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Murraya koenigii (The Curry Tree)

Image of Murraya koenigii

Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae

The Curry Tree (Murraya koenigii; syn. Bergera koenigii, Chalcas koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical small tree in the family Rutaceae, which is native to India. It produces the leaves known as Curry leaves or Sweet Neem leaves.

Stimulates the cardiovascular system and on the nictating membrane (root); hypoglycemic, Hair tonic (leaf); alleviates spasms (aerial part); antiprotozoal (root and aerial part).

Uses:

  • The leaves of Murraya koenigii 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.
  • They are also used as an ingredient in the popular Pakistani 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.
  • 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.