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Coriander: The Wonder Herb

Written by Krishna Bora, B.Sc. (Microbiology) | Article Reviewed by Dietitian julia samuel, M.Phil on May 22, 2019
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Is Coriander Beneficial to the Body?

Coriander, Coriandrum sativum, often known as Cilantro, Parsley and Dhanya in the common household is used as a dressing on food items from salads to pulses every day.


Chefs and cooks like coriander as it brings freshness and exotic flavor to the food. But most of them are unaware of the medicinal properties and nutritional values of coriander leaves. The essential oils in coriander make them aromatic and give a different taste, but modern science is trying to explore the benefits of this herb on our health.

Coriander Brings Freshness And Exotic Flavor To The Food

“Some writers say that the leaves (coriander) are used for seasoning, but this statement seems odd, as all the green parts of the plant exhale a very strong odor of the wood-bug, whence the Greek name of the plant” - Vilmorin-Andrieux

Uses in the Ancient History

Medicine is of all the Arts the noblest; but, owing to the ignorance of those who practice it, and of those who, inconsiderately, formal judgment of them, it is at present behind all the arts. - Hippocrates

The modern science might have just started to explore the benefits of coriander, but it has already been a major part of ancient medicine. Coriander was widely used not only in India but also in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. Hippocrates too recommended coriander as a medicine. But with the diversity of these cultures, the uses of coriander also varied. Coriander seeds were found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharoah Ramses II.

When the Bronze Age invaders introduced coriander to Britain, the British used them with cumin and vinegar to preserve meat, which shows the anti-bacterial properties of coriander. In the medieval Renaissance period, coriander was thought to be an aphrodisiac and was used to make love potions for the royal family. The Chinese believed that consuming coriander seeds could grant immortality.

Nutritional Value of Coriander

Growing coriander leaves need no extra shelter or complications. Few seeds in a small area of your backyard and a little care can easily fulfill your daily needs. A bunch of coriander leaves that are grown in the kitchen garden provides the following nutrients (%RDA/100g) -

  • 11% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • 45% of vitamin C
  • 15% of folates
  • 225% of vitamin A
  • 258% of vitamin K
  • 18% of manganese
  • 22% of iron

Since coriander leaves and seeds are loaded with nutrients, it is important that pregnant women should consult their doctors before consuming corianders during their pregnancy.

Health Benefits of Coriander

  • Coriander leaves contain no cholesterol, but are rich in anti-oxidants and are a good source of dietary fibers. These characteristics help them to reduce LDL or 'bad cholesterol' and help them to increase HDL or the 'good cholesterol' levels in the blood.
Coriander Leaves Increase Good Cholesterol Levels In The Blood
  • The leaves and seeds are rich in many essential volatile oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, terpineol, cymene, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene.
  • The essential oils aid in the digestion and peristaltic movement.
  • The antioxidants present in the leaves are polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and epigenin.
  • Coriander leaves are also a powerful natural cleansing agent. They have been effectively used to cleanse heavy metals and toxic agents from the body.
  • The herb is also a good source of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium.
  • Corianders are also rich in vital vitamins such as folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta-carotene, vitamin-C that are essential for good health.
  • Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant and coriander provides 30 percent of the daily recommended levels of Vitamin-C.
Coriander Provides 30% Of The Daily Recommended Levels Of Vitamin-C
  • Coriander is one of the richest sources of vitamin-K and provides about 258% of the daily recommended levels. Vitamin-K has a strong role in the bone mass building by promoting osteoporotic activity in the bones.
  • Coriander has also a major role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting the neuronal damage in their brain.
  • The coriander seed oil was used in the ancient medicine as an analgesic, aphrodisiacs, anti-spasmodic, deodorant, digestive, fungicidal, stimulant and stomachic.
  • The anti-bacterial property of coriander helps against bacterial infection from Salmonella, which is majorly present in food items.
  • They also help protect against urinary tract infections.
  • It helps reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting.
  • It also helps to ease hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation in women and helps to reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Coriander also gives relief from diarrhea, especially caused by fungal infections.
  • It helps alcoholics to repair their failed liver due to heavy alcohol consumption.
  • The antioxidants present in coriander leaves are the best remedy to wash out toxins from the body after smoking and helps to repair tissue damage in the lungs.
  • The disinfectants present in coriander leaves helps to detoxify the body.
  • It helps diabetic patients to maintain healthy levels of insulin in the blood and lower blood sugar.
Coriander Leaves Help Maintain Healthy Levels Of Insulin In Blood
  • Coriander helps ease conjunctivitis, eye-aging, macular degeneration and other stresses of the eyes.

Coriander can be taken as a juice, in medicinal tea, or can be used for garnishing dishes and food; it remains a strong source of vital nutrients in any way and medium. The beautiful green leaves of coriander just don’t bring aroma to the dishes, but also bring good health.

Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw

The nutritional values of "Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw" per 100 grams are:
Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 23
Protein 2.1 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 3.7 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 67 mg 6.7 %
Copper, Cu 0.22 mg 11.25 %
Iron, Fe 1.77  mg 9.83 %
Magnesium, Mg 26 mg 6.5 %
Manganese, Mn 0.43 mg 21.3 %
Phosphorus, P 48 mg 4.8 %
Potassium, K 521  mg 14.89 %
Selenium, Se 0.9 mcg 1.29 %
Sodium, Na 46 mg 1.92 %
Zinc, Zn 0.5 mg 3.33 %
Vitamin A 6748  IU 134.96 %
Vitamin C 27 mg 45 %
Vitamin B6 0.15 mg 7.45 %
Vitamin E 2.5 mg 8.33 %
Vitamin K 310  mcg 387.5 %
Riboflavin 0.16  mg 9.53 %
Thiamin 0.07 mg 4.47 %
Folate, DFE 62  mcg 15.5 %
Niacin 1.11  mg 5.57 %
Sugars 0.87 g
Fiber 2.8  g 11.2 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 92.21 g
Carotene, alpha 36 mcg
Carotene, beta 3930  mcg
Choline 12.8 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
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  1. The Health Benefits of Cilantro - (http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/benefits-of/cilantro)
  2. 16 Amazing Benefits of Cilantro or Coriander - (http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-coriander.html)
  3. Cilantro (Coriander leaves) nutrition facts - (https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cilantro.html)
  4. Cilantro Quotes - (http://www.foodreference.com/html/qcilantro.html)

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