Many people want to add nutritional ingredients to their meals that provide a boost of flavour but also help to improve health too. Coriander is a type of herb that not only provides a tart lemony taste to dishes, but it also contains a high nutritional value of vitamins, minerals, and fibre that are all essential for the healthy functioning of the human body.
There are many different ways to consume coriander, including chopping fresh leaves for a salad and adding dried coriander powder to your cooking. You may also drink coriander tea for specific health benefits.
What is Coriander?
Coriander is an herb officially called Coriandrum sativum. It can also be called cilantro and Chinese parsley, and is from the Apiaceae family. It can be confused with another variation of Chinese parsley called Heliotropium curassavicum and also Mexican coriander. It’s an annual and not a perennial so cuttings or seeding must be done each season.
It depends on where you live in the world as to whether it’s called cilantro or coriander. In the UK it’s commonly called coriander in all its forms. In Mexico, cilantro is the Spanish form of the word coriander. In Canada and the USA, coriander is in reference to the seeds, while the leaves are called cilantro, particularly when fresh.
In India, coriander can be called dhania. If you buy curry powder, one of the ingredients will always be coriander.
It can be eaten fresh, with most parts of the plant edible. But you can commonly buy the dried leaves and dried seeds in the herb and spice aisle of your local grocery store. It has great versatility when used for cooking.
Coriander has a fresh lemon-lime or tart taste to it. Some people perceive this taste to be soapy due to a specific gene they’ve inherited from their parents. Some people actually like this soapy test, while for others, they will avoid consuming coriander in any form.
Top 11 Benefits of Coriander Leaves for Health
Coriander is grown in many parts of the world, but is particularly simple to grow in small containers or pots indoors or out. In order to gain its most beneficial properties the best part to eat are the leaves. It’s also best to consume raw, but the leaves can also be steeped in hot water too.
Here are the top 11 benefits of consuming coriander leaves for health.
1. Naturally Lowers Cholesterol Levels.
There are natural fatty acids in coriander that help to lower cholesterol levels, including absorbic acid–better known as vitamin C, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These work together at reducing cholesterol without prescription medication.
Coriander also works to reduce the harmful LDL cholesterol that can form on the insides of the arteries and veins that can lead to heart attack and strokes. It will work to increase your healthy HDL cholesterol levels to help prevent these cardiac diseases.
2. Decreases Inflammatory Skin Conditions
There are many inflammatory skin conditions that people suffer, including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and rashes and hives from allergies.
Coriander contains many compounds, including cineole and linoleic acid that aid in reducing inflammation and swelling caused by these conditions. Coriander helps to reduce the inflammation in skin conditions and will result in general skin improvement.
Coriander also has special detoxifying and antiseptic properties that can help to keep these skin disorders from turning into infections. It can help to flush away excess water from the body which takes the toxins with them.
3. Treats Stomach & Intestinal Disorders
Whether you suffer diarrhea from a bad flu bug, food poisoning, or a food intolerance, taking coriander can help to heal the digestive system more quickly. The natural compounds of borneol and linalool naturally aid in digestion, help encourage the liver to perform, and keep the bowels working naturally. It also has an anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties to help cure diarrhea that is caused by organism imbalance in the body. Cineole, limonene, alpha-pinene and beta-phellandrene are also contained within coriander and have beneficial properties to help in the functioning of the intestinal system.
Coriander also works effectively at generally helping to prevent or cure nausea and vomiting, and soothe the stomach.
You may also take coriander before you are having a large meal so that you feel more comfortable at the end. It can help to encourage the secretion of stomach enzymes and the production of digestive juices for the stomach. It can stimulate digestion and help the peristaltic motion which keeps food moving through the intestines.
Coriander is also good at treating anorexia as it works as an effective appetite stimulant. It can also soothe the stomach of all the issues that may keep a person from eating.
4. Prevents Anemia & Malnutrition
Many people suffer from iron deficiencies that can result in malnutrition that leads to pale skin, fatigue, tiredness, stress, and even heart palpitations. The solution is to consume more foods that contain iron.
Coriander has a high iron content which can benefit every organ in your body. It will help to increase your overall strength and energy too.
5. Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure
Studies have been done to show that coriander can effectively reduce blood pressure, also know as hypertension in medical terminology. Coriander will help to relax any tension in the blood vessels. These properties will naturally work at reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
It can work to increase the interaction of calcium ions with acetylcholine to encourage neurotransmitters in the central nervous system to work efficiently.
6. Works As a Natural Antihistamine
Many people with allergies can’t take medication year round due to decreased effectiveness and dry mouth and eye syndrome. Coriander can work as an effective antihistamine by combating the rising of histamine levels in the blood.
This is helpful for seasonal allergies, including hay fever in the spring, and the release of tree pollen in the fall. It can also work well for food allergies by warding off hives, rashes, and anaphylaxis. If you’re uncertain about a new dish, sprinkle some coriander in it to combat any potential issues.
7. Prevent Mouth Issues
Mouth ulcers can be caused by a poor diet, food intolerances, viruses, and other diseases. Coriander contains natural antiseptic properties to help speed the healing of these ulcers, and to prevent infection.
It can also work to prevent gum disease, including gingivitis, which causes bad breath and inflamed gums. Coriander is one of the ingredients you’ll find in toothpaste. For centuries, people have chewed coriander leaves to freshen their breath after a meal.
8. Provides Relief from Menstrual Disorders
Hormonal imbalances are what causes pain, headaches, irritability, bloating, and lower abdominal swelling in women during their periods. Coriander can naturally work by encouraging the proper secretion from the endocrine glands so that menstrual cycles return to a normal balance.
9. Promotes Healthy Eyes
Coriander is full of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and minerals, including iron and phosphorous. These help to prevent vision disorders such as macular degeneration or cataracts. It’s also beneficial to take if you spend a large amount of time on the computer, so that stress and strain will have less of an impact on your eyes. Coriander even contains betacarotene, which is also in carrots, and is good for your eyes. When taken early, it can also help to reverse the effects of aging on the eyes.
Conjunctivitis is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. Many eye care products already contain coriander to help fight infections and provide antiseptic properties.
10. Improves Bone Health
Coriander also contains high levels of calcium so is beneficial for all ages, including people who have been tested for the osteoporosis gene that can run in some families. It can be eaten as an effective treatment to prevent the erosion of healthy bone structure.
Even consuming a small amount of the plant in your diet will help aid bone regrowth for the years ahead.
11. Helps to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Coriander can also be used to control abnormal blood sugar levels. It has a stimulating effect on the endocrine glands so the secretion of insulin is increased by the pancreas. This helps to provide more insulin to the blood so it can better metabolize and convert sugars to energy. This will result in naturally lowering the levels of sugar in the blood. It also helps to manage this condition by avoiding sharp spikes in blood sugar levels. It can be beneficial for people who are in the early stages of diabetes type II.
How Do I Use Coriander Leaves to Benefit My Health?
Coriander comes in many different forms so you may be wondering what is the best way to use the leaves? Fresh leaves are best, but you may not always have access to fresh coriander leaves all year round from your local shops. The next best thing is to buy dried coriander leaves, or dried coriander seeds. You may also find coriander essential oil in shops that can be used for skincare or aromatherapy.
Fresh coriander can be added to salads, or added as a garnish to dishes, instead of parsley. But it’s more than decorative, as you can also eat it. It’s best to eat after you have cleared your plate, as it can cleanse your palate and freshen your breath.
Fresh coriander leaves can also be added to stews and sauces to add a bit of tangy lemon-lime flavour.
If you have no fresh coriander at hand, you can use the dried form of leaves or seeds. The seeds are best for sprinkling on tops of breads or desserts, or for sauces.
You may also make a tea with coriander. You can use the fresh leaves or the dried leaves, and place them in a tea infuser that has a fine mesh. Simply steep the coriander in a cup of hot water. In order to experience the maximum number of nutrients, prepare your tea right before you plan on drinking it, rather than making it and letting it sit all day.
Drinking a coriander tea will also give you a higher dosage of its benefits than if you simply sprinkled 10 ml of it in your curry sauce, as you won’t eat the entire dish of curry in one sitting. If you are using the tea for health benefits, you may wish to drinking one or two cups of tea a day to help manage your health condition.
You may think of other ways to consume coriander. It’s best to try different methods, because you don’t want to get tired of eating salad or drinking tea for every single meal.
Precautions for Consuming Coriander Leaves
Before using coriander in any amount read through our precautions, as almost anything is going to affect a small part of the population.
- If you experience any type of allergy, discontinue use.
- If you have a health condition you may wish to discuss using coriander with your doctor first as it may cause drug interactions.
- Some people have reported sun sensitivity when taking large amounts of coriander. If you’re heading outdoors, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen.
- Some people think coriander tastes soapy. If this bothers you, you may have to find an alternative herb for health.
- Pregnant women and children under 12 should not consume coriander in other than minute amounts in food.
- If you experience any other type of reaction, or concern, then discontinue using it.
Closing Thoughts on Coriander Leaves for Health
Coriander tastes great in meals but can also benefit your health. Since it contains so many vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, it can benefit all types of illnesses, health conditions, and diseases besides the eleven above.
Consider buying fresh coriander leaves every time you shop the fruit and vegetable aisle of your local grocery store or supermarket. You’ll also want to stock up on dried coriander leaves and seeds for your cooking too.
Something as simple as adding coriander to a few meals each day will provide your body with a boost of wellness to get you through the day.