Curry Leaves are used in many different cuisines. They have been used in Indian cuisine since ancient times. Today they are widely known as a spice or condiment in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Curry leaves are very popular among the Asian population because of their versatility and ease of preparation.
Benefits of Eating Raw Curry Leaves:
1) They contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which helps fight against the common cold.
2) They provide anti-oxidants that help prevent cancer and other diseases.
3) They have antibacterial properties that can kill off harmful bacteria such as E.
Coli and Salmonella. (Source)
4) They have antifungal properties that can treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
5) They are rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
These minerals help to strengthen bones and teeth. (Source)
6) They contain trace elements such as selenium, zinc and copper that help with healthy skin.
7) They can be used to treat diarrhea and dysentery since they decrease the speed of the bowels.
8) They are known to help with problems of the stomach and the intestines.
9) They can be used as a spice for meats, fish, vegetables and other forms of protein.
10) They can be eaten raw, or boiled like spinach.
How to Use Curry Leaves for Cholesterol:
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the blood. It is used to help the body form hormones, digest food and make certain proteins. Cholesterol is carried through the blood by carrier compounds known as lipoproteins. High density lipoproteins (HDL) are often considered “good” cholesterol, while low density lipoproteins (LDL) are often considered “bad” cholesterol.
Curry leaves contain a substance known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids, which have been proven to lower LDL in the blood and increase HDL. They also help with platelets that form blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. (Source)
Curry leaves also contain antioxidants that lower oxidative stress in the body, which is what causes cell damage and the build up of plaque around artery walls. (Source)
How to Use Curry Leaves for Cholesterol:
1) Add 1 tsp.
curry leaves to your curries and other meals.
2) Add 4-5 curry leaves to a cup of hot water and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Drink this 3 times a day.
3) Add 4-5 curry leaves to a cup of hot sesame oil and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Soak your feet in this oil 3 times a day.
Curry leaves should not be consumed in large quantities because they can cause ulcers and an increase in potassium loss from the body. They should not be used during pregnancy or if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Curry leaves have a strong, pungent flavor that some people do not like. They should be used in moderation and are most effective when eaten raw. 50 grams of curry leaf contains just 32 calories so you shouldn’t feel guilty about using them!
If you cannot find curry leaves, you can substitute with the leaves from dill. Both of these herbs are fantastic for your health!
9 Health Benefits of Dandelion
Dandelion has a long history of use as both a food and medicine by many cultures around the world. In modern times it is best known as a common weed, but dandelion greens are actually one of the most nutrient-dense foods per serving we can eat. They’re also quite tasty if prepared correctly!
Dandelion is a:
1) Nutrient-Rich Food
2) Liver Cleanser
Dandelion greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. They contain vitamins A, K, C and many of the B vitamins. They are rich in potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous. In fact, just 1 cup of cooked dandelion greens contains more potassium than a banana! (1)
Dandelion greens also cleanse the liver and support bile production. The bitter flavor of dandelion is due to its high content of inulin and sotolon. These compounds are also found in garlic and onions, both of which have been used for thousands of years as digestive aids and to treat various liver and blood diseases. (2)
3) Blood Builder
Dandelion also increases the production of new blood cells in the body. It contains a high amount of vitamin K that is critical for proper blood clotting and bone health. (3, 4, 5)
Dandelion greens help the liver to process toxins and waste products out of the body through urine, sweat and bowel movements.
5) Digestive Aid
Dandelion acts as a carminative and antispasmodic that calms the stomach and reduces cramping and other digestive discomforts. Just 4 grams of dandelion extract has a medicinal effect equal to 28 grams of standard pharmaceutical antacids! (6)
Pregnant women should not take dandelion extract because it can induce labor.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic that can increase the production of urine. This helps the body to eliminate excess water, reduce edema (water weight) and decrease bloating.
7) Blood Sugar Regulation
Dandelion greens help to stabilize blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance. They may also increase the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. (7, 8)
8) Skin Care
Dandelion contains nutrients such as vitamin A and beta-carotene that keep the skin healthy. It can be used to reduce acne and other skin infections.
9) Weight Loss
Dandelion is traditionally used for weight loss because it helps the body eliminate water retention. It also helps reduce hunger and stimulates fat burning. (9)
For these reasons, dandelion is a perfect ingredient for a healthy green drink. It helps you to feel full with fewer calories and it promotes detoxification so that your body can access stored fat more easily.
How to Make Dandelion Tea
Dandelion root tea has been used traditionally to support liver function, promote digestion, and reduce water retention. Dandelion greens have a robust, bitter flavor that many people enjoy in moderation.
Including dandelion in your smoothies is a great way to enjoy its health benefits without overpowering the flavor. However, if you prefer, you can still make a traditional tea by following these directions:
To make dandelion tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried root. Steep for 10 -15 minutes and strain. Dandelion root tea can be taken cold or hot.
If you need to increase the volume of your tea, add a bit of cinnamon, ginger, or stevia for additional flavor.
You can also make a tincture using vodka or vegetable glycerine as a base. Follow the instructions on how to make tinctures. Most tinctures are taken in a dosage of 15 – 30 drops but always read the directions on your specific product.
How to Grow Dandelions
Dandelion plants grow naturally almost everywhere in the world and they self-seed every year without fail. While you may already have some growing in your yard, you can also buy dandelion seeds online or at certain nurseries.
Dandelion plants grow best in grassy areas that are sunny but not hot. They will spread quickly so you will want to allow for plenty of space between each one if growing them in your yard.
Before you plant dandelion seeds, till the soil deeply and mix in some compost or manure. Dandelions prefer a slightly alkaline soil so if your soil tests at a lower pH, you may also wish to add some ground limestone.
Plant your dandelion seeds 2-4 inches apart and keep the soil evenly moist until they begin to sprout. You can start to harvest leaves when the plant is about a foot tall but only take the outer, newly grown leaves.
Dandelion plants grow back almost as soon as you chop them so feel free to use as much as you like. If you prefer to let the plant grow until it goes to seed, you can let it go to flower and then collect the seeds when they are ready.
You can also buy dandelion plants online if you don’t want to deal with growing them yourself or if you live in an area where they don’t grow naturally. They are available at this online store.
Dandelion Tea Benefits
Dandelion helps to promote healthy liver function by stimulating bile production. Bile is needed to help the body absorb fat soluble vitamins, excrete toxins, and digest fats.
Dandelion promotes bile production by stimulating the liver without causing excess secretion of bile. This can help prevent conditions such as fatty liver disease. (10)
Not only is dandelion good for stimulating your liver, it can also help protect it. Dandelion contains antioxidants that help to prevent free radical damage in the liver and protect it from toxins.
Detoxifies the Body
In addition to helping the liver, dandelion also helps your body to eliminate toxins through the bladder and kidneys. By stimulating urine production, dandelion promotes healthy urinary function. (11)
When you are able to eliminate toxins from your body, you prevent them from building up in your system and causing damage to your vital organs.
Dandelion tea can also help to boost your immune system and prevent infection. (12) This is especially true if you are suffering from a fever as the dandelion can help to reduce that as well.
Dandelion helps to stimulate digestive function by increasing bile flow and helping to relieve constipation. (13) In fact, dandelion has long been used as a remedy for treating digestive issues such as indigestion, constipation, and even diarrhea.
It is important to note that dandelion is not considered an appropriate treatment for individuals with liver or gallbladder disease. (14) If you suffer from these conditions, you may want to consult your physician before using dandelion.
Where to Find Dandelion
While dandelion can be grown and found in many areas throughout the U.S. it can also be purchased online. This helps you to get the herbs you need without having to go out and forage for them yourself. You can get dandelion tea here.
Precautions and Side Effects of Dandelion
Pregnancy and Nursing
There is currently not enough information about dandelion to determine whether or not it is safe during pregnancy or while nursing. Until more is known, it would be best to avoid the use of this herb.
If you have diabetes, speak with your physician before using dandelion. Dandelion can help to stimulate the secretion of insulin and help to control blood sugar levels. (1 5)
This can be beneficial for a person without diabetes, but for someone who already has low blood sugar, it could potentially cause problems. If you have diabetes and want to use dandelion, speak with your doctor first.
Dandelion is considered to be generally safe for most people. However, there is some allergy risk. (16) Anyone who is allergic to ragweed may also be allergic to dandelion.
If you know that you are allergic to any other members of the asteraceae family, such as chamomile, daisies, or sunflowers, you may want to avoid dandelion. If you have had a positive reaction to another flowering plant in this family in the past, talk to your doctor before using dandelion.
Allergy symptoms may include: (17)
Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
Skin redness or irritation
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
Dandelion can help to improve blood sugar levels, so if you have high blood pressure you may not want to use it in high quantities. (1 5) Talk to your doctor about how much dandelion you can safely take if you have either of these conditions.
Your doctor can also help you to monitor your blood sugar levels while using dandelion. If you have diabetes, your eyes are especially at risk. Dandelion can cause changes to your eye health so make sure to get annual eye exams. (1 8)
Dandelion is considered to be safe when used orally in a dosage range of 300-900 milligrams per day. (19) This is the equivalent of three to nine cups of dandelion tea.
You can use dandelion in a variety of dosages, depending on what you are using it for. Different varieties and strengths of supplements may also have different dosage recommendations.
For internal use, it is usually suggested to take no more than 3 grams at a time. You can also use it as a tincture or add it to food or drink. (20)
You can also apply dandelion externally to the skin for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The dosage of this is usually a lot less than that of internal use, at just 1-2 milliliters a day. (1 9)
It is also possible to get dandelion in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, or even as dandelion tea. This allows for greater flexibility when taking dandelion.
You can buy dandelion in a few different forms at most health food stores. You can get dried dandelion root, or even buy it in bulk if you want to make your own tea from it. Dandelion pills and capsules are also readily available.
It may also be possible to buy it in bulk if you want to make your own dandelion tea or tincture. This may be cheaper in the long run, but it all depends on how much dandelion you want to use.
You can also grow your own dandelions. They are easy to cultivate and will grow just about anywhere. (21)
Before you buy any dandelion, make sure that you are getting a high-quality version. A lot of the dandelion that is for sale at grocery stores is not the real thing. Instead, it is just a pretty yellow flower that has the same name.
If you can, buy your dandelion from a health food store or online. There are a few different varieties that are suitable for internal use. These include Taraxacum officinale, Taraxacum erythrospermum, and Taraxacum densleonis.
Dandelion Side Effects and Precautions
Dandelion is safe for most people to use when taken properly. However, there are some potential side effects and risks that you should be aware of when using dandelion.
One of the most common side effects that people experience when taking dandelion is stomach pain and nausea. This happens more often when dandelion is taken in high dosages or concentrated forms, such as tinctures. (22)
Some people also experience allergic reactions to dandelion. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, rashes, swelling, or even anaphylaxis. If you know that you are allergic to dandelions, don’t take dandelion supplements.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking dandelion as well. The effects of dandelion on pregnancy are currently unknown and dandelion might have a negative effect on the uterus. (23)
If you have a medical condition, then talk to your doctor before taking dandelion. This is particularly true if you are on any medications or have a health condition. Dandelion can affect the way that certain medications work and it could cause your conditions to become worse.
If you have liver or kidney conditions, dandelion might not be the best supplement for you to take. The same goes if you have digestive issues, such as Crohn’s disease or colitis.
Dandelion can also interact with a few different types of drugs, such as birth control, insulin, and Warfarin, which is a blood-thinner. (24)
If you are interested in taking dandelion during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor first. While it is generally regarded as safe in small dosages, there isn’t enough information for doctors to give it a green light.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when taking dandelion is the dosage. While some people take 1-2 cups of dandelion tea per day, this might not be safe for everyone. Even the dandelion tea at your local coffee shop might not be safe to drink in such high quantities. Always talk to your doctor about what is appropriate for you to take and in what dosages.
Top 10 Dandelion Benefits
1) Lowers Cholesterol
Dandelion is commonly used to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, dandelion is so good at lowering cholesterol; it is even used in some prescription medications. (25)
Dandelion reduces liver production of cholesterol and stimulates the excretion of bile, both of which help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. (26)
Multiple studies have found that dandelion supplementation can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL levels. (27, 28, 29)
2) Fights Cancer
Dandelion root acts as a diuretic, which helps prevent the buildup of toxins in the body.
This helps to keep your liver clean and healthy, as your liver is the one that has to deal with all of those toxins. A healthy liver can better prevent cancerous cells from developing, as well as help to keep the immune system strong. (30)
3) Helps With Digestive Issues
Dandelion is a great herb to add to your diet if you suffer from digestive problems.
The entire dandelion plant can be used to relieve digestive issues such as bloating, gas, indigestion, and even diarrhea. (31)
Dandelion’s antidiuretic nature also helps the bladder, and it can even be used to help with bed wetting in children. (32)
4) Aids In Weight Loss
Dandelion root is extremely low in calories, yet still provides a small amount of fiber to keep you feeling full. (33)
Multiple studies have found that dandelion helps with weight loss by increasing the body’s metabolism and reducing appetite. (34, 35)
5) Good For The Liver
Dandelion root is commonly used to help maintain a healthy liver. The root has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine to treat liver issues such as jaundice and congestion. (36)
It’s also an excellent diuretic, which helps the liver by removing excess water and waste products out of the body through the kidneys.
6) Good For The Heart
As discussed earlier, dandelion reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. (29)
LDL cholesterol is one of the primary contributors to heart disease, so this is a big benefit of dandelion.
7) Good For The Muscles And Joints
Dandelion is commonly taken as a supplement by athletes for its ability to increase stamina and strength.
Dandelion contains a lot of potassium, and since our bodies don’t produce this on their own, we need to get it from the foods we eat.
Potassium helps the body to maintain muscle function and combats conditions such as arthritis by keeping the joints lubricated. (37)
8) Helps With Liver Disease
Dandelion is commonly used to protect the liver from toxins, and can even help in some cases of liver disease.
It’s also used to treat liver cancer. (38)
This is because dandelion contains antioxidants, which help protect the cells from free radical damage.
9) Good For The Skin, Hair, And Nails
The potassium in dandelion helps to maintain proper electrolyte balance in the body.
Maintaining proper electrolyte balance helps to keep the skin, hair, and nails healthy. (39)
10) Helps With Digestion
The inulin content of dandelion root helps to regulate stomach acid, and is used as a treatment for heartburn. (40)
This is because the inulin content acts as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and promoting overall digestive health. (41)
Inulin can also be used as a natural sweetener with a much lower glycemic index than typical sugars.
11) Helps With Hormonal Balance
Dandelion has a mild diuretic effect, and it’s common to use it to help maintain hormonal balance. (42)
This is because dandelion helps the body to eliminate toxins, which can reduce the negative impact of these toxins on hormones. (43)
Dandelion also promotes bile production, which helps the liver with hormone production and regulates cholesterol. (44)
12) Good For The Skin
Dandelion can be applied directly to the skin to treat rashes and other skin disorders. (45)
This is a great natural way to help get your skin back in balance when it is suffering from allergic reactions or inflammatory issues.
13) Treats Infections And Colds
Dandelion can be used to prevent infection and speed up recovery time when you do have an infection.
It’s also great for treating respiratory and urinary tract infections. (46)
Dandelion is most often used to combat viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu, but it can also be used to fight off bacterial infections as well. (47)
14) Acne Remedy
Dandelion can be applied directly to the skin to reduce acne and pimples. (45)
A lot of people use this herb in the same way they would use mint leaf to treat acne.
15) Good For The Liver
Being a diuretic, dandelion is used to stimulate liver function and cleanse the body’s systems, including the liver. (40)
Dandelion is also used as a treatment or remedy for jaundice, as it helps with liver function and promotes bile production. (48)
16) Good For The Muscles And Joints
Dandelion root can be eaten to relieve the pain of gout and rheumatism. (49)
This is because dandelion root helps to relieve joint inflammation and reduces fluid buildup. (50)
When the body’s systems are in better balance, the body can heal itself naturally. Dandelion helps it do that.
17) Used In Cosmetic Products
The antioxidants in dandelions, along with other nutrients and minerals, make it a great ingredient for natural facial cleansers and masks. (51)
It’s also used in other cosmetic products, like toothpaste and deodorant.
18) Eliminates Waste And Toxins From The Body
Dandelion has a long history of use as a traditional medicine to remove toxins from the body. (52)
It is known to eliminate both biological and chemical toxins, making it a great natural remedy for drug addictions like nicotine, alcohol, and prescription drugs. (53, 54)
It’s even used to treat liver disease and other ailments caused by toxicity in the body. (55)
19) Great For The Skin
The antioxidants found in dandelion can also help to reverse skin damage caused by free radicals. (56)
Dandelion can be used to make creams and lotions to fight wrinkles as well as age spots and other signs of aging. (57)
Dandelion can also be used topically for other skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and keratosis. (58)
20) Stimulates Hair Growth
Dandelion root has been used to treat baldness and thinning hair since the 1700s. (59)
The vitamins and minerals in the dandelion plant help to nourish the hair and scalp from the inside out, which promotes faster hair growth.
This is great news for both men and women. Dandelion is also used to prevent gray hair.
21) Boosts Immune System
Drinking dandelion tea on a daily basis will boost your immune system and help fight off disease.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Curry leaves–A medicinal herb by S Parul, A Javed, B Neha, J Honey… – Asian Journal of …, 2012 – indianjournals.com
Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii Linn. Sprengal)-a mircale plant by S Singh, PK More, SM Mohan – Indian Journal of Scientific Research, 2014 – academia.edu
Estimation of chlorophyll content in common household medicinal leaves and their utilization to avail health benefits of chlorophyll by A Kizhedath, V Suneetha – Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2011 – researchgate.net
Phytochemical profiling of curry (Murraya koenijii) leaves and its health benefits by SM Nouman, A Shehzad, MS Butt, MI Khan… – Pak. J. Food …, 2015 – researchgate.net