Coriander (coriandrum sativum)
a.k.a. cilantro or Chinese parsley
My herb garden is currently a coriander field so what better time to talk about one of my favourite herbs! All parts of the coriander plant can be used including the leaves, roots, flowers and seeds.
No one seems to know where coriander comes from originally as it has grown over a wide area surrounding Europe. That being said, it was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt. The Bible mentions coriander in Exodus 16:31: “And the house of Israel began to call its name manna: and it was round like coriander seed, and its taste was like that of flat cakes made with honey”. They think that coriander has been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC.
First attested in English late 14th century, the word ‘coriander’ derives from the Old French “coriandre”. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander and is the common term in North America, due to its extensive use in Mexican cuisine.
HOW DOES IT HELP?
Coriander contains chemical compounds that help to remove heavy metals from the body.
The rich oils found in the leaves and seeds help the digestive tract by aiding the production of digestive enzymes, acids and juices. The oils also help to stimulate appetite.
Coriander is also said to contain:
> Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
> Protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products
>Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
> Wards off urinary tract infections
> Helps reduce feelings of nausea
> Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation
> A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anaemia
> Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar
What’s your favourite coriander recipe? Make a comment below and tell us more.