Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Curry leaves Fights Tooth Decay

Curry leaves Fights Tooth Decay

The curry leaf tree (Murraya Koenigii spreng – a green leafy vegetable) is grown all over India and other countries for its aromatic leaves which are used daily as an ingredient in Indian cuisine.

The fresh curry leaves contain 2.6% volatile essential oils (containing sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes) and the essential oils in the curry leaves are sufficiently soluble in water.

They contain 21000mug total carotene, 7100mug beta carotene, 93.9mug total folic acid, 0.21mg riboflavin, 0.93mg iron, 830mg calcium, 57mg phosphorus and 0.20mg zinc per 100g.

The cold extract of curry leaves (10g of cut fresh curry leaves in 200ml of distilled water) has a pH of 6.3 to 6.4. (unpublished personal observations). Chlorophyll has been proposed as an anticariogenic agent and it also helps to reduce halitosis8.

We have observed that holding curry leaves in the mouth for 5 to 7 minutes is helpful in reducing halitosis and that the terpenes have been found to reduce airborne chemicals and bacteria.

In addition to the presence of EO, the curry leaves contain chlorophyll, beta carotene and folic acid, riboflavin, calcium and zinc and all these can act on the oral tissues and help in keeping up good oral health. Chewing 2 to 4 fresh curry leaves with 10 to 15mls water in the mouth, swishing for 5 to 7 minutes and rinsing the mouth out with water can be of help in keeping good oral hygiene and as the curry leaf is a green leafy vegetable it will be safe and cheap to use as mouthwash.

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