Some people absolutely adore it, and others hate it with equal passion. My husband thinks it tastes like soap, but I love it. I am talking about Coriander, or Cilantro if you are in North America.
Coriander, as I will refer to it, is an annual herb with edible leaves and seeds. It is a very common ingredient in cooking throughout the world. Indian, South Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican food all uses Coriander in all its forms – fresh, dried, seeds, and ground seeds. If you are using fresh Coriander you should wash the leaves very carefully because the leaves are very fragile. No mega fast pulses of water!
Once again, the herb is packed with those good old phytonutrients. There is elenol, camphor, borneol, carvone, quercetin and others which all give protection from free radical damage. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that coriander can help to detoxify heavy metals from the body without side effects. Heavy metal accumulation can cause memory loss and is indicated as a contributory factor to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Coriander is packed with Vitamin A, which can help to protect against lung and cavity cancers, Vitamin K whichis good for Alzheimer’s prevention again, and its Iron content is fabulous for getting over anaemia. If you use the Coriander seeds in a tea, it is said to be great for helping with menstrual flow. It has also been shown to stimulate insulin secretion and lower blood sugar levels.
The more I read, the more amazing it gets! It lowers bad cholesterol and increases the level of good cholesterol in the body, it is very good for the digestive system and promotes liver function and bowel movements. It is very good for the eyes. The Antioxidants prevent eye diseases and infection and coriander is said to be an excellent treatment for conjunctivitis. The herb also promotes a healthy nervous system, stimulates the memory and is good for skin conditions like eczema, pimples, blackheads and dry skin.
If all that wasn’t enough, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and is fungicidal as well. So, it is good for arthritis, can help to cure mouth ulcers (I am thinking it would make a great herbal mouthwash ingredient), fights against Salmonella and protects from food borne diseases. It even has anthelmintic properties. Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either. Apparently it means it will expel parasitic “visitors” in the body.
Now, that is a herb with some powerful actions! Personally, I just love it, and will continue to judiciously hide it in various foods I cook for my husband!