LOCAL (VERNACULAR) NAMES:
English: Curry leaf
Hindi: Katnim, Karipatta
Malayalam: Karivepu Kanada: Karibevu
DESCRIPTION: This is an evergreen shrub, up to 6m with spreading dark green foliage. The leaves of the plant are covered with minute glands and are also strongly aromatic. The plant bears clusters of small white fragrant flowers. Fruits are smooth, pea-sized berries that turn purplish black when ripe. Although the berries are edible, the seeds are poisonous.
DISTRIBUTION: Murraya koengii L. is native to India; today, it is found growing wild almost everywhere in the Indian subcontinent excluding the higher levels of the Himalayas, up to 1700m. It easily reverts from the domesticared back into the wild, having been grown in many gardens. In the East, its range extends into Burma.
PROPAGATION: Propagation is through either seeds or vegetative cuttings.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Carbazole alkaloids including components such as murrayanine, mukoeic acid, mukonine, mukonidne, girinimbine, koenimbine, murracine, koenigine, mahanimbine, cyclomahanimbine, mukoline, mukonicine, mukanol, murrayazoline and a coumarin glucoside. Volatile oil, protein, minerals, vitamin C.
ACTIONS: Laxative, stomachic, tonic, antidysenteric, carminative, stimulant, antidiabetic.
TRADITIONAL USES: Its leaves are highly aromatic and they resemble the leaves of the Azadirachta indica L. tree; therefore they are sometimes referred to Black Neem. They should not be confused with Helichrysum italicum L., which is also called curry leaf. The leaves are commonly used in cooking as a seasoning.
TRADITIONAL RECIPES: VOMITING Juice of tender leaves is taken orally to arrest vomiting . An infusion of the leaves is also used in the same way.
STOMACHE ACHE When there is a burning sensation in the stomach, use 2 teaspoons of the juice from the leaves twice daily .
DIARRHOEA AND DYSENTRY The leaves can be taken given raw in dysentery.
PILES The juice of the leaf can be mixed with honey and taken three times daily . LIVER As a tonic for the liver, grind fresh leaves to make a thick paste. Roll into a bolus and take with buttermilk. The paste can also be mixed with buttermilk and a pinch of Curcuma longa L., boil and eat with rice .
SKIN A poultice of the leaves can beapplied externally in skin eruptions.
DIABETES Diabetes, when hereditary can be helped by eating 10 leaves each day. This also helps with obesity
POISONOUS BITES The root, and is repute as a remedy for the bites of venomous animals