Natural remedies for common ailments are more and more popular-one that many people haven’t heard of is the use of curry leaves for bad breath. The people of India grow the curry tree, Murraya koenigii, because the leaves are used to flavor traditional dishes; however, they have also known for many years that putting a few of the fresh leaves in the mouth and holding them there for several minutes can have a remarkably positive effect on the breath.
Murraya koenigii health benefits don’t stop there. Apparently scientists are studying the extract of the leaves as a natural medicine against high cholesterol and high blood sugar, suggesting that it may have great potential in Western countries where many people suffer from high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. The extract contains healthy antioxidants as well, and root bark of the plant is used in some conditions as a pain reliever. It seems that curry leaves for bad breath is only the beginning.
Curry leaves are considered a green vegetable in India. It’s known that they contain vitamins and minerals, which explain some Murraya koenigii health benefits. They also contain essential oils, zinc, and chlorophyll, all of which have been used in commercial remedies for oral malodor. It’s very likely that, like many plants, this one produces some antibacterial compounds and using curry leaves for bad breath may result in a reduction of oral odor-producing bacteria.
Of course, even natural remedies with a long history of use must eventually be properly studied to determine their usefulness, potential toxicity, and how they work. Scientific study has not yet illuminated the secrets behind Murraya koenigii health benefits; however, we can be fairly sure the substance is not toxic because of its long and widespread use as an edible culinary plant. Fresh curry leaves for bad breath will be difficult to obtain in regions where the tree is not grown, however, dried leaves are available in many Asian shops and even these may have some beneficial properties. Further investigation will reveal whether this plant has a future in the arsenal of weapons against oral malodor.