It is one of the oldest spices in the world and has been used for around 7000 years. The green leaves of coriander, also commonly known as cilantro, aromatic coriander seed is used in curry-based dishes, several ethnic dishes, soups, pickled vegetables, cooked vegetables, bread and stews.
All parts of coriander are edible, although they vary in taste. Coriander seeds have an earthy flavour which is enhanced once brought under warmth. The paste of coriander seeds can be used in doughs and preparations and the leaves are pungent and citrus-like. Pureed coriander leaves with garlic, peanuts and lemon juice to make a paste that can be used in burritos or salsa dip. Coriander leaves also make perfect garnishes for soup, pasta salads, salsa sip and Thai dishes.
Consuming Coriander can have multiple benefits for the entire body. From lowering sugar levels to boosting immunity, from hair rejuvenation to skin cleansing, the possible health benefits of Coriander are endless.
Benefits of Coriander for health
Coriander was traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal problems, due to its antioxidant and antibiotic properties. aIt was also an effective remedy for respiratory ailments and loss of appetite and memory. The ongoing research essentially focuses on its antioxidant, antimicrobial and neurological benefits.
Research proves that coriander can be beneficial to health in the following ways:
1. Lowers blood sugar levels
Coriander seeds and oil may help lower blood sugar levels, which is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. People with low blood sugar levels or on diabetes medication should avoid coriander to further lower their blood sugar levels as they promote enzyme activities that help rid sugar from the blood.
2. Boosts immunity
Coriander offers antioxidant compounds that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals and fight inflammation in the body. Compounds as terpinene and quercetin may have anticancer, immune-boosting and neuroprotective effects as per lab studies. Studies are verifying the effects of coriander seed extract in lowering inflammation and reduced growth of cancer cells in lung, prostate and breast.
3. Improves heart health
Coriander may lower heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. As coriander is diuretic, it helps the body flush excess sodium and water from the body that helps regulate blood pressure. Some research suggests that coriander can bring down cholesterol levels. People eating pungent herbs like coriander helps them reduce their sodium intake.
4. Protects brain health
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are associated with inflammation which can be safeguarded against with anti-inflammatory properties of coriander. Lab studies observe that coriander extract can protect against nerve-cell damage and improve memory and manage anxiety. Due to antioxidative, cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory activities of coriander, the neurons get less exposed to oxidative stress leading to a better lifespan and memory. This cognitive effect on memory and nervous system are being experimented to improve the health of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Promotes digestion and gut health
Coriander seeds are used to extract oil that may accelerate and modulate healthy digestion. Coriander seeds tea significantly decreases abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort. Coriander extract is also used as an appetite stimulant in conventional Iranian medicine.
6. Improves Kidney functioning
Coriander seeds are effective for treating urinary tract infections as they improve the filtration rate of kidneys enabling quicker urine generation. It leads to lower water retention in the body and allows it to flush out toxins and microbes. This helps in keeping the urinary system clean.
Benefits of Coriander for hair
Avail the benefits of coriander for healthier, stronger and well-nourished hair with this these easy DIY hacks.
1. Coriander leaves paste
Use this recipe for hair rejuvenation and other hair problems.
a) Crush a few fresh coriander leaves crush and mix it in a half cup of water. Combine to make a paste and evenly apply to your scalp.
b) Keep the mixture on for 15 minutes and rinse off your hair. You could use this paste twice a week.
2. Coriander juice
a) Add water and some sugar to finely chopped coriander leaves to make coriander juice.
b) Drink the juice 3 to 4 times a week in the afternoon.
3. Coriander seeds oil
a) Crush 2 tsp coriander seeds and add them to approximately 100 ml of olive or coconut oil.
c) Leave it for 2 weeks and massage this infused oil throughout the scalp with fingertips. Shampoo the next morning or in a few hours.
4. Coriander hair pack
a) Boil a handful of fresh coriander in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool and pour the decoction into a bottle.
b) Apply to the scalp and massage for 10 minutes before rinsing off with shampoo. You can use this solution 2-3 times a week.
Benefits of Coriander for Skin
Coriander is a powerhouse of iron which hikes the haemoglobin levels and prevents anaemia causing dull skin. Chewing fresh coriander leaves on an empty stomach also helps in curing oily and dry skin, as well as acne and pigmentation. Due to coriander’s antifungal and antimicrobial elements, it acts as a disinfectant and detoxifier which is also known to treat eczema.
Benefits of coriander for the skin are listed below.
1. Detoxifies the skin:
Coriander is rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and fights against free radicals that damage the skin. Coriander is effective for oily face due to its ability to absorb excess oil.
A natural antiseptic, an antimicrobial and antifungal agent, coriander soothes and cools the skin. It also helps in treating skin issues like dermatitis, eczema and smallpox.
2. Exfoliates the skin
Coriander makes a great skin exfoliator. The tiny granules of coriander seeds act as a scrub and deep cleanse the skin. The scrub is effective at removing dead skin cells and blackheads and rejuvenate your skin. Presence of vital vitamins and minerals in coriander is also effective in restoring skin’s elasticity.
3. Treats rashes and sunburns
Packed with abundant antioxidants, minerals that promote healthy skin and vitamin C, coriander are a great anti-bacterial, detoxifier and anti-inflammatory agent. You can simply soak cotton in coriander seeds water and dab it on your face to get rid of rashes and sunburns.
4. Reduces fine lines & wrinkles
Coriander seeds are effective at treating fine lines and saggy skin. It contains vitamin A that maintains the mucous membrane of the skin. It also delays the onset of wrinkles, reduces fine lines and pigmentation. It also keeps the skin hydrated and glowing by removing the dead skin cells.
5. Reduces acidity
Coriander is effective in relieving acidity. Redness, bumps and acne are formed due to acid formation in the body. Coriander intake can reduce acidity and get rid of various skin eruptions. You can apply it in combination with rose water or sandalwood as face packs to avoid allergies and dryness.
You can include coriander in your daily regime with these simple steps:
- Coriander leaves for skin: Coriander leaves are effective in making the skin smooth. Blend a handful of fresh coriander leaves with a half a cup of oatmeal, a quarter cup of milk, and a quarter cup of chopped cucumber. Apply the mixture on your face, let it dry and rinse with water.
- Coriander and aloe vera: Combine freshly ground coriander with aloe vera gel combination and apply on the skin to reduce fine lines and reduce wrinkles.
- Coriander and lemon juice: Combine ground coriander with some lemon juice and apply on acne and blackheads. Coriander will help in getting rid of the dead cells and rejuvenate the skin. This mixture works perfectly for lightening your lips too. Coriander juice can also be applied on the face if you have oily skin.
- Coriander and milk pack: Add milk, honey and lemon juice to ground coriander and apply on the face for healthy and glowing skin.
- Coriander and rice: Ground rice with yoghurt is effective in relaxing facial muscles and cells and refreshing the skin. Combine them with ground coriander and apply the mixture like a face mask.
- Coriander body oil: Coriander oil can be applied on the face, lips and entire body treats dead skin cells, sunburns, wounds and scars.
- Coriander face pack recipes:
- For the clear face, wash and grind a handful of coriander leaves and mix them well in tomato juice. Add some lemon juice, fuller’s earth and mix well. Apply this paste on your face for 15-20 minutes and wash off with cold water to get rid of acne and pimples.
- To get rid of blackheads, add powdered oats and egg whites to coriander leaves paste. Apply it on the face as a scrub. You can this scrub twice a week to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads naturally.
- For glowing skin, combine yoghurt, aloe vera gel and green coriander paste in a bowl. Add kaolinite clay and rose water and mix properly. Apply over the face and wash off once dry. You can use this pack twice a week for an instant glow on your face.
Benefits of Coriander in Ayurveda
Coriander is a well-known herb since ancient times across the world, from the Mediterranean basin to India and China. It’s dried seeds and the fresh leaves are used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. As per Ayurveda, the culinary applications of coriander have a medicinal background to balance the food properties and facilitate digestion. A rich source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron, coriander is also effective at controlling bad breath. Coriander has various functions and applications in Ayurveda due to its diverse properties, some of them are listed below:
- Different formulas for coriander and ways of preparations are effective in treating a variety of problems. The most widely-known use is for improving digestion by moderating Agni (digestive fire) without increasing pitta and acidity levels. It is very useful against flatulence and bloating.
- Coriander is effective at treating urinary tract problems, connected with burning urination and infections. It is a mild diuretic that does not overburden the kidneys with excessive activity and strengthens the urinary system. Coriander’s diuretic property also makes it useful in treating oedema and high blood pressure levels.
- Coriander detoxifies the body by flushing out the toxins. It also cleanses the liver by clearing the fat and necrosis in it. Studies have shown that it is also effective at treating bacterial and fungal infections as well as parasites. Traditionally, it is used to treat eye infections and common flu in children.
- Coriander reduces blood glucose levels), which makes it effective in diabetes. It also lowers down bad cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also effective at curing excessive menstruation, allergies, skin problems, baldness, treating thirst issues and acting as an insect repellant.
Using Coriander seeds in daily life
Coriander seeds contain linalool, an active compound possessing analgesic activity. It acts on the central pain receptors and acts as natural pain relievers.
1. Coriander Tea
Brewing a hot cup of coriander tea is great to deal with digestive issues like acidity, indigestion and menstrual cramps. Add ½ spoon coriander seeds to 2 cups boiling water. You can also add fennel and lemongrass to enhance the flavours. Consume the freshly brewed tea and opt for good quality coriander seeds for optimum results.
2. Coriander Water
Coriander water, if consumed regularly is effective in regulating diabetes, weight loss and skin texture.
3. Coriander Oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of coriander seeds help relieve joint pain and make them feel rejuvenated. Coriander hair oil can also be used to nourish the scalp stimulating the hair follicles for enhanced growth.
Learn about some amazing benefits of coriander seeds here.
Please note that while coriander seeds are largely safe for use, some people may have allergic reactions to its consumption with their prevalent sensitivities to nuts and seeds. Excessive intake can sensitize the skin to sunlight. People with chronic low blood sugar should also avoid overconsumption as it brings down sugar levels.
Buying coriander seeds
Coriander seeds are readily available in the market as a whole or ground. But we recommend buying whole as the powder loses its flavour easily. Avoid buying coriander seeds that are light green in colour as they are quite bitter in taste. Ground coriander can be stored in a refrigerator.
Grow your own coriander seeds
Coriander can easily be grown at home, so long as there is a spot with sufficient sunlight and well-drained soil. The seeds can be harvested in 1.5 to 2 months when they're still green and can be stored in a paper bag till they turn golden brown. Once they turn golden brown, they can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in a cool and dark place.
You can buy pure, non-GMO, non-hybrid and open-pollinated seeds online at AllThatGrows.