Cilantro (leaves)and Coriander (seeds) and are names for different parts of the same plant, Coriandrum sativum, a naturally healing food in both forms. Cilantro is an excellent culinary herb that adds flavor to foods and improvse digestion. There are both scientific studies, and anecdotal
evidence to support cilantro's reputation as a powerful depurative.. The herb may also have a protective effect when cooked and eaten with fish and other foods that may be contaminated with heavy metals.
Preparation Methods & Dosage :The leaves of young cilantro plants, which resemble flat-leaved parsley, are staples in Mexican, Chinese and Thai cooking, as are the roots.
In the Kitchen: The leaves of young cilantro plants, which resemble flat-leaved parsley, and distinguished by their distinctive, strong aroma, are staples in Mexican, Chinese and Thai cooking. Consider using cilantro especially when eating foods like fish, likely to contain mercury and other heavy metals as it could be protective as well as tasty. 7
The seeds of coriander are considered warming and good for kapha dosha. Cilantro, the leaf has a cooling energy
Flowers:shortly-stalked umbels, five to ten rays, pale mauve, almost white, delicately pretty.
Plant Class:Annual Herb, 1 to 3 feet high
Leaves:Stems are slender and branched. The lowest leaves are stalked and pinnate, the leaflets roundish or oval, slightly lobed. The segments of the uppermost leaves are linear and more divided. Intensely aromatic
Fruit: Seed clusters are very symmetrical and the seeds fall as soon as ripe
Preferred Habitat:Cultivated, full sun
Distribution:Native to southwestern Asia west to north Africa. Coriander grows wild over a wide area of the Near East and southern Europe, which forced Zohary and Hopf to admit that "it is hard to define exactly where this plant is wild and where it only recently established itself.1
Sow directly in full sun after all danger of frost is past. Harvest seeds in late summer by cutting seed heads when ripe. Dry and store in glass jars.
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History and Traditions & Folklore
Coriander has been used by man since the dawn of history; the seeds have been found at neolithic archeological sites and in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Cilantro is mentioned in papyrus scrolls and once grew in the famous hanging gardens of Babylon. The Hebrews used cilantro with other herbs in passover rituals. Hippocrates cultivated and used the herb in his practice in ancient Greece. Cilantro made the voyage to the new world around 1670 and was planted in Massachusetts.
Usha Lad & Dr. Vasant Lad. "Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing" The Ayurvedic Press, (2006) The pungent taste and warming carminative properties of coriander are good for kapha. Cilantro, the leaf, has a cooling energy than enhances digestion without aggravating pitta. ,pp207-208
Indian J Med Res. 2012 Feb;135(2):240-5 . Evaluation of disease modifying activity of Coriandrum sativum in experimental models, Pubmed NIH PMID: 22446868, (2005): A improves cognition in vascular dementia patients. Coriander produces a significant reduction in joint swelling and stops release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the synovium that lead to this swelling.
Based on the similarities of the animal model to human RA, we believe that results of our study validate the traditional use of coriandrum in the treatment of arthritis,
Maud Grieve. "A Modern Herbal" Harcourt, (1931) Cilantro is mentioned in the Medical Papyrus of Thebes written in 1552 B.C. and is one of the plants which grew in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Ancient Hebrews added Cilantro to an herb mixture used in the ritual of Passover. ,
Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf. . Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition, Oxford: University Press, (2000): Fifteen desiccated mericarps were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemel Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archeological find of coriander. p206
. Removal and preconcentration of inorganic and methyl mercury , Pubmed NIH PMID: 15721537, (2005): A sorbent prepared from the plant Coriandrum sativum, commonly known as coriander or Chinese parsley, was observed to remove inorganic (Hg2+) and methyl mercury (CH3Hg+) from aqueous solutions with good efficiency.
Abascal K, Yarnell E . Cilantro culinary herb or miracle medicinal plant?, Altern Complement Ther. , (October 2012;18(5):259-26): Cilantro is purported to remove heavy metals, especially mercury, from the body; however, there is very little evidence to support this claim and much skepticism of its validity. Conversely, cilantro may reduce uptake of heavy metals if ingested during exposure and may protect the liver from some toxins. With increasing loads of heavy metals in foods, the authors suggest using cilantro especially when eating foods like fish, likely to contain mercury and other heavy metals.
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **