Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
A lacy upright garden herb with umbels of small white flowers, coriander has many uses in the kitchen. Known in the United States as its common name when referring to the seeds, and as cilantro in reference to the leaves, this is an herb that is used in culinary traditions the world over.
Used frequently in South American, Central American, Middle Eastern and Indian food, coriander has also become very popular in the United Kingdom. It is also a main ingredient to curry sauce. It has been used since ancient times all over the world, and the British learned of the herb when the Romans brought it with them during their conquest.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Coriander gives relief to flatulence, stimulates the appetite and helps the digestion process. It is a safe remedy for stomach upset for all ages. Weak tea can be given to small children for tummy upset. Asian medicine uses the leaves as a remedy for piles, swellings and headache; the fruit for conjunctivitis, colic and piles; the essential oil for rheumatism, colic and neuralgia; and a paste made from the seeds for mouth ulcers. Due to its influence with the digestion, it works well when added as a seasoning to keep the digestive system running smoothly.
Externally Coriander seeds are made into a paste for skin ulcers and eruptions. Studies are showing that coriander may have anti-inflammatory effects, and that it may be used for arthritis.
Other Uses Coriander contains an antioxidant that keeps animal fats from going rancid. It also contains compounds that keep meat fresh by killing bacteria that cause it to spoil. It also kills some fungal species. It is commonly used in the pharmaceutical business to make bad tasting medicine more palatable. Veterinarians use it in horse and cattle medications.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Coriander may be combined with lavender, angelica or gentian with good results.
Whole plant The entire plant is edible. The leaves are used as food, seasoning and herbal tea. The seeds are used in curry and in confections, as well as a spice in other recipes. The seeds are also ground into a paste to use in poultices.
If the seeds are used too much, they become narcotic.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should avoid taking large doses of this herb.
If you become aware of stomache ache after taking this herb consult your medical practitioner as it can cause liver problems.
Preparation and Dosage
A dose of ground coriander seeds for an adult would be 10 to 60 grains, depending on the ailment and the person. As a fluid extract, the proper dose would be 5 to 30 drops.