Coriander, also called cilantro, is not only one of the world’s oldest spices, but is also one of the important ones that have healing properties. Its scientific name is Coriandrum sativum. Coriander has been used in Asian countries for thousands of years for its various health benefits. It has been used as a spice in Roman culture to preserve meat and was also cultivated in ancient Egypt.
The coriander plant is said to have anti bacterial and anti microbial properties. It is not only rich in phytonutrients but also a very good source of dietary fibre, iron, magnesium and manganese. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and cures Anaemia. 100g of the leaves provide 40% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. The vitamin A present in it helps to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin. It is also very important for good vision. It is easily available and can be grown at home, as such it lends itself to be an excellent natural home remedy.
Health Benefits Of Cilantro
The herb cilantro is commonly used to garnish food in India. It’s a member of the carrot family and is available throughout the year. This humble herb which has so many health benefits, is best eaten raw. It bears oval shaped aromatic seeds, which also have various medicinal properties.
Cilantro health benefit for digestion
One of the health benefits of Cilantro is that it aids digestion and has long been used in Chinese medicine as a digestive aid. The herb helps to prevent nausea and stomach upsets. A couple of tsps of coriander leaf juice mixed with buttermilk helps cure digestive disorders. It stimulates the appetite and helps in the secretion of gastric juices. It also helps cure diarrhoea.
Another health benefit of cilantro is its ability to cleanse the body of heavy metals such as mercury and lead. It’s a blood purifier and hence helps detoxify the body.
Health benefit to cure swellings
Cineole and linoleic acid, two of the essential oils present in coriander have anti rheumatic and anti arthritic properties. Thus coriander is very beneficial for any swelling caused by these two ailments. A compress of damp, crushed coriander leaves can be applied to the swelling for relief. As an antioxidant cilantro helps reduce inflammation.
Cilantro health benefit for Cholesterol
Some of the acids present in cilantro like linoleum acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) very effectively reduce cholesterol in the blood and cholesterol deposition in the arteries and veins. According to whfoods.com, when given to rats fed on a high fat and high cholesterol diet, coriander lowered levels of total and LDL cholesterol, while actually increasing the good cholesterol, HDL.
Cilantro health benefit for Diabetes
The coriander plant is referred to as an anti diabetic plant in some parts of Europe. Animal research has shown that when coriander was added to the diet of diabetic mice, it stimulated the secretion of insulin and lowered their blood sugar.
Cilantro fights food borne illness
Coriander contains an antibacterial compound called dodecenal, which lab tests have shown to be more effective than the commonly used antibiotic for fighting salmonella, a deadly cause of food borne illness. Dodecenal was found to be a potent antibiotic.
Rich in vitamin K
It is one of the richest sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K promotes osteotrophic activity in the bones and builds bone mass. It also helps in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.
The vitamin A and vitamin C and minerals in coriander prevents macular degeneration and soothes the eye. It is also used to cure conjuctivitis.
Coriander contains essential oils, that help to heal wounds and ulcers in the mouth. It also freshens the breath. Just chew on crushed coriander leaves for a couple of minutes every day for a few days.
Home Remedies With Coriander
- A decoction made from 2 tbsp of pounded bark of the neem tree, 2 tbsp of pounded coriander seeds, a tsp of cardamom, and 2 glasses of water is very good home remedy for fever. It can be had with honey.
- A decoction of a tbsp of coriander seeds with a glass of water, reduced to half, strained and taken twice daily, is a good diuretic as well as cholesterol lowering remedy.
- For nose bleeds, grind fresh coriander leaves and put one or two drops of it’s juice into the nostril. This helps to stop the bleeding.
- A tsp of fresh ginger juice and a tbsp of fresh coriander juice can be taken 2-3 times a day for hyperacidity and heart burn. Also, crush one spoon each of coriander and cumin seeds coarsely, add half a litre of water to it and leave it overnight. Mash the seeds in the morning, filter it, add sugar to taste and have 2-3 tbsp twice a day for 4-5 days.
- Boil a tsp of crushed cumin seeds in a cup of water for 2-3 mins. Grind a tbsp of washed, fresh coriander leaves. Add this to the cooled cumin herbal tea, with a pinch of salt. Drink 2-3 times a day after a light meal as a home remedy for diarrhoea.
- At the start of dysentry, a herbal decoction made with 2 tbsps of dried coriander seeds and taken with plain water or buttermilk, helps to soothe the intestinal lining and decrease the quantity of mucus in the stool.
- To get temporary relief from from muscle sprains and strains, crush a handful of eucalyptus leaves, a few cloves, 10-12 mint leaves, a few sprigs of coriander leaves, and grind them together. Add 1-2 tbsp of warm coconut oil, and apply locally. This is an effective home remedy.