Family: Rutaceae

Synonymy: Bergera koenigii

Common Name: Curry Leaf

Local name: Gandhelu (गंधेलू), Mitha neem, Gandhla, Gandhela

Gandhelu is a small evergreen shrub or tree with pungent foliage. Gandhelu is very easily growing plant commonly seen growing up to an altitude of 1500 m above the sea level. It grows best in full sun but also succeed well in most soils and generally prefers a fertile, humus-rich, moisture-retentive but well-drained light soil.

A shrub Gandhelu in wild habitat

                Leaves and fruits of Gandhelu are edible. Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Fruits are eaten when they are ripe. Gandhelu is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine in Western Himalayas, Sometimes it is also cultivated for its edible leaves, fruits and for harnessing its medicinal values in the gardens and homewards. Gandhelu can be used as a hedge and as an ornamental shrub . Its leaves are often sold in local market.

Harvesting of Gandhelu leaves from wild. A child eating raw leaves . Young mind need to be trained like this to involve wild herb in their life style to keep them healthy in current scenario.

             The pungent, aromatic leaves of Gandhelu are used in cooking, they are common ingredient of curries, chutneys, soups, pickles etc. Leaves are used as a flavoring agent in these preparations and impart a very good flavor to the preparations. This is the reason that Gandhelu leaves are commonly known as Curry Leaf. The leaves retain their characteristic flavor and aroma even after drying. The shiny-black fruits of Gandhelu are very nutritious, they are liked both by children and adults and known to have many medicinal properties.

       Almost every part of Gandhelu has a strong characteristic odour. The people of the plains, particularly of southern India, use the leaves of this plant as a spice in different curry preparations.

Gandhelu leaves can be dried for later use, these dried leaves are also sold by members of various Self Help Groups in market

Gandhelu Plant:

Plant is small spreading evergreen shrub or small tree, 2 to 2.5 metres high; the main stem, dark green to brownish, with numerous dots on it; its bark can be peeled off longitudinally, exposing the white wood underneath; the girth of the main stem is 16 cm.

Gandhelu tree

            Leaves, exstipulate, bipinnately compound, 30 cm long, each bearing 24 leaflets, having reticulate venation; leaflets, lanceolate, 4.9 cm long, 1.8 cm broad, having 0.5-cm-long petiole.

Flowers, bisexual, white, funnel-shaped, sweetly scented, stalked, complete, ebracteate, regular, actinomorphic, pentamerous, hypogynous, the average diameter of a fully opened flower being 1.12 cm; inflorescence, a terminal cyme, each bearing 60 to 90 flowers; calyx, 5-lobed, persistent, inferior, green; corolla, white, polypetalous, inferior, with 5 petals, lanceolate; length, 5 mm; androecium, polyandrous, inferior, with 10 stamens, dorsifixed, arranged into circles of five each; smaller stamens, 4 mm. long whereas the longer ones, 5 to 6 mm; gynoecium, 5 to 6 mm long; stigma, bright, sticky; style, short; ovary, superior.

Fruits, round to oblong, 1.4 to 1.6 cm long, 1 to 1.2 cm in diameter; weight, 880 mg; volume, 895 microlitres; fully ripe fruits, black with a very shining surface; pulp, Wistaria blue 640/2; the number of fruits per cluster varying from 32 to 80.

Edible leaves and fruits of Gandhelu

Seed, one in each fruit, 11 mm long, 8 mm in diameter, colour spinach green 0960/3; weight, 445 mg; volume, 460 microlitres 1.

Edible Uses:

Tender leaves are eaten raw by local people to harness its medicinal properties, these are also dried, ground into powder and used as a spice to flavour different vegetable curries. Raw leaves are ingredient of curries and chutneys.

Vegetable curry:

Ingredients required:

 Gandhelu leaves (Murraya koenigii), 100g; mustard oil, 5-6 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder,1 tea spoon; cumin seed, 1 table spoon; turmeric powder, 1; table spoon. red chillies, 2-4; medium sized chopped onion, 1; chopped garlic cloves, 4-5; green coriander leaves (chopped), half cup amount; ginger paste, 1/2 table spoon; curd or butter milk, 1kg; besan, 4-5 table spoon; branded garam masala,1 tea spoon; salt, according to taste.

Vegetable curry of Gandhelu leaves and Colocasia esculenta stem


For preparing curry mix well ½ kg butter milk or curd and saute it with spices in hot mustered oil listed above in sequence along with Gandhelu leaves. Cook till it boils and garnish with Garam masala and coriander leaves.



Fresh mint (poodina) leaves, 200 gm; fresh Gandhelu leaves, 100gm; tirmire leaves, 50gm: anardana, 100gm; red chillies, 5-8; medium sized chopped onions, 2-3; tomatoes ,2-3; apple, 1-2 and salt, according to taste.


For preparing chutney, grind all the ingredients in a mixer except salt. Take out this mixture in a deep container then add salt. Now chutney is ready to serve.

Edible ripe fruits of Gandhelu.

The major part of the fruit is occupied by the seed and the edible portion is only 49.4 per cent of the whole fruit. The fruits are very sweet and are eaten fresh. They have a characteristic odour which make them slightly unpleasant. The overall fruit quality is fair1..

 Pulp of fruits contain 64.9 per cent moisture. The content of total soluble solids of the fruit juice is 16.8 per cent. The pulp contains 9.76 per cent total sugars, 9.58 per cent reducing sugars, 0.17 percent non-reducing sugars and almost a negligible amount of tannin and acidity. The vitamin C content of the fruit, which is 13.35 mg per 100 g of the pulp, is better than that of many fruits studied during the course of the present investigation 1.

The mineral content of the edible portion of the fruit, as represented by its ash, is 2.162 per cent. Similarly, 100 g of the edible portion of the fruit contains, protein, 1.97 g; phosphorus, 0.082 g, potassium, 0.811 g, calcium, 0.166 g; magnesium, 0.216 g; and iron, 0.007 g1. .

Chemical constituents in plant:

The major aroma constituents in the oil are b- caryophyllene, b- gurjunene, b- elemene, and b- phellandrene. An alkaloid, murrayacinine, is also found in this plant 1,2 ..

Medicinal properties

The leaves, the bark and the roots of Gandhelu can be used as a tonic and a stomachic. The bark and the roots are used as a stimulant by the physicians. They are also used externally to cure eruptions and the bites of poisonous animals. The green leaves are stated to be eaten raw for curing dysentery, and the infusion of the washed leaves stops vomiting 3,4.Plant is also known to cure labour pain, rheumatism and used as tonic5. A strong odiferous oil occur the leaves and the seeds of Gandhelu exhibiting a strong antibacterial and antifungal activity 6. A significant reduction in fasting blood sugar and postprandial blood sugar was observed by feeding (12 gm) leaves powder to Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus patients (NIDDM)7.

Other Uses:

The branches of Gandhelu very popular for cleaning the teeth as datoon and are said to strengthen the gums and the teeth.Compound leaves present in this plant is quite ornamental, so it is also used as a hedge and as an ornamental shrub. Local people believed that this plant keep ghost and snake away, so they prefer to cultivate it around their home . The leaves are thought to be a hair tonic in India, where it is believed that they can prevent the hair graying 8.

Gandhelu a source of income:

Women in Western Himalayas dry Gandhelu leaves and sell through Self Help Group. A small packing of 100 g earn 30 to 50 Rs for them.

A women of Self Help Group selling dried leaves of Gandhelu At Seri Munch of Mandi town


1.Parmar, C. and M.K. Kaushal (1982), Wild Fruits of the Sub-Himalayan Region, Kalyani Publishers, Ludhiana.

2 Purohit SS, Sharma AK, Prajapati ND, Kumar T. (2009); A handbook of medicinal plants: a complete source book. Edition.;2:352-3.

3.Watt G. (1891). A dictionary of the economic products of India. Periodical Experts.

4.Kirtikar & Basu, (1935); Indian Medicinal Plants, Vol. III, Bishan Singh Mahedra Pal Singh, Dehradun.

5.Chopra, R.N., Nayar, S.L. & Chopra, I.C (1956). Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. CSIR, New Delhi  Watt G. A dictionary of the economic products of India. Periodical Experts; 1891.

6.Nigam SS, Purohit RM. Chemical examination of the essential oil derived from the leaves of Murraya koenigii (Linn.) Spreng. Indian curry leaf). Perfum Ess Oil Rec. 1961;11:152-55.

7. Khan Beena A, Abraham Annie, Leelamma S.(1995) ;  Hypoglycemic Action Of Murraya koenigii And Brassica juncea: Mechanism Of Action, Indian J. Biochem. Biophys., 32(2):106-108.

8. Bown. D. (1995): Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN,0-7513-020-31.                       

44 thoughts on “Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng.- Gandhelu (गंधेलू) Mitha neem, Gandhla, Gandhela.

  1. salute your work, you provide all important information regarding each plants. your work speaks that you are- efficient, organized, and result oriented person. Thank you for giving us such a amazing knowledge.

  2. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a glance regularly.

  3. Its like you learn my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately
    this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe
    that you could do with some percent to force the message home a bit, however other than that,
    this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  4. After looking over a number of the blog articles on your web page, I honestly appreciate
    your technique of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark
    website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out
    my web site as well and tell me what you think.

  5. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  6. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble
    locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing
    it develop over time.

  7. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and detailed information you provide.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same outdated rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m
    including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  8. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to
    see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad
    is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is
    totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  9. Someone essentially help to make significantly articles I’d
    state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up
    to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual post incredible.

    Fantastic task!

  10. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few
    of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why
    but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  11. Having read this I believed it was really informative.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading
    and leaving comments. But so what, it was still

  12. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  13. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your
    website on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded
    on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, great site!

  14. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one
    these days.

  15. I will immediately clutch your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me realize in order that I may just subscribe.

  16. I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be just
    what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content available for you?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects
    you write with regards to here. Again, awesome website!

  17. Hi there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  18. you’re actually a good webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick.

    Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a fantastic
    job in this subject!

  19. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a
    look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog
    loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..

    Anyways, amazing blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *