Coriander (Cilantro) Herb Profile: Benefits, Side Effects & How to Use

Coriander (Cilantro) Herb Profile

Coriander, scientifically named Coriandrum sativum, is from the Apiaceae family and is also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley.

The leaves and stem of the plant are called cilantro, while the seeds are called coriander.

Coriander can be confused with another type of Chinese parsley called Heliotropium curassavicum. Since Coriander is an annual rather than a perineal, cutting must be done in the proper season.

Most of the coriander plant is edible. It can be eaten fresh or dried. This herb can be prepared in many ways, and it has a tart or lemon-lime flavor.

While it’s an edible tasty herb in many dishes, some people relate that it tastes “soapy” and will not consume it because of that.

Coriander Nutrition Facts

Coriander has a pleasant aroma and is often used for a garnish or decoration. In addition to its pleasing aroma, cilantro is loaded with nutrients.

It contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and sodium. It also contained fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. [R]

Coriander Health Benefits

Coriander can be used for a variety of digestive problems as well. Some of which include loss of appetite, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, hernia, intestinal gas, and bowel spasms.

Lactating women have been known to use coriander to increase milk flow when breastfeeding. It can also be used to combat food poisoning. [R]

In addition to these health benefits, coriander is advantageous for other reasons. The following are additional health benefits that result from using coriander.

1. Lowers Cholesterol

The natural fatty acids in coriander lower cholesterol levels.

Vitamin C, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid are in coriander and can naturally reduce cholesterol.

The harmful LDL cholesterol which leads to strokes and heart attacks is reduced. [R]

2. Inflammatory Skin Conditions Decreased

Conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rashes, and hives can be reduced by using cilantro. [R] [R]

It contains compounds such as cineole and linoleic acid that will help reduce swelling and inflammation that result from various skin conditions.

Detoxifying and antiseptic properties are in coriander which will prevent infections that often result from skin conditions.

3. Regulates Blood Pressure

Coriander effectively regulates blood pressure by relaxing tension in the blood vessels. The same properties will reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes. [R]

Using Coriandrum sativum can cause the central nervous system to work more efficiently.

This is because it increases the interaction of calcium ions with acetylcholine which encourages neurotransmitters to function properly.

4. Natural Antihistamine

Coriander combats the rising of histamines in the blood. This is helpful for both seasonal and food allergies.

The discomfort of hay fever in the spring and pollen allergies can be reduced using cilantro. Hives, rashes, and anaphylaxis are reduced by it as well. [R]

5. Prevents Malnutrition and Anemia

Coriander has high iron content which will prevent malnutrition that brings other issues such as pale skin, stress, fatigue, and heart palpitations.

Your overall strength and energy will be increased as well.

6. Treats Intestinal and Stomach Disorders

If you are suffering from a stomach flu bug, food intolerance, or food poisoning, Coriandrum sativum can quickly heal your digestive system. [R] [R]

Cilantro has compounds that naturally help the liver and bowels to perform at an optimum level.

Cineole, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phellandrene are compounds found in coriander that help the intestinal system to operate efficiently.

A coriander supplement can be taken before a meal to aid digestion by encouraging the secretion of stomach enzymes and digestive juices.

7. Relief from Menstrual Issues

Pain, irritability, headaches and bloating are common issues from menstruation. Coriander encourages normal endocrine secretion to balance menstrual cycle and female hormones. [R]

8. Improves Bone Health

The high levels of calcium in coriander are beneficial for people of all ages. Eating it can serve as a preventative treatment of the erosion of healthy bone structure. [R]

Consuming a small amount will aid bone growth for a long time.

9. Promotes Healthy Eyes

Coriander helps prevent vision disorders such as degeneration or cataracts because it is full of antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and minerals such as iron and phosphorus.

Cilantro is particularly good for you if you spend a great deal of time at a computer screen because it can prevent damage to the eyes.

Many eye care products contain coriander to help with conjunctivitis.

10. Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Because coriander stimulates the endocrine glands, it can maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The endocrine system affects the pancreas which is where insulin is secreted.

Coriandrum sativum provides more insulin to the blood so that sugar is converted to energy and the metabolization process of the body is more efficient.

11. Treats Smallpox

Coriander’s essential oils have Cineole, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phellandrene along with Vitamin C which all strengthen the immune system.

Cilantro can relieve the pain and discomfort that results from smallpox. Additionally, coriander is thought to effectively treat smallpox because of the properties that strengthen the immune system.

12. Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Vitamin A is fat-soluble and an antioxidant that is in coriander. [R]

This prevents cancers in the lungs and colon. The presence of Vitamin K in coriander is good for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. [R] [R]

13. Reduces Anxiety

Linalool is found in coriander. This property has been known to fight insomnia and reduce anxiety. [R]

The oil is also popular in aromatherapy giving stress-relieving effects when inhaled.

14. Prevents Hair Loss

Free radicals can damage hair cells which prevent hair growth leading to hair loss.

The antioxidant properties in coriander stop the cell damage encouraging the growth of fuller and thicker hair. [R]

Coriander oil is used to treat dandruff and other scalp issues. It also helps the hair to become shinier and livelier.

It takes a few weeks of use to see the results.

 15. Prevents and Treats Urinary Tract Infections

Coriander’s antibacterial properties clear out harmful bacteria preventing infections. It can also treat urinary tract infections that have already started. [R]

16. Prevents Mouth Ulcers

Because coriander has antiseptic properties, it can teat and prevent mouth ulcers.

 17. Prevents Arthritis

Coriander contains anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent arthritis. The heating and analgesic properties of the herb bring the anti-inflammatory effects. Bone pain is alleviated as well.

Caution/Side Effects

As with any herb or food, there are possible side effects. Use with caution and stop using immediately if you experience any negative results.

1. Allergic Reaction

There is a possibility of skin reactions with the use of coriander.

Some people have complained of sunlight sensitivity which resulted in sunburn. If your skin is sensitive, use this herb to treat skin infections cautiously.

You might also have allergic reactions to coriander if you are allergic to aniseed, fennel, dill, caraway, mugwort, or similar plants.

2. Diabetes/Surgery

Coriandrum sativum might lower blood sugar levels. [R] If you are a diabetic, monitor your levels closely.

If you are scheduled for surgery, stop using it at least two weeks before your procedure. Inform your doctor that you have been using coriander.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Coriander could lower your blood pressure.

If you have low blood pressure, or if you take medications to lower your blood pressure, using this herb could cause an unsafe drop in your blood pressure.

How to Use

Most people believe the fresh leaves are the best way to use cilantro, but you might not always have access to fresh leaves since coriander is an annual.

Dried leaves and seeds can always be used as well as the essential oil.

1. Salads

Coriander makes a great flavoring for salads.

Fresh leaves, dried leaves, or the dried seeds can be added to your salad. It could even be used as a flavoring in your salad dressings.

2. Breath Freshener and Palette Cleanser

One of the best ways to use coriander is after you have eaten. It will cleanse your palette and freshen your breath.

3. Stews and Sauces

Fresh coriander leaves can be added to stews and sauces for a tangy flavor. The dried seeds can be added to the sauces as well.

4. Bread and Desserts

If you do not have fresh cilantro, you can use the dried leaves or seeds to sprinkle on top of bread and desserts for additional flavor. The herb will liven up any dish with its tangy flavor.

5. Tea

For tea, place fresh or dried leaves in a tea infuser.

Steep the herb in a cup of hot water. Drink your tea immediately after preparation rather than allowing it to sit all day.

The tea will give you more benefits than sprinkling it on dishes. Do not consume too much in one sitting as you would your regular tea.

Drink one to two cups of tea per day if you are using it for health benefits.

6. Marinade

Coriander can be added to marinade sauces for various meats such as beef, fish, and chicken. You can also use it to spice up your vegetables. Cilantro also goes well with mushrooms.

Guacamole dip tastes wonderful with coriander seeds or leaves added. It can be used on tortilla wraps or dipping with chips.

Marinated coriander chicken served with rice and a salad is a great dish to try. It’s simple to make as well as delicious.

7. Dab the Oil/Massage

The essential oil can be applied topically using a cotton ball or Q-tip to treat various skin infections.  [R]

The oil can be added to almond oil or sesame seed oil and used for a massage.

8. Smoothie

A handful of leaves or seeds can be added to a smoothie for detoxification. The antioxidants and detoxification properties will aid digestion and remove toxins from your body.

9. Juices

Coriander can be added to various juices to cool down the digestive tract as needed.

10. Blood Pressure Stabilizer and Diuretic

Coriander seeds can be left in water overnight. The next day, remove the seeds and drink the water.

Using coriander this way will stabilize your blood pressure and remove excess sodium from your system through urination.

11. Menstrual Problems

One of the ways cilantro can be used to treat menstrual problems is to boil 5 grams of dried leaves along with a one-half liter of water and one teaspoon of sugar.

Drinking the mixture will stop heavy menstrual flow and alleviate other menstrual issues.

12. Hair Loss Treatment

As a treatment for hair loss, mix coconut oil and coriander seed and massage into your scalp. This will stimulate the hair follicles.

13. Mouth Ulcer Home Remedy

Since coriander oils have great antiseptic and microbial properties, gargling with boiled coriander water will cure and reduce the intensity of mouth ulcers.

Citronellol is one of the compounds in coriander oil that enhances these effects.

14. Gastritis Treatment

Gas formation is minimized when fresh cilantro leaves are spread over vegetables. The acidic nature of the vegetables is minimized.

15. Pimples and Blackheads

Mix a teaspoon of coriander juice or oil with a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply the mixture to pimples and blackheads for amazing results.

16. Arthritis Treatment

Coriander essential oils can be used topically or mixed with water and taken orally to relieve symptoms of arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory properties in the oil bring about the relief of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. [R]

17. Home Remedy for Digestive Issues

The essential oils work well to aid digestion and prevent negative effects that can occur in the digestive system.

Soak coriander seeds in water for one day. After removing the seeds, drink the water.

Upset stomach will be soothed or prevented. Flatulence is also prevented by drinking the water.

18. Heavy Metal Detox

Mix cilantro juice and chlorella powder. Drink the mixture to detoxify from the consumption of lead, aluminum, and mercury. [R]

19. UTI Home Remedy

To treat a UTI, mix coriander powder in one cup of water. Drinking this on a regular basis for several days will treat a UTI.

20. Headache Home Remedy

The paste of cilantro leaves can be applied to the forehead and temples for quick headache relief.

Applying a few drops of the essential oils to the same area brings headache relief as well.

Where to Buy

Fresh and dried cilantro leaves are available in most supermarkets and health food stores.

You can also purchase dried leaves, seeds, oil, capsules, liquid extract, or powder online at Amazon or other reputable e-commerce stores.

Sasha Brown

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