Dhaniya is synonymous to India. It gets a special importance in various Asian cuisines and adds flavour and taste to curries, breads, fries etc. Its scientific name is Coriandrum Sativum and is a part of the carrot family. It is also called cilantro and coriander in English. Both the leaves and seeds of this plant are used in cooking.
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 makes 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 fibre is found in coriander. Calcium, Iron and Magnesium too are present in this lip smacking herb.
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 causes swelling which can be reduced using the essential oil obtained from coriander. It also works well on swellings due to kidney problems and anaemia. In such cases the swelling is caused due to water retention and coriander helps 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.
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 artherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. Additionally it also works to increase the more helpful High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).
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.
Coriander is very good in 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 of tension in the blood vessels. This chemical interaction helps the vessels to relax and prevents serious health issues like heart attacks and strokes.
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.
Anaemia is a condition where a person has less blood in the body. Blood is made up of haemoglobin and an important component of it is iron. Coriander is high in iron content and helps the body to produce more blood. Shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitation and problems in cognitive functions are some of the examples of the conditions caused due to lack of iron in the body. It also helps regulate the functioning of the organ systems, provide energy, strengthen the body and maintain healthy bones.
Seasonal allergies and rhinitis can be reduced by consuming coriander. Allergic reactions caused by coming in contact plants, insects and food can be controlled by applying coriander oil. It helps subdue swelling of throat and its 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.
Being an excellent stimulant, coriander helps maintain proper levels of secretion from the endocrine glands. Hormones when secreted in the right amount and at proper intervals helps regulate various body functions and specially menstruation in women. Coriander also reduces menstrual pain.
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.
Coriander does not usually have any side effects but the seeds may induce allergy in those who handle it because of its volatile nature. It may cause redness and itching. Pregnant women though should not take coriander in excess.
The origin of coriander is a seat of a huge controversy. Some claim it to be a wild plant as its presence has been scattered all over history. It is found growing in all parts of the world. It is a common herb grown in kitchen gardens. It grows best in cold climates and is prone to frost if temperatures drop below zero.
Health benefits of Coriander
Low cholesterol levels:
Some of the acids present in coriander, like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin c) are very effective in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. They also reduce the level of bad cholesterol (ldl) deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins, which can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like artherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. More importantly, coriander helps to raise the levels of healthy cholesterol (hdl), which works as a preventative line of defense against a number of dangerous conditions.
Citronelol, a component of essential oils in coriander, is an excellent antiseptic. Additionally, other components have antimicrobial and healing effects which keep wounds and ulcers in the mouth from worsening. They help speed up the healing process of ulcers and also freshen breath. Although not in common use in mainstream products, coriander is often used as an antiseptic component of all-natural toothpastes. In fact, before the invention of toothpaste, people would chew on coriander seeds to reduce bad breath.
Health benefits of coriander
Skin inflammation: 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 the induce urination and the release of excess water from the body. The reduction in skin inflammation can lead to increased functioning, a reduction in discomfort, and an improvement in skin appearance.
Skin disorders: the disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties of coriander are ideal for clearing up skin disorders such as eczema, dryness, and fungal infections.
Low cholesterol levels: some of the acids present in coriander, like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin-c) are very effective in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. They also reduce the level of bad cholesterol (ldl) deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins, which can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like artherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. More importantly, coriander helps to raise the levels of healthy cholesterol (hdl), which works as a preventative line of defense against a number of dangerous conditions.
Diarrhea: some of the components of essential oils found in coriander such as borneol and linalool, aid in digestion, proper functioning of the liver and bonding of bowels, while also helping to reduce diarrhea. It is also helpful in curing diarrhea caused by the microbial and fungal action since components like cineole, borneol, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phelandrene have antibacterial effects.
Coriander is also increasingly popular as a means of preventing nausea, vomiting, and other stomach disorders. Its wealth of bioactive compounds means that new health benefits are always being discovered in this power-packed plant.
In addition to these health aspects of the stomach, fresh coriander leaves are excellent appetizers to get your bowels prepared for a large meal.
Blood pressure: consuming coriander has been shown to positively reduce blood pressure in many patients suffering from hypertension. The interaction of calcium ions and cholinergic, a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system, more commonly know as acetylcholine. The interaction of these two elements relaxes blood vessel tension, thereby reducing the chances of a number of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Mouth ulcers: citronelol, a component of essential oils in coriander, is an excellent antiseptic. Additionally, other components have antimicrobial and healing effects which keep wounds and ulcers in the mouth from worsening. They help speed up the healing process of ulcers and also freshen breath. Although not in common use in mainstream products, coriander is often used as an antiseptic component of all-natural toothpastes. In fact, before the invention of toothpaste, people would chew on coriander seeds to reduce bad breath!
Anemia: coriander is high in iron content, which directly helps people who suffer from anemia. Low iron content in the blood can result in shortness of breath, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, and a decrease in cognitive functions. Iron also benefits proper functions of other organ systems, increases energy and strength, and promotes the health of bones.
Anti-allergic properties: multiple studies have shown coriander to have strong antihistamine properties that can reduce the uncomfortable effects of seasonal allergies and hay fever (rhinitis). Coriander oil can also be used to reduce allergic reactions to contact with plants, insects, food, and other substances that may cause allergic reactions on the skin or when consumed. Internally, it can ward off anaphylaxis, hives, and dangerous swelling of the throat and glands. It's never a bad idea to protect yourself against allergic reactions, especially since it is difficult to know what you might be allergic to until you come in contact with it for the first time!
Salmonella protection: salmonella is one of the most dangerous causes of foodborne illnesses in the world, so any natural way to protect against it is very important. Coriander has unusually high levels of dodecenal, a natural compound that is actually twice as powerful of an antibiotic than the leading treatment for salmonella-based illness. By adding coriander into your normal diet, you protect your body from horribly uncomfortable, and even fatal, illnesses relating to this deadly bacteria. Coriander is commonly found in salsa to add flavor, so dip a chip and protect yourself from food poisoning, the most common way of describing the effects of salmonella.
Bone health: as a rich source of calcium, coriander is of great value for people who want to protect the integrity of their bones. Calcium and other essential minerals found in coriander are integral components of bone regrowth and durability, as well as in the prevention of bone degradation so commonly associated with debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Adding even a small amount of coriander to your diet can help to keep your bones healthy and strong for years to come. Calcium is particularly present in the center leaves of coriander, so aim for that part of the plant if bone health is your focus!
Coriander digestion: coriander, due to the rich aroma from its essential oils, helps in the proper secretion of enzymes and digestive juices in the stomach, thereby stimulating digestion and peristaltic motion. It is also helpful in treating eating disorders like anorexia. Besides the pleasant aroma of coriander, it has certain stimulatory qualities, derived from the minerals and neurotransmitters that are stimulated when coriander is ingested. Studies have shown that dyspepsia (indigestion) is reduced if coriander is regularly added to the diet. For small children, who have a higher chance of developing abdominal colic than adults, small amounts of coriander in their diet can clear the issue up quickly!
Smallpox: the essential oils in coriander are rich in antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-infectious and detoxifying components and acids. The presence of vitamin-c and iron strengthens the immune system as well. These properties help prevent and cure smallpox, and they can also reduce the pain and have a soothing effect on smallpox patients. In the places left in the world where smallpox outbreaks occur, studies have shown massive amounts of vitamin-c have a definite curative effect on smallpox in hundreds of different cases.
Menstrual disorders: coriander is a natural stimulant, and it regulates proper secretion from the endocrine glands, and that hormonal impact means that it helps regulate proper menstrual cycles and reduces the associated pain during a woman's period.
Eye care: coriander is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin a, vitamin-c and minerals like phosphorous in its essential oils, which prevents vision disorders, macular degeneration and it reduces strain and stress on the eyes. There is also beta-carotene in the leaves, which prevent a number of other diseases that affect the eye, and can even reverse the effects of vision degradation in aging patients.
Conjunctivitis: as discussed earlier, coriander is a very good disinfectant and has antimicrobial properties that protect the eyes from contagious diseases like conjunctivitis. Coriander oil is one of the fundamental components of a number of eye care products.
Blood sugar and diabetes: due 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 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 their blood sugar levels, and to ensure other normal metabolic functions as well.
Other benefits: coriander helps cure ulcers, inflammation, spasms while acting as an expectorant and protecting the liver. It is anticarcinogenic, anticonvulsant, antihistaminic and hypnotic. Coriander is believed to be a natural aphrodisiac and traditionally, it was widely used in certain combinations with other herbs to enhance a person's libido.
Word of caution: there have been very few dangers associated with coriander, but as with almost any food, there is some danger of allergic reaction to it, and in some cases, it can be irritating to the skin. One of the more unusual side effects is that some patients complain of sunlight sensitivity and that excessive coriander intake makes them more susceptible to sunburn, which could subsequently lead to skin cancer.