Coriander: Green Guru

Find out why the world loves coriander

corianderCall it cilantro, Chinese parsely or coriander, the aroma of the herb makes any dish delectable. Coriander powder is extensively used as seasoning. Although all parts of this herb are edible, the leaves and dried seeds are used the most.

Health in the herb

The herb is a source of many health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates, minerals [calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium] and vitamins like vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

The leaves have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. They stimulate appetite by releasing digestive juices and enzymes and also act as a tonic, aiding digestion. Because of this they are often used to treat anorexia. They are beneficial for the liver and are used in diarrhoea for their effect on the bowels.

They also increase the secretion of urine and aid in reducing fever, including typhoid. The essential oil in coriander bestows upon it antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help heal mouth ulcers and freshen the breath. The vitamin C, natural antihistamines and bioflavonoid in coriander help treat allergies.

The juice of coriander leaves contains iron and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C and is considered great for skin.

Coriander is known to possess anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties owing to which it helps in the reduction of swelling.

Being rich in iron, coriander helps cure anaemia. In ancient times, coriander was also used to treat sleeping disorders like insomnia. It helps reduce cholesterol deposits from the veins and arterial walls, making it a must-have food for the sake of the heart.

Coriander helps prevent ageing and cancer as it is abundant in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and minerals like phosphorus. It also strengthens the immune system and helps prevent contagious disease such as conjunctivitis.

The disinfectant, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties of coriander help cure skin disorders like eczema, dryness and antifungal allergies.

Coriander has a stimulating effect on the endocrine glands, which helps the pancreas function properly, making more insulin available in the blood for absorption and assimilation of blood sugar—a boon for diabetics. Oil derived from dried fruits of coriander helps fight fatigue and lethargy.

How to store coriander

Store coriander powder and dry coriander in air tight containers. Fresh coriander leaves should be refrigerated. Chop the roots, then soak and rinse the leaves. Then, put the leaves on a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water. Wrap the coriander with newspaper and refrigerate. Stored this way, coriander leaves stay fresh for 15 days. The leaves can even be stored for over a month when frozen.

Try This

  • Add two teaspoon coriander juice to fresh buttermilk to treat digestive disorders like nausea, indigestion, dysentery, hepatitis and colitis.
  • Mix a spoon of coriander juice with a pinch of turmeric and apply it on the face for blackheads, pimples and dry skin.

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Sonal Rastogi is passionate about nutrition and has a diploma in dietetics and Public Health Nutrition from Delhi University. She has also worked for the Sitaram Bhatia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi as a diabetes educator.

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