Coriander /Cilantro Leaves and Seeds

Coriander – Cilantro

Coriander refers to both a herb and a spice derived from the Coriandrum sativum plant, which is part of the parsley family. The plant is native to regions spanning from southern Europe to southwestern Asia, but it is cultivated worldwide.As a herb, coriander typically refers to the fresh leaves of the plant.

Both the leaves and seeds of the coriander plant are used in culinary applications, each providing a distinct flavor profile to dishes. Coriander is valued not only for its flavor but also for its potential health benefits, as it contains antioxidants and has been associated with various medicinal properties in traditional medicine systems.

History of Coriander

The medicinal proprieties of Coriander – Cilantro have been documented in Sanskrit and Greek writings. Hippocrates used this powerful herb for its health benefits. The seeds of the Coriander plant were found in the tomb of Ramses II.

Coriander Leaves

Coriander leaves are commonly used as a culinary ingredient in various cuisines around the world, adding a fresh, citrusy flavor to dishes. Coriander leaves are often used as a garnish or chopped and incorporated into salads, soups, curries and salsas.

Coriander Spice from the Seeds

As a spice, coriander refers to the dried seeds of the coriander plant. These seeds have a warm, nutty flavor with citrusy undertones and are commonly used whole or ground in cooking.

Coriander seeds are a key ingredient in many spice blends, such as; curry powder, garam masala and harissa. They are also used in pickling spices and as a seasoning for meats, vegetables and baked goods.

Active Ingredients in Coriander

Coriander, (Coriandrum sativum), commonly known as Cilantro or Dhania, is a powerful herb with many health benefits. This plant is rich in micro-nutrients and nutritional elements. It contains; dietary fiber,  vitamins, and minerals such as; calciummagnesium, sodium and potassium.

Medicinal Properties of Coriander – Cilantro

In some parts of Europe, Cilantro has been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant because its seeds have hypoglycemic effects. In India, coriander is very popular for its anti-inflammatory proprieties.

Aside from being used in cooking, coriander leaves and seeds strengthen the stomach, reduce fever and lower cholesterol levels.

Coriander Fruit Health Benefits

Coriander fruits are anthelmintics (treat parasitic worms), fungicides and bactericides. They reduce digestive spasms and alleviate abdominal pain. The fruits are rich in amino acids, fatty acids and proteic substances.

Individuals who suffer from diabetes, as well as those with high cholesterol levels can benefit from using this herbal remedy as some of these acids are very effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. This herbal remedy contains citronelol, which is a powerful antiseptic.

The antioxidants and anti-fungal proprieties of coriander are ideal for treating skin dryness, eczema and other skin disorders.

Antioxidants in Coriander – Cilantro Leaves

Coriander contains powerful antioxidants that protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals. Fresh coriander leaves are a rich source of carotenoids (which have antioxidant activity). It has been shown that 125 ml of fresh coriander leaf juice contain almost as much beta-carotene (vitamin that acts as an antioxidant) as 250 ml of Broccoli juice.

Coriander Seeds for Diabetes

Some studies suggest that Coriander seeds may offer certain benefits that could be supportive in managing diabetes, in the following ways:

Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies in animals have suggested that coriander seeds may have hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) effects. The seeds are believed to influence the activity of enzymes involved in glucose metabolism, potentially contributing to better blood sugar control.

Antioxidant Properties: Coriander seeds contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which is associated with diabetes complications. By reducing oxidative stress, coriander seeds may indirectly support overall health in individuals with diabetes.

Improvement in Lipid Profile: Limited research in animals has suggested that coriander seeds might have a positive impact on lipid metabolism. This includes potential reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels. Managing lipid levels is important for individuals with diabetes, as they are at an increased risk of cardiovascular complications.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Chronic inflammation is associated with diabetes and its complications. Some components in coriander seeds, such as linalool and other phytochemicals, have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in studies. This anti-inflammatory

Coriander Seeds for Indigestion

Coriander seeds have been traditionally used in various cultures to address digestive issues, including indigestion. While scientific research on coriander seeds and their effects on digestion is still limited, there are some potential mechanisms by which coriander seeds may help alleviate indigestion:

Anti-Spasmodic Properties: Coriander seeds contain certain compounds that may have anti-spasmodic effects on the muscles of the digestive tract. This can help relax the muscles and reduce spasms, potentially easing discomfort associated with indigestion.

Aiding Digestive Enzymes: Coriander seeds may stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, including amylase, lipase, and protease. These enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, respectively, facilitating the digestion process.

Reducing Gas and Bloating: The carminative properties of coriander seeds may help alleviate gas and bloating associated with indigestion. Carminatives are substances that promote the expulsion of gas from the digestive tract, providing relief from symptoms like bloating and discomfort.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some compounds in coriander seeds have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the digestive tract can contribute to indigestion, and reducing inflammation may help alleviate associated symptoms.

Mild Laxative Effect: Coriander seeds may have a mild laxative effect, promoting bowel movements and relieving constipation. Proper bowel regularity is essential for overall digestive health and can contribute to reducing indigestion.

Ways to Use Coriander Seeds for Indigestion

Coriander Tea: Steep crushed coriander seeds in hot water to make a soothing tea. Drink this tea after meals to potentially aid digestion.

Spice in Cooking: Incorporate crushed coriander seeds into your cooking. They can be added to various dishes, such as soups, stews, and curries, to enhance flavor and potentially aid digestion.

Coriander Seed Infusion: Crush coriander seeds and infuse them in warm water. Drink this infusion for a milder alternative to coriander tea.

Note: While coriander seeds are generally considered safe for most people when used in culinary amounts, excessive consumption or use in large quantities may have adverse effects. If you have chronic or severe indigestion, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized advice on managing your symptoms.

Coriander Seeds for Menstrual Support

Coriander seeds are beneficial for women who suffer from heavy menstrual flow and hormonal mood swings, via the following mechanisms:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Coriander contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate menstrual cramps and discomfort associated with inflammation.

Antispasmodic Effects: The antispasmodic properties of coriander may help relax the uterine muscles, reducing uterine contractions and easing menstrual cramps.

Regulation of Menstrual Flow: Some traditional practices suggest that coriander may contribute to regulating menstrual flow, potentially addressing irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

Rich in Nutrients: Coriander is a source of certain nutrients, including iron. Adequate iron levels are important for preventing or addressing iron deficiency anaemia, a condition that can be associated with heavy menstrual bleeding.

Mood Support: Compounds in coriander may have mild calming effects, potentially offering support for mood swings and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation.

Coriander – Cilantro as a Source of Iron

Coriander is an excellent source of iron, phytonutrients and flavonoids. The presence of iron and vitamin C strengthens the immune system and relieves pain. It protects the body against urinary tract infections, prevents nausea, lowers blood sugar levels and aids in digestion.

Analgesic Properties of Coriander – Cilantro

Coriander may also be used in treating muscle pain, headaches and stiffness. Because of its heating and analgesic effect, this plant is used to treat arthritis, pain in bones and rheumatism.

Coriander – Cilantro to Strengthen Veins

The high content of bioflavonoids from Coriander – Cilantro leaves helps in treating varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

Coriander Juice Health Benefits

Coriander juice is beneficial in treating dysentery, colitis, indigestion and hepatitis.

Coriander – Cilantro for Skin Health

When mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder, Coriander juice serves as a powerful remedy against blackheads and pimples. Coriander is rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and fights against free radicals that damage the skin.

Topically, coriander is effective against oily skin due to its ability to absorb excess oil. As a natural antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-fungal, coriander is soothing and cooling to the skin.

Anxiolytic Effects of Coriander – Cilantro

Recent studies have shown that coriander can be successfully used in treating anxiety, depression and panic attacks due to its anxiolytic and sedative effects.

Linalool Essential Oil from Coriander – Cilantro

Coriander contains Linalool, an essential oil that can help detoxify the liver and increase the appetite. Linalool is also believed to stimulate creativity, optimism and imagination. Recent studies have shown that coriander can cause a mild euphoria.

Coriander – Cilantro helps with Oral Health

Scientists have proved that the antibacterial properties of this plant can be used to improve oral health. Coriander not only freshens breath, but it can help cure ulcers and sores in the mouth.

Coriander, Milk and Honey

Drinking a mixture of coriander seeds with milk and honey is an excellent way to reduce fever. This can also help with diarrhoea and flatulence.

Soothing Eyes with Coriander – Cilantro

For individuals suffering from conjunctivitis, applying Coriander can reduce eye burn and irritation. A good way to apply it is to make tea from Coriander leaves, leave to cool, then soak a clean cotton handkerchief in the tea and apply to the eye area.

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