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Health Benefits and Side Effects of Coriander or Cilantro
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.
Coriander, also called Chinese parsley or cilantro, is extremely versatile. It can give almost any dish a nice pinch of flavor without the need for overbearing seasoning. Still, there’s more to its bright-green leaves than just taste. The plant is also highly nutritious and has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries.
However, due to its potency, it could also give you some negative reactions, depending on the amount you consume. With that in mind, let’s look at the most important coriander leaves benefits and side effects that you should know about.
Coriander is probably native to the Middle East and southern Europe but has also been known in Asia and the Orient for millennia. It is found wild in Egypt and Sudan, and sometimes in English fields.
Coriander leaves benefits is the seed of a small plant. The seeds are almost spherical, one end being slightly pointed, the other slightly flattened. There are many longitudinal ridges. The length of the seed is 3 – 5 mm (1/8” – 3/16”) and the color, when dried, is usually brown but may be green or off-white.
The seed is generally sold dried and in this state is apt to split into halves to reveal two partially hollow hemispheres and occasionally some internal powdery matter. Coriander is available both whole and ground. The fresh leaves of the plant are called cilantro and are used as an herb.
Coriander Nutrition Facts
Its uses in global food preparation are only the tip of the iceberg. Unbeknownst to many people, coriander is packed with potential health benefits that most people completely miss when they toss this garnish into the garbage after eating their meal.
It has eleven components of essential oils and six types of acids (including ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C) each having a number of beneficial properties. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, coriander contains minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, as well as vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, and K.(1)
The health benefits linked to coriander is due to its high nutritional value. It is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate and Potassium. Coriander has a high content of phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. Having very low cholesterol, saturated fat and calories make it an extremely healthy option for your healthy eating practice. Apart from Vitamins A and K, Vitamins C and E are also present in it. A good amount of dietary fiber is found in coriander. Calcium, Iron and Magnesium to are present in this lip-smacking herb.
Health Benefits of Coriander leaves (dhaniya)
1. Defend Against Food Poisoning
A study done by the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that coriander was especially potent against Listeria. The herb is actually a natural antimicrobial (it can kill harmful microorganisms). This makes it effective against many forms of food poisoning.
It can also prevent them from spreading in the first place. Foodborne illnesses caused by salmonella, listeria, and cholera are still major health issues in the modern world. And if you’re dining in countries with less-than-great food regulations?
Well, then you really need to watch what you eat — unless you’re prepared to spend days (if not weeks) on the toilet! But if you consume coriander regularly, you might just avoid it anyways.
2. Reduces Skin Inflamation
Coriander is a good source of anti-rheumatics and anti-arthritics due to the presence of Cineole as one of its 11 components in its essential oil. Rheumatism and arthritis cause swelling which can be reduced using the essential oil obtained from coriander. It also works well on swellings due to kidney problems and anemia.
In such cases, the swelling is caused due to water retention and coriander help by inducing urination and hence release of excess accumulated water. Once the inflammation is reduced you can get rid of the tightness and stretchiness of your skin and it shall also improve its appearance.
3. Coriander Paste For Hair
Proper supply of nutrients to the hair follicles is the key to maintaining a healthy scalp with lustrous locks. Consuming and applying cilantro can be beneficial for your hair as well.
Cilantro juice is a wonderful remedy for promoting new hair growth and combating hair loss as it contains essential vitamins and proteins which help in hair growth. You can make a paste from fresh cilantro leaves using a few drops of water and extracting its juice. Apply this on your scalp for an hour before shampooing.
This pack should be used twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks to get effective results. Alternatively, you can infuse your hair oil with a powder made from cilantro seeds while massaging your hair. You can also prepare a hair rinse by boiling a bunch of cilantro leaves in water and cooling it.
4. Coriander Can Prevent Heart Disease
Firstly, coriander has been shown to lower overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels (both major threats to your heart).
Secondly, research published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology found that the plant could prevent oxidative damage associated with heart disease.
Heart disease is no laughing matter. It’s actually the number one killer in the world. Every year, it claims around 610 000 lives in the U.S. alone. That’s 1 out of 4 total deaths! With that in mind, you should do what you can to protect yourself against it. One way to do that is to include plenty of fresh coriander leaves in your diet. The healing herb fights heart disease with a powerful one-two combo.
5. Coriander Can Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels in the blood can be reduced by consuming coriander. This plant has various beneficial ingredients such as linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid that work well in reducing the cholesterol level in the blood. Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) which gets deposited in the inner walls of the arteries is considered to be the bad cholesterol.
Coriander helps reduce the level of LDL too and prevents various serious cardiovascular health issues like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Additionally, it also works to increase the more helpful High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL).
6. Coriander Leaves Kidney Cleaning
Coriander leaves benefits to contain powerful detoxifying abilities. They bind to the heavy metals in the bloodstream and thus purify blood, tissues, and organs. This process occurs because the leaves possess biochemical content: phytic acid, citric acid, and amphoteric electrolytes. The leaves contain all chelating agents: vitamins and minerals.
They are a natural diuretic and thus act a natural balance for sugar levels. They are a great source of kidney detoxification, as they help in salt elimination from kidneys and free the body from the load of poisonous heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury.
7. Helps With Irregular Menstruation
Coriander, both the seeds and leaves, have long been used as a home remedy for menstrual issues. This is because it helps regulate the function of your endocrine glands, as well as the hormones involved in your period. Due to this, the herb is known an emmenagogue. That’s basically a fancy word for “something that stimulates menstrual flow”.
Cilantro is a natural stimulant, and it regulates proper secretion from the endocrine glands, and this hormonal impact means that it helps regulate proper menstrual cycles and reduces the associated pain during a woman’s period.
On top of that, the plant can also help alleviate cramps and bloating you might experience during your monthly. It differs from person to person, but you might need larger amounts of the herb to notice an effect on your cycle. If so, one option is to drink a few glasses of freshly-pressed coriander juice in the days leading up to it — or maybe some delicious green smoothies.
8. Cures Skin Problems
Coriander has multifarious benefits when it comes to taking care of your skin. It fights germs, dirt, infections and many other common everyday problems that our skin undergoes. It has antifungal, antiseptic, detoxifying, antioxidant and disinfectant properties that leave your skin clean and healthy.
The disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties of coriander are ideal for clearing up skin disorders.
9. Coriander For Swelling
Cineole, one of the 11 components of the essential oils, and linoleic acid are both present in coriander, and they possess antirheumatic and antiarthritic properties.
They help to reduce the swelling that is caused by these two conditions. For other swelling conditions, such as swelling due to kidney malfunction or anemia, it is also seen to be effective to some extent, because some of the components in coriander help induce urination and the release of excess water from the body. The reduction in skin inflammation leads to a reduction in discomfort, and an improvement in skin appearance.
10. Coriander For Protect Your Brain & Nerve System
A study published in the Journal of Molecular Neurobiology found that coriander (along with other herbs and spices) fights inflammation and protects your nervous system in the long-term.
As we covered earlier, coriander can be of great help when it comes to removing dangerous toxins from your body — especially heavy metals. While this has a number of benefits to your health, the most important one has to do with your brain and nerve system.
The buildup of toxic metals in the body is strongly correlated with scary neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. If you eat coriander on a regular basis, its detoxifying effect could seriously lower your risk of getting these horrible illnesses. Chronic inflammation is another danger to your neurological health. The bright-green herb could potentially help with this as well.
11. Coriander is Good for Oral Hygiene and Treatment of Ulcers
Coriander essential oils contain citronelol which has very good antiseptic properties. Some other components have antimicrobial properties and these together make it extremely effective for preventing wounds and ulcers in the mouth from getting worse. It is also a good way to control bad breath. Chewing on coriander seeds was a traditional practice to eliminate bad breath.
12. Coriander Oil For Arthritis/Coriander Leaves Benefits For Arthritis
Coriander, the seeds of the cilantro plant, act as an anti-inflammatory and may alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Calcium is an important constituent of coriander. This is a reason it should be consumed to maintain good bone health. It aids the regrowth and durability of bones while preventing its degeneration especially in diseases like osteoporosis.
13. Coriander Helpful For Diabetes
Coriander leaves have been long known for prevention from Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and diabetes. Due to the stimulating effect of coriander on the endocrine glands, the secretion of insulin is increased from the pancreas which subsequently increases the insulin level in the blood. This regulates the proper assimilation and absorption of sugar and the resulting drops in the sugar level in the blood.
This regulates the proper assimilation and absorption of sugar and the resulting drops in the blood sugar level. This property is extremely beneficial for patients who suffer from diabetes and other related conditions, in order to lower their chances of dangerous spikes and drops in the blood sugar levels and to ensure other normal metabolic functions as well.
This property is extremely beneficial for patients who suffer from diabetes and other related conditions, in order to lower their chances of dangerous spikes and drops their blood sugar levels, and to ensure other normal metabolic functions as well.
14. Coriander Leaves For Blood pressure
Consuming coriander has been shown to positively reduce blood pressure in many patients suffering from hypertension. Coriander is very good at reducing blood pressure. It stimulates the interaction of calcium ions and cholinergic which is a type of neurotransmitter which is also known as acetylcholine. Increased blood pressure causes an increase in tension in the blood vessels.
It enhances the interaction of calcium ions and acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system, relaxes blood vessel tension; thereby reducing the chances of a number of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
15. Coriander Has Natural Antibiotic Properties
Multiple studies have shown coriander to have strong anti-histamine properties that can reduce the uncomfortable effects of seasonal allergies and hay fever (rhinitis). Its oil can also be used to reduce allergic reactions that are caused due to contact with plants, insects, food, and other substances. Internally, it can ward off anaphylaxis, hives, and dangerous swelling of the throat and glands.
Coriander contains an extremely high level of dodecenal which is a compound that fights a bacterium called salmonella, with more efficiency than an antibiotic. This bacterium is the most dangerous cause of food borne diseases. It is advisable to consume coriander to prevent the harmful effects of salmonella.
16. Coriander For Eye Infection
Coriander is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and minerals like phosphorus, all of which prevent vision disorders, macular degeneration, and reduce strain and stress on the eyes. There is also beta-carotene in the leaves, which prevents a number of other diseases that affect the eye and can even reverse the effects of vision degradation in aging patients.
Coriander leaves provide relief from the inflammation in the affected areas with its anti-inflammatory properties. Take some coriander leaves and boil them in water. Once the mixture reaches a comfortable temperature, drain the liquid from the leaves. Use the liquid as an eyewash. It will reduce the swelling in the eye and the redness as well.
Unexpected Side Effects Of Coriander Seeds
Coriander is likely safe in food amounts and possibly safe for most people when taken by mouth in appropriate medicinal amounts. Coriander can cause some side effects, including allergic reactions and increased sensitivity to the sun.
They are also added to soups and broths. But the humble coriander seed is much more than a flavoring agent! It is also known to posses a number of health benefits. But what most people don’t know is that coriander seeds can also cause some side effects! Yes, read on to know the side effects of coriander seeds here.
Increased sensitivity to the sun might put you at greater risk for sunburns and skin cancer. Avoid sunlight. Wear sunblock and protective clothing outside, especially if you are light-skinned. When coriander comes in contact with the skin, it can cause skin irritation and inflammation.
1. Liver Problems:
Excessive and prolonged use of coriander seeds can cause liver problems. Oil components present in coriander seeds is usually helpful in treating liver problems, but its excessive use can give rise to bile over secretion and causes abnormal conditions.
2. Coriander Bad For Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Here comes one of the serious side effects of coriander seeds that women should beware of! Pregnant and breastfeeding women should use coriander seeds in limited amounts because of its effect on gland secretion, which can cause damage to the mother and fetus as well as reproductive glands.
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coriander if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
3. Coriander Harmful in Allergies
People who are allergic to mugwort, aniseed, caraway, fennel, dill, or similar plants might have allergic reactions to coriander. Some people might get allergic reactions like rashes, breathing difficulty, itching, swelling on face/throat, dizziness etc. from the usage of coriander seeds. If you are prone to these problems, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before using these flavoring agents.
4. Coriander Bad For Low blood pressure
Coriander might decrease blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low in people with low blood pressure. Use cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications to lower your blood pressure.
Coriander seeds have been used in the treatment of diabetes as they have the ability to lower blood sugar level. If you are undergoing treatment for diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar level before using coriander as its supplementation may reduce your blood sugar level drastically.
5. Lapse Of Menstruation:
Generally, coriander seeds are used to treat menstrual disorders, but some women might experience lapses of menstruation as a result of their usage. If you are facing any such issue, you need to check your dosage.
6. Coriander Not For Surgery
Coriander might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop using coriander at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Uses Of Coriander
Coriander is a must in the kitchen garden apart from its medicinal uses it is the best way to arouse the gastronome living inside everyone. The South-Asian and Indian cuisine uses coriander leaves and seeds hugely to add a sharp taste to their preparations. This is the biggest reason for its production in mass scale apart from its medicinal uses.
As mentioned, coriander (aka cilantro or Chinese parsley) is an incredibly versatile herb when it comes to the kitchen. Unless you’re one of the few who tastes nothing but soap when eating it, you should have no issues including it in plenty of tasty recipes.
Personally, I mostly use the fresh leaves as topping on my beans-and-pasta dishes. After I’ve covered my meal in a delicious sauce, I simply sprinkle the herb evenly across my plate. This adds a small-but-noticeable citrus quality to the meal, which is very refreshing.
Coriander Leaves Juice
Coriander Leaves Juice is largely popular across Western Asia and Southern Europe besides many other places around the world. Dhaniya or Coriander in India (also known as Chinese parsley or Cilantro) has been proven as a herb with many health benefits.
From being popularly used as a garnishing for various food recipes, coriander is now being used to serve coriander leaves juice. Healthy and refreshing, coriander juice can be consumed for weight loss and contains essential vitamins B, K, C and A which will leave you feeling great after drinking a glass or two.
Coriander leaves juice is a great addition to Indian dishes that are usually hot and spicy. The green juice also works wonders in improving the digestive system. Individuals who have high blood sugar levels will also reap benefit from drinking coriander juice as it assists the liver and brings down high levels of blood sugar.
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