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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Photo: Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) Use: leaves, seeds, and roots.
Also called: fresh coriander, coriander leaves, Chinese parsley,

Old World herb with aromatic leaves and seed resembling parsley used as seasoning or garnish. Cilantro has a very unique flavour that is common in Thai, Indian, and Mexican foods. Typically, the leaves, stalks, and roots are referred to as cilantro and the seeds as coriander (dhania in India).

This plant can grow to 60cm, and bears pale pink flowers. It makes an ideal container herb as it has both culinary and medicinal purposes. Cilantro prefers south or western exposure, and likes life sunny and hot; it can grow up to two feet high.

Coriander/cilantro, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.

Chemicals derived from coriander/cilantro leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis, and this activity was found to be caused in part by these chemicals acting as nonionic surfactants.

Coriander/cilantro has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran. Experiments in mice support its use as an anxiolytic. Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid. In holistic and traditional medicine, it is used as a carminative and as a digestive aid.

Coriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for diabetes. A study on mice found coriander extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity.

Coriander seeds were found in a study on rats to have a significant hypolipidaemic effect, resulting in lowering of levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein. This effect appeared to be caused by increasing synthesis of bile by the liver and increasing the breakdown of cholesterol into other compounds.

WARNING: Coriander can produce an allergic reaction in some people.

Used for:

  • Physical Fatigue
  • Colic
  • Digestion
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Carminative


History Originating in Italy, this herb has spread throughout the world and is now common in dishes from Thailand to Mexico.
Jewish people use coriander (the seeds) in traditional Passover meals because of its historical significance in the exodus. Also in the region Sheherazade made reference to the aphrodisiac properties of coriander in the Arabian Nights.
Cilantro is accredited with removing heavy metals from our bodies, as well as aiding the digestive system.

Related studies, articles, and news items

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Disclaimer: This content is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat. Check with a qualified Health Practitioner before using any herbal treatment. Use of these reference pages signifies acceptance of this notice and our Terms and Condition.

Information on this website is for information purposes only.
Please consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any course of action.
Always check for counter-results before deciding on a course of action.

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