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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Alternative medicine: Coriander

Wed, 07 Nov 2007 22:20:28

By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran
Since ancient times, traditional Iranian medicine has used coriander seeds for treating anxiety and sleeping disorders like insomnia.

Botanical: Coriandrum sativum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Synonym: Chinese Parsley, Cilantro, Dizzycorn, Japanese Parsley, kizbara


Coriander is probably native to the Middle East and southern Europe, but has also been known in Asia and the Orient for several millennia.


It is an annual plant with slender and branched stems. The lowest leaves are stalked and pinnate. The flowers are in shortly-stalked umbels, five to ten rays, pale mauve, almost white, delicately pretty. The seed clusters are very symmetrical and the seeds fall as soon as ripe.

Part Used Medicinally:

Fruits (so called seeds) and fresh leaves

Dried coriander leaves are mentioned in some versions of Georgian khmeli-suneli and the Iranian qorma herb mix.


Coriander fruit contains about 1 percent volatile oil, which is the active ingredient. It is pale yellow or colorless, and has a mild aromatic taste. The fruit contains malic acid, tannin and some fatty matter.

Medicinal Uses:

Coriander water is a carminative for windy colic. Oil extracted from its seed is an aromatic stimulant, a carminative (remedial in flatulence), an appetizer and a digesting stimulator. Recent studies have supported its use as a stomach soother for both adults and colicky babies.

Coriander seeds are also used as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seed and cumin seed, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid.

It is generally beneficial to the nervous system and believed to have anti seizure and anxiolytic effects

Inhalation of coriander is useful in treating sinusitis and colds. It is mainly used to mask foul tasting medicine, especially purgatives.

Coriander is believed to make individuals feel happy and is good for the heart.

Coriander cakes were once taken against 'St. Anthony's fire', or 'Rose' a severe streptococcal skin infection called 'erysipelas', which claimed many lives before the advent of antibiotics.

The herb is used to treat hemorrhoids, headache and swellings; the fruit in colic, hemorrhoids and conjunctivitis; the essential oil in colic, rheumatism and neuralgia; the seeds as a paste for mouth ulceration and as poultice for other ulcers.

Coriander is helpful in lowering serum lipids and glucose levels.
It is believed to be useful in treating benign prostate hyperplasia.

Cilantro and Coriander contain substances that kill meat-spoiling bacteria and fungi and prevent wound infections.


Inhalation of coriander seed 3 times a day added with drinking 2 cups of its infusion helps relieve headaches and treat sinusitis and earaches.

Having a teaspoon of coriander seed or regularly taking two capsules significantly lowers lipid levels.

Weak coriander tea may be given to children under the age 2 for colic.


If used too freely, the seeds may cause amnesia and become narcotic. Eating too much raw coriander extract is lethal.


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