Coriander is used as fresh leaves or dried fruits (as seeds) which is an ingredient to many recipes. Its fruit is used as a spice and leaves mainly for garnishing in Indian culinary practices. In Ayurveda text it has been known as Kustumbur which means an herb that alleviates various diseases. In India, it has been traditionally used for it anti-inflammatory properties.
If coriander is consumed regularly it has properties which helps to improve gastrointestinal conditions, strengthen the stomach, lowers cholesterol level and prevents from food poisoning. Coriander has also been used to treat diarrhoea (fungus induced), urinary tract infection, rheumatism, pain, vomiting, cough, hepatitis C, fever, sore throat, goitre, migraines, and menstrual disorders, eye problems, blood impurities, parasitic worms, skin conditions, kidney disorders, mouth ulcers, oral inflammation and high cholesterol. It has also been used to improve vitality and memory. Coriander juice has been used to treat nausea and morning sickness, colitis and liver disorders.
Coriander is believed to be anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, acts as an appetite stimulant and benefits in conditions like upset stomach, flatulence, decreased appetite, bowel spasms and diarrhoea. Coriander contains an essential oil urandrol that can help to detoxify the liver, increase the appetite and thus helps in indigestion too. Due to its antibacterial properties it can be used as a cure for bad breath also.
For indigestion: Take one tablespoon of coriander seeds and simmer it for 15 minutes in one cup of water. Wait until it cools down and drink it once a day for a week.
For Bad Breath: You can take four or five fresh leaves of coriander and eat them as raw after washing.
The medicinal importance of coriander can be known by it’s another common name Vittunak which means an herb that can be used to cure all diseases. In Ayurveda it is used in combination with other herbs and spices like cumin, fennel, cardamom, caraway etc. Coriander is believed to be anti-pyretic, diuretic, stimulant, demulcent, anti-oxidant and anti-biotic. Coriander has several therapeutic usages. Some of more usages are listed below.
- Anti-inflammatory: Allergic inflammation caused by marking nut. Coriander leaves have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Paste of coriander leaves when locally applied is very beneficial.
- Pain and swelling (glandular): Paste of fruit is used for local application.
- Stomatitis: Gargles of its fruit decoction is very effective.
- Epistaxis: Treated with the instillation of fresh juice of its leaves in the nose.
- Conjunctivitis: Similar like epistaxis juice is used for local application which reduces itching, redness and purulent discharge from the eye.
- Thirst: In thirst emerging as a complication in other diseases cold infusion of Dhanyak/ Coriander added with sugar or honey is useful. It relieves burning sensation also.
- Vatrakat (gout): Intake of coriander 10gm and cumin (jeera) 20gm cooked with jaggery relieves vatarakta.
- Cough and Asthma: Coriander mixed with sugar should be given with rice water in treatment of cough of children. The decoction of coriander and madhuyashti effectively relieves the bronchospasm and cough.
- Fever: Decoction of coriander and sunthi (dry ginger) is valuable.
- Urinary tract infection: It is extremely beneficial in the burning micturition, strangury and dysuria for which its decoction or cold infusion is given with sugar. Cold infusion of coriander seeds and cumin seeds should be taken in the morning as this reduces burning micturition and increases urinary output.
- Renal stone or urinary stones: Seed powder mixed with honey and sheep’s milk.
- Ailments: Coriander and gokshur for decoction in urinary ailments.
- Nervine tonic: Medicated milk prepared with its seeds is effective as nervine tonic.
- Burning sensation and thirst due to fever - Coriander cold infusion with honey and fennel (saunf).
- Conjunctivitis and eye wound: Kwath of coriander is filtered and used as eye drops.
- To curb increased libido (sex drive): Fruits are effectively used.
- Mouth ulcers: Local application of fresh juice of leaves helps to cure ulcers.
- Severe headache (due to migraine): In severe headache due to migraine paste of coriander should be locally applied on forehead.
- As prophylactic medicine during seasonal change: During change of season from summer to rainy season infections spread rapidly due to sudden change in atmosphere. At such time especially for fevers decoction of 1 tsp of coriander powder + 1 gm ginger powder + 1 gm chirayta powder + 1 gm black pepper + leaves of holy basil act as a prophylactic medicine for infectious diseases.
- For severe nausea or in case of hyperacidity: 1gm of coriander seed should be chewed as this reduces nausea.
- In chronic gaseous distension: 2 gm of coriander powder mixed with 1 gm of cumin seed powder, 1 pinch ginger powder and salt should be taken along with warm water as it immediately reduces the severity of symptoms.
In people with sensitive skin, coriander paste applied on skin may cause irritation and photosensitivity. Coriander in access can prove to be spermatocide and might affect the sexual activity of men. Therefore it should be ingested in moderate dose.
- Parts used: Fruit (as seeds), whole plant (as fresh green leaves).
- Dose: Powder: 3-5gm, whole plant juice - 10-20ml, Cold infusion (हिम) - 10-20ml, oil - 1-3 drops
- Sanskrit Name: Dhaniya (धनिया)
- Hindi Name: Dhanuaka (धानुका), Dhaniya (धनिया), Hara Dhaniya (हराधनिया)
- Ras (रस): Katu (कटु), Madhur (मधुर), tikt (तिक्त), kashay (कषाय)
- Guna (गुण): Laghu (लघु), Snigdha (स्निग्ध)
- Virya (वीर्य) (potency): Seeds-ushna (उष्ण), Green plant - sita (शीत) or cold potency
- Vipaka (विपाक) (Post digestive effect): Madhur (मधुर)
- Prabhav (special potency): Dipan (दीपन) (Appetiser)
Doshkarm (Pharmacological Action)
- Tridosha shamak/ tridoshhar (त्रिदोषहर): It suppress all the three doshas i.e vataj, pittaj and kaphaj
- Agnimandya nashak: Decrease loss of appetite or in other words it increases appetite.
- Amapachak: Digests the toxins and undigested food.
- Deepan: Which augments the appetite.
- Trishna nigrahan: Alleviates thirst.
- Antidote: Coriander is antidote for garlic.
Modern scientific explanation
- Botanical Name: Coriandrum Sativum
- Family: Umbelliferae Apiaceae
Chemical Composition: Coriander has an essential oil- urandrol, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, dietary fibre, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and antioxidants.
- Anti-oxidants: Anti-oxidants in coriander are polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and apigenin present in leaves as well as seeds delays and prevents spoilage of food in which coriander had been used. Antioxidants also help in detoxification of the body of heavy metals and free radicals. It also promotes tissue repair.
- Antibiotic: Coriander leaves have shown to possess antibacterial activity especially against Salmonella sp. Seeds and fresh leaves of coriander contains dodecenal which is twice as effective as antibiotic drug gentamicin at killing salmonella.
- Anti-microbial: The essential oils urandrol present in coriander has shown to possess anti-microbial properties. Volatile oil found in its leaves commonly known as cilantro has anti-microbial properties.
- Anti-diabetic: Coriander has been found to be useful in treatment of type 2 diabetes. In parts of Europe it has traditionally been referred to as antidiabetic plant.
- Vitamins and minerals: Coriander has a good nutritional value as it is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A and Vitamin K and minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron.
- Digestion: The essential oils like borneol, linalool, cineole, terpineol, cymene, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene present in coriander aids in digestion and peristaltic movement.
- Hypolipidemic effect: Coriander seeds have been proven to have Hypolipidemic effect. It lowers LDL, cholesterol, Triglycerides and increases HDL. In United States it has recently been studied for its cholesterol lowering effects.