Curry leaves(Kariveppilai) is omnipresent in the culinary arena. Perhaps barring cooking rice, kariveppilai is being used in all items of human consumption. Right from sambar, rasam, poriyal, curry and including buttermilk, kariveppilai is liberally used as it is not only very cheap but also very valuable in all aspects. The irony that we are not able to digest is that though it is widely used in the kitchen, ultimately when one takes his lunch or snacks the kariveppilai is set aside and kept at the corner of the leaf only to be thrown into the dustbin. It has become proverbial to use in common parlance also – when a particular political party wins the election by virtue of alliance with some smaller parties, many times that winning party will, later on, neglect the smaller parties like the kariveppilai.
In reality, kariveppilai is good and known for giving the right smell and taste when used in any dish. It also contains lot of medicinal values like several minerals and vitamins which we will see in the following essay.
Carbohydrate, fibre, vitamin A, B, C, E, antioxidant element, amino acids, glycosides and flavonoids are rich in Kariveppilai. Plus it has other vital ingredients like iron, magnesium, copper, calcium, and phosphorous. One more advantageous feature is that the fat element is negligible in this at the ratio of 0.1 gm against 100 gm.kariveppilai.
Researchers have revealed that the kariveppilai contains carbazole alkaloids which will act as anti-diarrheal properties that will effectively control diarrhea. A handful of kariveppilai can be crushed to become like a paste which can be swallowed or taken simply as a juice for this purpose.
Removing stomach disorders:-
In Ayurvedic medicine, kariveppilai is prominent. All kinds of stomach disorders like pain, flatulence, indigestion will be cured by kariveppilai if it is taken in juice form together with a little bit of lime juice or with buttermilk. This will improve digestion and appetite.
Anti-glycaemic property in Kariveppilai:-
The anti-glycaemic property in kariveppilai ensures to keep the glucose level in our blood thereby enabling the diabetic persons to keep their sugar level under check.
Similarly, kariveppilai contains the chief chemical agent of phenol that prevents leukemia and prostate cancer. It also produces carbazole alkaloids that will fight against cancer cells.
Increasing good cholesterol:-
Kariveppilai significantly helps to reduce the bad cholesterol of LDL (low density lipoprotein) and increase the good cholesterol of HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
Accelerating growth of hair:-
To get rid of dandruff and lice, one can use the substance of kariveppilai and lime juice. Basically, one should smear it over the hair, cool for half an hour and then take bath. It will also help in the growth of black hair. If heated in coconut oil, the same can be used as hair oil.
The iron content available in the kariveppilai will prevent anemia from affecting a person.
Protecting the liver:-
Vitamin A and C present in kariveppilai will control the destruction of liver cells and protect the liver. Moreover, it will improve and increase the function of the liver.
Facilitating proper blood circulation:-
As the kariveppilai reduces bad fats forming over the blood vessels, it will help proper blood circulation without any hindrance.
Protecting & Promoting eyesight:-
Kariveppilai contains lot of vitamin A and carotenoids which will control the damage caused to the cornea. This will prevent loss of eyesight and purblind also. Above all, it will improve one’s vision.
For the genuine fact that kariveppilai helps almost every single organ in our body, we must respect its value while eating instead of brushing it aside.
(This article originally written by G Lakshmanan in Tamil has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)