- Family Umbelliferae
- Coriandrum sativum
- Cilantro, Coriander seed, Chinese parsley
- Do not take essential oil internally.
Native to southern Europe and western Asian, this herb is now cultivated worldwide. It is a strongly aromatic annual, growing to about twenty inches. The upper leaves are finely cut and called Cilantro. The white or pink flowers produce beige seed coats with little, round seeds known as Coriander.
For over 2,000 years, coriander has been used throughout Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.
It is listed in the Ebers papyrus, dating about 1,500 BCE. The herb was apparently much used in ancient Egypt, as well as in ancient Greece by Hippocrates and other physicians.
The herb reached China during the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE).
>Pliny (23-79 CE) described its use: “for spreading sores diseased testes, burns, carbuncles, fluxes of the eyes, too, if woman’s milk be added”.
- digestive stimulant
- volatile oil (up to 1.5% mainly of delta-linalool [70%], as well as alpha-pinene and terpinine)
- fatty oil
- malic acid
- phenolic acids
- Seeds, essential oil, leaves
- Recent research indicates that coriander also has insulin-like abilities and may be helpful in treating some forms of diabetes.
Coriander is more often used as a culinary spice and to flavour cigarettes rather than a medicine; but an infusion of the seeds is a gentle remedy for flatulence, bloating, and cramps. As a digestive aid, it settles spasms in the gut and counters nervous disorders. It can also help control blood sugar levels. Infusions are taken inbetween meals for digestive complaints, while tinctures are taken after meals.
It is also used for coughs, chest pains, bladder complaints, leprosy rash, fever, dysentery, headaches (external use), oral inflammations, and postpartum complications.
In Chinese medicine, it is used for loss of appetite, the pre-eruptive phase of chicken pox and measles, hemorrhoids, and rectal prolapse.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to treat nose bleeds, coughs, hemorrhoids, scrofulous, painful micturation, edema, bladder complaints, vomiting, amoebic dysentery, and dizziness.
The leaves are chewed to sweeten the breath, especially after eating garlic.
The seeds can be made into poultices, lotions, or salves for external use to prevent infection of wounds and to ease muscle and joint aches.