Who doesnt know cilantro? Maybe we are more familiar with coriander seed but do you know that coriander and cilantro come from same plant. Cilantro or the leaves of Corriandum sativum plant that also known as chinese parsley. Cilantro is used in preparation of dish and it is usually consumed raw. Cilantro mostly use in salad, salsa or other American and South East Asian dish. You can find chopped cilantro in Mexican salad, guacamole or salsa with tomatoes and also if you notice Indian dish like chutney and dal also use this fresh herb as ingredients or garnish. Just like the seed, coriander leaves or cilantro is also use in medication especially in Ayurvedic and other traditional medication. Cilantro served many potential benefits that really useful for your body.
Cilantro or corriander is a perennial herb but grown as annual because it needs weel-draining, sunny climates, and fertile soil. The plant can 9 to 15 inches in height and If it is left to grow longer, it may reach 5-7 feet height. Coriander plant bloom small white or light pink flowers on summer and later it produce numerous tiny, round oval peppery aromatic seed that also use as spice. Cilantro features dark green leaves with many varieties shape of leaves include shape broad lobed near the base. It is soft leaves and hairless.
Cilantro (Coriandum sativum) derived it names from old French word; corriandre and latin word coriandrum, and koriannon which means “bedbug” in ancient Greek word. Cilantro (sih-lahn-troh) is actually Spanish word for coriander, which also deriving from coriandrum word. Cilantro is common term for corriander leaves which used in English especially North American such as Mexico .
Cilantro has been grown widely in most area of Western Asia and Southern Europe. It is known that cilantro is originated from Mediterrania. It has been cultivated in Greece since ancient time or second millenium BC. Suprisingly, some Archeologists also found corriander in Tutankhamun tomb which proved that ancient egyptian has cultivated corriander in their era. It is noted in history that in 1670 coriander was brought to the British colonies which settled in North America and the early settler cultivated corriander as one of the first spices crop.
In old time, chinese used cilantro herb in making love potion that believed could provide immortatlity. Some arabian night tales also mentioned there was a old trader which suffer infertility and childless for more than 40 years later he cured by formula which is also contain coriander leaves or cilantro. Based on the tale we can conclude that people has known cilantro since thousand years ago and it was known as medicine as well. It is also mentioned in Sanskrit writing from 1500 BC and some literatures said that it were Romans people who brought cilantro to America.
Nutrition Facts of Cilantro Serving Size 100 g
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 0.5gram 1%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 3.7g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2.8g 11%
Protein 2.1g 4%
Vitamin A 337 μg 42% Vitamin C 27mg 33%
Calcium 67 mg 7% Iron 1.77 mg 14%
Folates 62 μg 16% Vitamin B6 0.149 mg 11%
Vitamin K 310 μg 295% manganese 0.426 mg 20%
Magnesium 26mg 7% Potassium 521mg 11%
Sodium 46mg 3% Zinc 0.5 mg 5%
Based on USDA Database on 2012
The leaves and stem are also contain in numerous phutochemical and anti-oxidant polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin.
Health Benefits of Cilantro
- Reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels in blood.
Cilantro leaves has very low calories and because it is herbal plant, it does not contain cholesterol. The essential oil in and fiber which contained in cilantro may help reduce Low Density LIpoprotein or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood.
- Help regulate heart rate
Almost all herbal plants are best in supporting cardiovascular and heart function. As mentioned before that organic acids which found in cilantro can lower the blood cholesterol and promotes the increasing of High Density Lipoprotein or good fat. Later it help those people who suffering atherosclerosis and heart disease by keeping normal arthery function.
- Reduce High Blood Pressure
Consuming cilantro has been proven can reduce high blood pressure in people which suffer from hypertension. The interaction of Calcium and Asetilcolin in cilantro can lowering the chance of heart stroke and other cardiovascular problem.
- Promotes red blood cell production and prevent anemia
Iron mineral inside cilantro is essential for red blood cell production in bone marrow and it helps the body to carry away the oxygen to whole body part in effort to maintaining body metabolism and function. The great amount of iron contained by cilantro can directly help people who suffer from anemia. Anemia is a condition where the body lack of haemoglobin in red blood cells which inhibit the oxygen transport to whole part of body especially brain and resulting some symptom like hard breathing, rapid heart beat, fatigue, weakness and degradation of cognitif function.
- Improve body metabolism
Manganese which contained in cilantro is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase to enhance body metabolism and fight free radicals.
- Prevent Cancer
Cilantro cointains Vitamin-C which is a powerful natural antioxidant. In 100 g serving of cilantro leaves provide 30% of RDA (Recomended Daily Allowance) levels of vitamin-C. 8. Vitamin C is not only the antioxidant which contained by cilantro but it is rich of flavonoids like, quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and epigenin which are also antioxidants.
- Regulate body fluid
One of important function of Potassium is to help the body regulate heart rate and blood pressure by maintaining normal body fluid. In 100 gram serving of cilantro served 521 mg potassium which are adequate for the body and has fulfil the daily needs of potassium.
- Maintaining Healthy mucusa, vision and skin
Cilantro contains about 225% of recomended daily intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of important fat soluble vitamin and also known as anti-oxidant, Vitamin A is required to maintain healthy mucusa and skin. It is also vital component for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) may help protect the eyes and vision. People who consume regular Vitamin A have lower chance of suffering cataract in old age.
- Bone mass building
Vitamin K is provided abundantly in Cilantro and it is one of the richest source for vitamin K. Cilantro provides about 258% of daily intake. Vitamin K has a potential role in keeping bone mass and build the bones by promotes of osteotrophic activity in the bones.
- Treat Alzheimer
Most of herbal plants are really best medication to treat Alzheimer. Alzheimer is one of the symptoms of brain degradation and it is nightmare for people especially in old ages. The components of cilantro especially Vitamin K has an important role to limit the brain damage.
- Get rid metal toxic away from the body
There are many cases of poisoning by metal toxic especailly mercury. These toxin enter the body through food People who are suffering from mercury exposure will experience disorientation. These heavy metals toxic usually enter the body by consuming of some foods, water, eating raw fish, using drugs, smoking, and even deodorant. Regular consumption of cilantro may help them to reduce the effect. The chemical components which contained in cilantro acts as chelation agent” that can help to clean the body from mercury and other metal toxic by binding them and loosen them from tissue.
- Protecting liver
Due the detoxification effect of cilantro, it makes this herb as one ingredients in food which can protect the liver from excessive work. As we know before that liver is part of body which play important role in detoxification.
- Prevent Diabetes
A study in the School of Life Science in Tamil Nadu, India has noted that cilantro leaves and stem have significant effect to diabetes. Using cilantro in cuisine can be home remedy for diabetes. Cilantro can trigger and stimulates the insulin secretion from pancreas and increase the number of insulin hormone in the body which help to lower the blood sugar level and inhibit sugar absorption in blood.
- Reduce anxiety
Cilantro has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects to the body and magnesium which contained in cilantro is known to has calming nerves effect. Cilantro does not only calming the nerves but it also calm the muscle and act as sedative which help to relieve anxiety and reduce the effect of strees that harmful for body. The vitamin B in cilantro also served as mind calmer together with magnesium.
- Improve sleep quality
Further health benefits of cilantro which can reduce anxiety, it also can improve sleep quality. People who suffer from anxiety usually cant sleep well, so consuming cilantro may help them to remove anxiety and of course to sleep well.
- Cure skin problem
A research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil found that cilantro oil can acts as natural fungi cleansing formula. The antiseptic and anti fungal effects of cilantro can help to cure skin problem such as dermatitis, eczema and even small pox.
- Improve Oral health
Antibacterial effects of cilantro also has awesome effect to fights against bacteria in mouth and improve the oral health in result. The citronelol, a kind of atsiri oil which contained in cilantro is a good antiseptic which can cure mouth alcer. This natural oils is also used in natural toothpaste to remove bad breath and resulting fresh odor from the mouth. Even before the invention of toothpaste, people used to chew cilantro to keep oral health.
- As natural deodorant
Body odor is one of annoying problem which suffered by some people. Bad odors is caused by toxin and bacteria in the body. Instead of using chemical deodorant which sold in market, ytou can use cilantro as natural deodorant. Cilantro has great numbers of chloropyll which is the best body toxic cleansing. By flushing the toxin out from body which usually accumulate in armpit and feet, the chlorophyll will also remove the bacteria (to be noted : bacteria dislike high oxygen content in chlorophyll) and help deodorize the body and remove bad odors.
- Improve digestive function
The natural oils of cilantro help our digestion system by improve the peristaltic wave efficciently. When you experience bad feeling or discomfort in stomach, you can drink a cup of cillantro tea or tonic which has been recommended by a botanist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, James A. Duke, Ph.D
20. Prevent constipation and promote weight loss
If you eat cilantro along with other dish you will feel full with eat less and less calories. This is good news for people who wanna lose weight.
According to The New Food Wikipedia, Cilantro also can prevent constipation which is an effect of digestive problem and which is rise durit weight lose diet.
- As treatment to Diarrhoea
Cilantro is one of best herbal medicine to fight diarrhoea. Phytochemical in cilantro such as Borneol and Linaaool have anti-bacterial effects and it remove the pathogenic bacteria from digestion tract. Study reported that antibiotic component in cilantro fight most pathogenic bacteria especially Salmonella which found in food.
- Helps our urinary tract to stave off infections.
Anti-bacterial in cilantro removes pathogenic bacteria inside urinary tract and fight against infection. Cilantro also acts as a natural diuretic and studied shown that cilantro significantly can boost body immune system and protect kidney from infections.
- Prevent kidney stones
By eating cilantro we can prevent kidney stone and maintain healthy kidney. Some heavy components inside food or beverages is harmful for our body if they accumulated in body for long time and it can cause kidney damage which later can cause kidney stone. Cilantro is a natural cleaner of the kidney and let the kidney work best.
- Treatment for Menstual Problem and as Aphrodisiac
Cilanto or corriander leaves is natural stimulant of endocrin gland. It is required in secretion of some reproduction hormones especially which control menstuation in women and it also can reduce the pain during menstuation period. Consuming cilantro with other herbs believed can increase libido or sexual desire.
- As Expectorant in Cough treatment
Having problem with throat and cough, you can simply take the benefits of cilantro. The expectorant component in cilantro can reduce cough and throat problem. Just make some tonic from cilantro mixed with honey and lime, drink the tonic once a day it will get rid of your cough away.
Cilantro consumption Tips
Some people loves to consume it along with other dish but different people may hates it. People who hates cilantro will perceive the taste as soapy or rotten things. As a herbal plant, cilantro is suggested to be consumed to maintain health but there are some ways which are important that we must pay attention
- When you are going to purchase cilantro, choose only tender, fresh and aromatic green leaves. Dont purchase if it has no aromatic scent or the leaves has turned into yellow. Dried cilantro has less flavour than fresh one.
- You can add cilantro to your salad as well as using mint or basil leaves. Cilantro is good to eat in raw and it give lemony or lime-like flavour to your dish. Although cilantro is well known to put in salad or salsa, you can also add chopped cilantro in soup, stir fries, stews, or any pasta dish just before the dish is done to cooked.
- As herbal plant you can grow cilantro easily by your own. Cilantro is a cool-season crop that grow best at temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees F. It also can tolerate low temperatures but not below 10 degrees F. If cilantro is planted in an area with temperatures exceed 85 degrees F, cilantro will start to bolt.
- It is easy to grow in almost type of well drained soil. Just wait for 45 to 70 days to harvest the leaves after seeding, when the plant reach at least 15 cm height. Dont worry, it will continue to grow even you have cutand just left about 2.5 cm from the ground.
How to store cilantro
- To keep cilantro fresh and moist, use newspaper to wrap whole part of cilantro include the roots
- Save it in a plastic bag with water inside fridge for longer time preservation and replace the water with new one once in two days to keep the cilantro fresh
- You can also freeze the cilantro in fridge but the flavour will not be same when it get dried
How to make Cilantro tonic :
To improve health by getting benefits of cilantro, you can make easy tonic by following these steps :
- Clean a bunch of cilantro leaves and make sure you clean it well
- Cut the cilantro into small pieces
- Pour some water into pot and boil it until ten minutes and let it cool for some times.
- You can add some lemon juice drop to the tonic and then filter the tonic
- Store it in a clean bottle
- You can drink this tonic once a day (a glass) or once in two days
People with kidney failure history is not recomended to consume cilantro due to its high Potassium contain. Better consult doctor before consume it. If you are not familiar with using cilantro in your dish, start to put it and enjoy benefits by eating your meal.