The main health use of Coriander is to help support loss of appetite and dyspeptic complaints. It may be added to laxatives to ease griping. Since ancient times, the fruits have been used topically to help support wounds and burns and the oil is sometimes included in lotions used as counter-irritant to help support painful joints, joint pain and menstrual disorders. Fruits may be chewed as breath deodorant after eating garlic.
Coriander Coriandrum sativum L.
Other Names: Coriandre (French); Koriander (German); coriandolo (Italian) cilantro (Spanish).
Description: An annual herb with aromatic leaves and pale pink flowers arranged in umbels. Upper leaves are much dissected and feathery in appearance; the lower ones are undivided and quite different in shape. The peripheral flowers in each umbel have the outer petal enlarged, so that the clusters superficially resemble the flower heads found in Asteraceae. The small, dry, spherical fruit (schizocarp) split into two mericarps at maturity.
Origin: Coriander orginates from the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia, but has been cultivated as a spice in other parts of the world for centuries.
Parts Used: Ripe, dry fruits (Coriandri fructus), usually referred to as seeds and the essential oil (Coriandri aetheroleum).
Active Ingredients: The essential oil is considered to be responsible for the therapeutic actions of the fruit. It is present in a concentration of about 1% of dry weight, and contains linalool as the main ingredient (about 60-70%). Also present are coumarins, phenylpropanoids, and triterpenes (coriandrinondiol) Unripe fruits and leaves have a peculiar "bedbug" smell, which is due to minor components (decanal and tricen-2-al).
Health Effects: Coriander has documented spasmolytic, carminative and antimicrobial properties which would be plausible for essential oils.
Notes: Coriander is an important ingredient of curry powders and adult drinks.
Status: Traditional health; Pharm.; Comm. E+.
Preparation and Dosage: For internal use, the equivalent of about 3 g of dry fruit is considered an appropriate daily dose.
The whole herb is used to quiet stomach ache and nausea. The seeds will correct cramping when mixed with laxative herbs. In Chinese health a decoction is given for dysentery and measles and can be used as a gargle for toothaches. In India an eye wash made from the seeds can be used to help support chronic conjunctivitis and as a vision supportive for virus infection victims. It is carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, and aphrodisiac, and reportedly lessens the intoxicating effect of alcoholic beverages.
The essential oil contains coriandrol (55 to 75 percent), geraniol, borneol, camphor, carvone, anethole, and other chemicals. Commercially the oil is used to flavor products, preparations, baked goods, and condiments.
The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It contains 14-22 percent protein and small amounts of fiber, niacin, and thiamine.
General Herb Information
Coriander, cilantro, or Chinese parsley, native to southern Europe, western Asia, and naturalized in North America, is a strong-smelling herb, to say the least. It may reach four feet in height and is a hardy annual. The lower leaves are rounded, toothed, and resemble the young leaves of anise. As the plant matures, the leaves become more finely divided and feathery The flowers are in graceful lacy umbels; the individual blossoms are pinkish-white. On each umbel group, the petals are enlarged on the outer flowers. Bees work coriander feverishly. It produces pink pollen, and bees fly about the garden with pink pollen sacks. The seeds (fruits) are about one-eighth inch in diameter, globular, ribbed, and light brownish when ripe. Each fruit consists of two halves (mericaps) both containing a seed. Mature plants may bend under the weight of the pleasant-smelling fruits.
Coriander is easily grown from seed sown to a depth of one-fourth to one-half inch in the spring or fall. Thin to stand at four-to-eight-inch spacings. Seeds germinate in seven to twenty days and mature producing seed, in about three months. Depending upon the spacing of rows, ten to twenty pounds of seeds will sow an acre. Plants self-sow freely.
Coriander likes a deep, well-drained, moderately rich loam with a pH between 6 and 8. It needs full sun and plenty of moisture and will probably require an occasional watering.
Leaves for fresh or dry use should be harvested before the plants bloom. Seeds should be harvested after about two-thirds have turned from a green to brownish color. Cut in the early morning while the plants are still moist with dew to avoid seed shattering since coriander can easily become weedy. Yields vary; 500 to 2,000 pounds of seed per acre have been obtained.
Many people dislike the fragrance and flavor of fresh coriander leaves. It has been described as unpleasant, awful, noxious, and buglike.
In China it is eaten in salads and as a pot herb. Most people, unfamiliar with Chinese parsley, have to acquire a taste for it. Cilantro is often the secret ingredient that gives Mexican, Turkish, Indian, and certain Chinese dishes their distinctive flavor. Fresh cilantro can be found in markets wherever Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, or Indian populations abound. Use the leaves in rice dishes, refried beans, curries, omelettes, soups, and salads. This much-ignored herb can enhance the flavor of many foods.
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Take 1 capsule, 3 times daily, with meals.
When applied to skin, the oil may cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, due to the presence of phototoxic furanocoumarins (coriandrine, dihydrocoriandrine).
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."