Origin, Distribution and Composition
Curry leaves are derived from a beautiful, aromatic and more or less
deciduous shrub growing up to 0.9 meter, or a small downy tree, up to 6
meters in height and 15 to 40 cms in diameter. The leaves are slightly
bitter and aromatic.
The curry tree is a native of India and Sri Lanka. It grows in all
tropical zones and more so in rich soils. It is cultivated extensively for
its aromatic leaves and ornamental value throughout India.
An analysis of curry leaves shows them to consist of moisture 66.3 per
cent, protein 6.1 per cent, fat (ether extract) 1.0 per cent,
carbohydrates 16.0 per cent, fiber 6.4 per cent and mineral matter 4.2 per
cent per 100 grams. Their mineral and vitamin contents are calcium,
phosphorus, iron, nicotinic acid and vitamin C.
Fresh leaves on steam distillation under pressure yield a volatile oil.
Besides the oil, the leaves contain a residual glucoside named as koenigin.