Latin Name: Coriandrum sativum

Alternate Names: Chinese Parsley (Leaves), Mexican Parsley, Cilantro (Leaves), Dhanyaka (Sanskrit), Dhaniya (Hindi)


Parts Used: Seeds. Leaves and seeds are used in cooking.


Properties: Alterative, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antispasmodic, Appetizer, Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Nervine, Refrigerant, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic.


Internal Uses: Bloating, Colic, Cramps, Cystitis, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Fever, Flatulence, High Cholesterol, Indigestion, Measles, Migraine


Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.


Coriander is added to laxative herbs to modify any griping they may cause. it is also used to help lower cholesterol.


Topical Uses: Conjunctivitis, Cramps, Joint Pain, Moodiness, Neuralgia, Rheumatism, Thrush, Toothache


Topical Applications: Massage oil or lotion for cramps, neuralgia and rheumatism. Poultice or compress for rheumatism and sore joints. Gargle for thrush, or use as a mouthwash for toothache or as an eyewash for conjunctivitis. To improve a bad mood, use the essential oil as a perfume. Also, oil can be used as soap, deoderant and toothpaste.


Culinary uses: Roast the seeds before grinding to enhance the flavor. The expression a la Greque refers to dishes spiced with coriander. Used with beans, meat dishes, Latin American, Indian, Ethiopian and Asian cuisine. Used in apple dishes and pastries. Gin, Chartreuse and Benedictine all contain coriander. The cilantro leaves are used as a raw garnish in Asian and North African cooking. The root may also be cooked as a vegetable.


Energetics: Pungent, Neutral, Cool.


Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (containing borneol, coriandrol, terpinene, camphor), tannin, flavonoids, coumarin.


Contraindications: Excessive use can have a narcotic effect.


Comments: The seeds of the plant are pungent and neutral, while the leaves are cool. The name Coriander is derived from the Greek word koris, meaning 'bed bug'. This refers to a peculiar scent Coriander has when the leaves are crushed. It is one of the world's earliest cultivated spices. Seeds were found in the tomb of King Tut and it was mentioned in the Epers Papayrus. Coriander is said to be one of the bitter herbs in the Passover tradition. It was an ingredient in love potions during the Middle Ages. In 'The Arabian Nights', Coriander is mentioned as an aphrodisiac.


The seeds have also been used to preserve meat when mixed with cumin and vinegar. During World War II, Coriander seeds were coated with sugar and marketed as sugar drops. They were once thrown from carnival wagons, but this was later considered wasteful, so little balls of paper were substituted, hence leading to the term confetti.


When Coriander seeds are planted, they grow into wonderful cooking herb, Cilantro.