Curry Leaves: Medicinal Benefits, Uses & a Poem in Ode to this Ayurvedic Herb

Dylan Smith Sitting in siddhasana on Deer Skin
Leaves from the curry leaf tree are one of my favourite spices.

Obviously raw is not the nicest,
but when you fry it in ghee, the bitter and astringent leaves acquire a sweet cooling breeze.
Light to digest,
Kaiḍarya कैडर् (sanskrit name) stimulates the digestive fire (dīpana) and appetite (rochana), and metabolises toxins (pachana) in the gut, kidneys and chest.
This spice balances your hormones so you can properly rest,
and enhances immunity, good body physique and strength(1), of which I can attest.
O leaves of Murraya koenigii (botanical name), you improve the voice and soothe sore throats,
like the swan gracefully glides on the smooth water as it floats. (Hamsapadi 🦢) (2)
You even boost intelligence and wisdom(1) in those who eat your leaves,
are hypoglycaemic(3), help in dysuria and purify the kidneys.
You also purify the blood really well,
protect the liver,(4) reduce blood pressure(5) and strengthen the red blood cells.
My sweet curry leaf tree, so many benefits and blessings do you unravel,
I seem to recognise you from afar mostly everywhere I travel.
You generously disperse your trees and offer an abundance of leaves,
it makes me wonder why they sell you at high prices for such abundant spices.
Some people don’t swallow your leaves and leave them on their plate,
unfortunately, they are oblivious to the potential for a healthy fate and the nourishment they could create.
So dear friend, please forage sustainably a mature, well dressed tree,
so you can enhance your food with the tasty and medicinal kaiḍarya leaves.

Alternative Names

Sanskrit - Kaidarya / kaiḍarya कैडर्
Other names:
“Sweet neem” - in a related family to neem Meliaceae)
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba (neem)
Botanical names: Murraya koenigii and Bergera koenigi - named after a couple botanists.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa: kshaya, tikta, madhura
Vīrya: shīta .
Vipaka: Katu (5)
Doṣas: KP-
Gunas: Laghu
Karmas: Deepana, pacana, rochana
  • atisāra
  • dīpana
  • pachana
  • When used with buttermilk it helps to cure ulcers in the digestive system.
Balance hormones.
Curry Leaf Tree
Curry Leaves

Medicinal Qualities


These enhance good body (physique), intelligence, strength and wisdom. - Susruta
hema śvetavacā kuṣṭham arkapuṣpī sakāñcanā // (47.2)hema matsyākṣakaḥ śaṅkhaḥ kaiḍaryaḥ kanakaṃ vacā / (48.1)catvāra ete pādoktāḥ prāśā madhughṛtaplutāḥ // (48.2)varṣaṃ līḍhā vapurmedhābalavarṇakarāḥ śubhāḥ / (49.1)
हेम श्वेतवचा कुष्ठम् अर्कपुष्पी सकाञ्चना ॥ (४७.)हेम मत्स्याक्षकः शङ्खः कैडर्यः कनकं वचा । (४८.)चत्वार एते पादोक्ताः प्राशा मधुघृतप्लुताः ॥ (४८.)वर्षं लीढा वपुर्मेधाबलवर्णकराः शुभाः । (४९.)
This article translates it as such:
“Kaidarya is given mixed with honey and ghee along with other drugs to bestow good growth, intelligence, strength, complexion and goodness for children up to 1 year.”
  • - Astanga Hrdaya (6)
This is similar to a more complex baby immunisation herbal remedy: Pusya Drops
Pusya Drops by Vital Veda

Hamsapadi (Good for the Voice)

Good for the voice (hamsapadi) - improves voice and soothes sore throats.
Hamsa = “Swan”
Padi = “Feet”
How to swan gracefully glides, swan is easy and smooth.
(Caraka Samhita)

Liver Health

Protects the organs, especially liver (hepato-protective) effect - anti-hepatotoxicity - has the ability to prevent damage to the liver.
Great blood purifier.
Krimi Roga (helps in parasites)
How to Use:
Simply fry the curry leaves (we like fresh, but dry is also okay), in ghee or oil with other spices, then add to your dish.
Just like we do in our kitchari or mung dahl recipe.

Other Health Benefits

Restores consciousness (samjnada).
Used in dhupana (fumigation therapy) in apasmara (epilepsy) cikitsa (treatment).
Reduces hypertension (significantly)

Purifies the Kidneys
Hypoglycaemic - diabetes type 2
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba.  is useful.
Nimba is the best for Prameha.
Acts at the mulasthana of the mutravaha srotas - medas.
Good for kaphaja mutra krcchra (dysuria- juice of kaidarya + honey + ela (cardamom)"
- (Caraka)