is
an important leafy vegetable. Its leaves are widely
used in Indian cookery for flavouring foodstuffs.
The leaves have a slightly pungent, bitter and
feebly acidic taste, and they retain their flavour and
other qualities even after drying. Curry leaf is also
used in many of the Indian ayurvedic and unani
prescriptions.
HISTORY OF CURRY LEAVES
The curry leaf tree is native to India, Sri
Lanka, Bangladesh and the Andaman Islands. Later
spread by Indian migrants, they now grow in other
areas of the world where Indian immigrants settled.
Widely cultivated, the leaves are particularly
associated with South Indian cuisines.
Origins
Curry leaf trees are naturalised in forests
and waste land throughout the Indian subcontinent
except in the higher parts of the Himalayas. From
the Ravi River in Pakistan its distribution extends
eastwards towards Assam in India and Chittagong
in Bangladesh, and southwards to Tamil Nadu in
India. The plants were spread to Malaysia, South
Africa and union Island with South Asian
immigrants.
History
The use of curry leaves as a flavouring for
vegetables is described in early Tamil literature
dating back to the 1st to 4th centuries AD. Its use is
also mentioned a few centuries later in Kannada
literature. Curry leaves are still closely associated
with South India where the word 'curry' originates
from the Tamil 'kari' for spiced sauces. An
alternative name for curry leaf throughout India is
kari-pattha. Today curry leaves are cultivated in
India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Australia, the
Pacific Islands and in Africa as a food flavouring.
Cultivation and collection
Flowering starts from the middle of April
and ends in the middle of May. The peak flowering
season under the Sanwara (H.P.) conditions was
observed to be the last week of April. The fruiting
season was observed to continue from the middle
of July to the end of August. The peak fruiting
SINGH ET AL.: CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT
Indian J.Sci.Res.4 (1): 46-52, 2014
season, however, was found to continue from the
last week of July to the 1st week of August. Curry
leaf is Native to India. Large shrub to small tree.
Pinnate leaves are used in many South Indian
curries. Full sun or light shade. Fertilize with palm
or citrus fertilizer to promote leaf production.
Grows well in containers. Use a well drained
potting mix. Can be grown outdoors in Southern
California, South Texas and South Florida. Protect
from freezing. Seeds are fragile so handle with
care. Seeds are shipped in moist peatmoss/coir mix
and should be planted immediately.
Classification
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae- Order Sapindales
Family Rutaceae – Rue family
Genus Murraya J. Koenig ex L. – murraya
Species Murrayakoenigii (L.) Spreng. – curry leaf tree
Morphological characters
A small spreading shrub, about 2.5 metres
high; the main stem, dark green to brownish, with
numerous dots on it; its bark can be peeled off
longitudinally, exposing the white wood
underneath; the girth of the main stem is 16 cm.
Leaves, exstipulate, bipinnately compound, 30 cm
long, each bearing 24 leaflets, having reticulate
venation; leaflets, lanceolate, 4.9 cm long, 1.8 cm
broad, having 0.5-cm-long petiole. Flowers,
bisexual, white, funnel-shaped, sweetly scented,
stalked, complete, ebracteate, regular,
actinomorphic, pentamerous, hypogynous, the
average diameter of a fully opened flower being
1.12 cm; inflorescence, a terminal cyme, each
bearing 60 to 90 flowers; calyx, 5-lobed, persistent,
inferior, green; corolla, white, polypetalous,
inferior, with 5 petals, lanceolate; length, 5 mm;
androecium, polyandrous, inferior, with 10
stamens, dorsifixed, arranged into circles of five
each; smaller stamens, 4 mm. long whereas the
longer ones, 5 to 6 mm; gynoecium, 5 to 6 mm
long; stigma, bright, sticky; style, short; ovary,
superior.
Fruits, round to oblong, 1.4 to 1.6 cm
long, 1 to 1.2 cm in diameter; weight, 880 mg;
volume, 895 microlitres; fully ripe fruits, black
with a very shining surface; pulp, Wistaria blue
640/2; the number of fruits per cluster varying from
32 to 80. Seed, one in each fruit, 11 mm long, 8
mm in diameter, colour spinach green 0960/3;
weight, 445 mg; volume, 460 microlitres.(4)
Main component responsible for flavour
The major constituent responsible for the
aroma and flavor has been reported as pinene,
sabinene, caryophyllene, cadinol and cadinene .
Essential oils from M. koenigii
serves as an important part in soap making
ingredients, lotions, massage oils, diffusers,
potpourri, scent, air fresheners, body fragrance,
perfume oils, aromatherapy products, bath oils,
towel scenting, spa's, incense, facial steams, hair
treatments, and more . There are several methods
to extract essential oil from herb and spices like
steam distillation, hydrodistillation, and solvent
extraction but this study focus on a new, applicable
method of essential oil extraction that is ultrasonic-
assisted solvent extraction method. This extraction
method is a combination of solvent extraction and
ultrasonic extraction method. The steps required for
the preparation of the material prior to extraction
(including aspects concerning plant selection,
SINGH ET AL.: CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT
Indian J.Sci.Res.4 (1): 46-52, 2014
collection, identification, drying, grinding and
weighing) and analyzing method for the essential
oil composition are detailed.
Specific gravity (25C) 0.9748
Refractive index (25C) 1.5021
Optical rotation (25C) + 4.8 [6]
Saponification value 5.2
Saponification value after after acetylation 54.6
Moisture 66.3%
Protein 6.1%
Fat (ether extract) 1.0%
Carbohydrate 18.7%
Fibre 6.4%
Mineral matter 4.2%
Calcium 810 mg/100 g of edible portion
Phosphorus 600 mg/100 g of edible portion
Iron 3.1 mg/100 g of edible portion
Carotene (as vitamin A) 12 600 IU/100 g
Nicotinic acid 2.3 mg/100 g
Vitamin C 4 mg/100 g
Thiamine and riboflavin Absent
Different form of curry leaves spiced our daily
lives
While there are many different kinds of
curry powders and curry dishes throughout the
world, curry leaves come from only one type of
tree, the curry leaf tree. However, curry leaves can
come in four different forms: fresh, dried,
powdered and cooked.
Fresh
Fresh curry leaves are the preferred form
for cooking. Fresh leaves may be used directly after
harvesting from a curry leaf tree. They also may be
placed or vacuum-packed in plastic bags and
refrigerated or frozen after harvesting, which keeps
them fresh from one week to two months. Fresh
curry leaves are generally found in the freezer
section of stores.
Dried
Curry leaves may be air dried or oven
dried, producing leaves that have a longer shelf life.
According to Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages, some
recipes require the baking or toasting of fresh curry
leaves before the leaves are added as a flavoring.
Dried leaves are also available commercially.
Powdered
Powdered curry leaves are also called for
in some recipes and powdered curry is also
available commercially. After being dried, curry
leaves can be pulverized, producing a concentrated
powder. Powdered curry leaves, though, should not
be confused with curry powder. Commercial curry
powder is usually a mixture of many spices, while
powdered curry leaf is a powdered version of the
actual dried curry leaf. It is important to read spice
labels for accuracy prior to purchase.
SINGH ET AL.: CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT
Indian J.Sci.Res.4 (1): 46-52, 2014
Cooked
Sautéed or fried curry leaves are prepared
by the cook or chef prior to or during the cooking
process. Some recipes require that fresh curry
leaves be cooked before being added as flavouring.
Such sautéed or fried curry leaves would not
generally be purchased in advance. Instead, curry
leaves would be purchased fresh, or perhaps dried,
and then cooked in the kitchen.
Fig. 1 Curry Leaf Powder in Spices Fig. 2 Curry Leaf Plant
Table 1-Comparative nutrient content of fresh and dehydrated curry leaves
Nutrients Value of fresh curry
Leaves (100g)
Value of dehydrated
Curry leaves (100g)
Protein 6g 12g
Fat 1g 5.4g
Carbohydrate 18.7g 64.31g
Calcium 830mg 2040mg
Iron 0.93mg 12mg
Β-carotene 7560µg 5292µg
Source-Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources Vol. 2(4), December 2011, pp. 508-511
Traditional uses
The bark and the roots are used as a
stimulant by the physicians. They are also used
externally to cure eruptions and the bites of
poisonous animals. The green leaves are stated to
be eaten raw for curing dysentery, and the infusion
of the washed leaves stops vomiting. Curry leaves
are also used in calcium deficiency. It has Vitamin
A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Calcium
and iron in plenty. Its nutritional value benefits
both the young and the old alike. Women who
suffer from calcium deficiency, osteoporosis etc
can find an ideal natural calcium supplement in
curry leaves. Fresh juice of curry leaves, with lime
juice and sugar, is an effective medicine in the
treatment of morning sickness, nausea and
vomiting due to indigestion and excessive use of
Asian J. Pharm. Res. 2012; Vol. 2: Issue 2, Pg 51-
53 [AJPRes.] 53 fats. One or two teaspoons of juice
of these leaves mixed
With a teaspoon of lime juice may be
taken in these conditions. The curry leaves, ground
to a fine paste and mixed with buttermilk, can also
be taken on an empty stomach with beneficial
results in case of stomach upsets. Also used as
laxative. Boils and similar eruptions appear on
Skin during summer. Most of the boils
tend to subside over time, but some may persist and
remain painful. Curry leaves come handy in
treating such conditions. A paste made of curry
leaves is applied on these persistent boils for quick
SINGH ET AL.: CURRY LEAVES (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)- A MIRCALE PLANT
Indian J.Sci.Res.4 (1): 46-52, 2014
relief. Along with mint leaves and coriander leaves,
curry leaves can be used in treating excessive pitta
conditions. Curry leaves can be used with effective
result to treat burn, bruises and skin erruption.
Cataract development can be prevented by using
fresh juice of curry leaves. Kidney pain can be
cured by using juice of root of Murrayakoenigii. It
can be used in preventing premature greying of
hair.
Pharmacological activity
Curry leaves are rich in many minerals
and trace minerals such as Iron, zinc and copper.
Therefore, researchers recommended in a study
published in January 2007 in "Chemico-Biological
Interactions" that people with diabetes may benefit
from the addition of curry leaves in the diet.
minerals found in curry leaf extract are important
for maintaining normoglycemia, or the normal
glucose content of the blood. This is done by the
activation of pancreatic beta cells, which are
responsible for the creation of insulin. While the
nutrients in curry account for only about 1 to 2
percent of the required daily intake for these
elements, they are bioavailable, or readily usable
by the body. Therefore, the researchers suggested
that curry leaves may be useful for the management
ofdiabetes
A scrutiny of literature reveals some
notable pharmacological activities of the plant such
as activity on heart, Anti diabetic and cholesterol
reducing property, antimicrobial activity, antiulcer
activity, antioxidative property, cytotoxic activity,
anti diarrhea activity, phagocytic activity. (Syam,
Suvitha et al., 2011)
The antioxidative properties of the
leaves extracts of Murrayakoenigii using different
solvents were evaluated based on the oil stability
index. (Arulselvan P, et al., 2007)
M. koenigii possesses statistically
significant hypoglycemic potential in STZ-induced
diabetic rats. The M. koenigii extract appeared to
be more effective than glibenclamide, a known
antidiabetic drug. (Arulselvan, et al., 2006)
It also revealed hepato-protective
activity against ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity.
Chronic ethanol consumption diminishes the
cellular antioxidant levels through free radical
induced injury causing hepatitis and cirrhosis with
mortality in severe cases. (Rupali Arun Patil, et al.,
2012)
It also shows antibacterial activity against S. typhi
and E.coli. (Jaju Shivkanya, et al., 2009)
Carbazole derivatives are well known for
their various pharmacological activities, including
anti-HIV, anticancer, antibacterial and antifungal
activities. A series of substituted carbazoles, termed
N-alkylated 3,6-dihalogenocarbazoles, that exhibit
fungicidal activity against C. albicans and the
emerging pathogen Candida glabrata. The most
potent fungicidal compounds of this series were
characterized et al., by minimal fungicidal
concentration (MFC) between 8.5 and 25 µM.
(Yukari Tachibana, et al., 2001)
CONCLUSION
Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii ) is a leafy
vegetable that belongs to the Rutaceae family. The
various notable pharmacological activities of the
plant such as activity on heart, Anti diabetic and
cholesterol reducing property, antimicrobial
activity, antiulcer activity, antioxidative property,
cytotoxic activity, anti diarrhea activity, phagocytic
activity. The chemical composition of the fresh
leaves of Murrayakoenigii consists of volatile oil.
Carbazole alkaloids and triterpene have been
isolated from stem bark and roots of Murraya
koenigii. Thus Curry leaves merits further
phytochemical, pharmacological and clinical
investigations for development of an effective
natural remedy to provide therapeutically effective
lead compounds.
REFERENCES
Adams R.P. ; 2007. Identification of Essential Oil
Components by Gas Chromatographic/
Mass Spectrometry, 4th edition Allured
publishing Corporation.
Arulselvan P.and Subramanian S.P. ; 2007.
"Beneficial effects of Murraya koenigii
leaves on antioxidant defense system and
ultra structural changes of pancreatic beta-
cells in experimental diabetes in rats".
Chem Biol Interact., 16(2): 155–64.
Arulselvan P., Senthilkumar G.P., Sathish Kumar
D. And Subramanian S. ; 2006. "Anti-
diabetic effect of Murrayakoenigii leaves
on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats".
Pharmazie , 61 (10): 874–877.
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... The fruits are wrinkled, ovoid to subglobose with 1.0-1.2 cm diameter and 1.4-1.6 cm length and 32 to 80 in number which turns purplishblack on ripening while the seeds are spinach green in color (Handral et al., 2012;Singh et al., 2014). A red sandy loam soil with an average temperature of 26-37°C is ideal for the growth of this shrub. ...
... Ultra sonication leads to increased disruption of cells and mass transfer due to collapsing of bubble cavitation and ultimately the liberation of cell contents into the medium. Further, ultrasounds are reported to (Walde et al., 2005;Salikutty et al., 2012;Ganesan et al., 2013;Gahlawat et al., 2014;Singh et al., 2014;Shivanna and Subban, 2014;Nishan and Subramanian, 2015;Igara et al., 2016) generate free radicals (OH) in the bubbles which during cavitation may kill the microorganisms (Rodríguez-Rojo et al., 2012) (Rodríguez-rojo et al., 2012) (Rodríguez-rojo et al., 2012. Also, the content of the cell is released into the solvent due to shockwave-induced damage of plant components (Bubalo et al., 2016). ...
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