Curry Tree

Murraya Koenigii (Rutaceae)

Characteristics

Small tree, growing up to 6 m. Aromatic leaves, pinnate, with 11-21 leaflets, each leaflet 2-4 cm long. Small white flowers which can self-pollinate. Fruit is a small, black drupe containing a single, large seed. The pulp is edible, with a sweet flavor.

Distribution

Native to the Indian subcontinent. It can be found growing wild throughout the country, in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Commercial plantations have been established in India and more recently in Australia

Natural Medical Properties

Curry leaf contains several medically active constituents including a glycoside called koenigin, an essential oil and tannins.
It is a warming, strongly aromatic herb that improves appetite and digestion.
The leaves, roots and bark can all be used internally in the treatment of digestive problems.
It has been shown that the leaves increase digestive secretions and relieve nausea, indigestion and vomiting.
The leaves can be used internally in treating constipation, colic and diarrhoea.
The leaves are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.
The leaves can be applied externally as a poultice to treat burns and wounds.
The leaves are harvested as required and used fresh.
The roots and bark are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried.
The juice of the fruit mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantiifolia) is applied to soothe insect bites and stings.
A paste made from the bark is applied to the bites of poisonous insects and other animals.

Did you know?

The leaves of the Curry tree are used in many dishes in the Indian subcontinent and in SE-Asia, especially in curries.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species