Coriandrum sativum (Coriander, also called Cilantro), is an annual herb from the Apiaceae family and grows to about 50 centimetres tall. The entire plant and root part (used in traditional Thai cooking) are edible; fresh leaves and seeds are used in cooking and medicinally.
Concentrated essential oils in coriander give it that distinct aroma; seeds and fresh leaves are used in many dishes cooked all over the world, from Spain to the Middle East, and Asia to South America. It seems it has been used for his flavour and health properties for many centuries; however, scientist are only beginning to unveil its true potential.
With powerful natural cleansing properties, coriander is proven to remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body by binding to those toxic agents and loose them from tissues, blood and organs, then aid through elimination out of the body. These beneficial properties rely heavily on your digestion abilities and nutrient assimilation; therefore, regular intake and portion also matter.
It has been proven that people suffering from side-effects of high levels of mercury in their body (from teeth fillings and over consumption of predatory fish) were able to reduce those side-effects by consuming regular amount of coriander over an extended period.
To date there are several well-known, well-documented benefits of coriander:
- Cineole and Linoleic Acid known for their anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties (they also help purge extra water present in the body due to swelling), Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid and Ascorbic Acid (vitamin-C) known to lower high cholesterol in the blood, as well as the internal walls of the veins and arteries.
- Borneol and Linalool know to clean the liver and reduce diarrhoea.
- Cineole, Limonene, Alpha-pinene & beta-phelandrene, each of which contains anti-bacterial properties.
- Citronelol is a well-known natural antiseptic, and proven to reduce bad breath, to heal mouth-wounds and prevent oral ulcers.
- Phosphorus, amongst other Minerals.
- Dodecenal, the best known chemical found in Coriander, has been shown to be twice as potent as Gentamicin, a commonly used allopathic antibiotic medicine used to kill Salmonella.1
James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, states that cilantro has been shown to settle the stomach. He recommends drinking a cup of the tea made from a handful of the leaves, when experiencing any form of stomach discomfort.
1 Antibacterial Activity of Coriander Volatile Compounds against Salmonella choleraesuis. Isao Kubo, et. al. Journal of Agric. Food Chem., 2002, 50 (26), pp 7622-7626. Published 2002 American Chemical Society
Changes in Volatile Compounds of Irradiated Fresh Cilantro Leaves during Cold Storage. Xuetong Fan* and Kimberly J. B. Sokorai. Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038
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