Cilantro is an aromatic herb. It is the leaf of the coriander seed, both of which are tridoshic which means it’s good for all body types or Ayurvedic doshas. Both cilantro and coriander have been used for culinary purposes and medicinal purposes for ages. It has a distinctive taste and numerous health benefits. In this article we’ll look at coriander uses and corainder benefits as well as coriander vs cilantro. You will also learn how to grow cilantro or coriander at home. Keep reading.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn in this article.
Cilantro Vs Coriander
Coriander: Botanical Description
Sanskrit Synonyms Of Coriander With Meaning
Ayurvedic Properties Of Cilantro (Coriander)
Cilantro Uses And Cilantro Benefits
Cilantro Uses: External
Cilantro Home Remedies
Chemical Constituents Of Coriander
Cilantro Research / Coriander Research
How To Grow Cilantro Or Coriander At Home
Cilantro Plant Care
Coriander is used in both fresh and dry forms. The fresh leaves of coriander, called cilantro, are used mainly for topping and garnishing purposes. The seeds and ground powder ormasala is used while cooking. In Indian households it is an indispensable part of the kitchen. It is also very popular in Mexico and southwestern parts of the U.S. where it’s utilized in salsas, mixed greens, burritos and meat dishes.
Coriander is native to south Europe, north Africa and west Asia. It was known in ancient Egypt and Greece where it was consumed regularly. It is still among the most popular flavor boosting herbs used in various dishes around the world.
Ancient Romans used both the leaves and seeds to preserve meats, a fact that has also been scientifically proven. Read more about coriander for food preservation under the ‘modern research’ section of this article.
READ MORE: Licorice: Anti-Aging, Benefits And Uses, High Blood Pressure, Skincare, Hair Care, Side Effects
Cilantro or coriander are two different words for the same herb or plant. This plant has the Latin name Coriandrum sativum. Why are there two different names for the same plant?
The word coriander is derived from the old French word ‘coriandre’ which comes from the Latin coriandrum. Coriander is the term used by English speakers in the U.K. Its leaves are referred to as coriander leaves and the seeds are called coriander seeds.
Cilantro is the Spanish translation for the word coriander. In the U.S., the term cilantro is used instead of coriander. However to refer to its seeds, coriander is used.
The reason behind the use of the term cilantro in the U.S. may be its extensive use in Mexican cuisine. In Mexico, coriander is called by its Spanish name cilantro. Cilantro may have gotten popular in the U.S. through Mexican cuisine, so they also adopted the name cilantro. The term cilantro might have been passed on through generations.
In some places coriander is called Chinese or Mexican parsley. Technically cilantro and coriander are two names for the same herb and both are correct.
READ MORE: Can Ashwagandha And Tulsi Be Taken Together?
Coriander is an annual herb grown primarily as a spice for culinary purposes throughout the world.
Coriander is a soft plant and can grow up to 25-60 cm (10-24 in) in height. It has thin, spindle shaped roots. It has an erect stalk and alternate leaves. These leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant and slender and feathery higher on up the flowering stems.
Flowers of the coriander plant are born in small umbels. The color of the flowers is white or very pale pink, blue or purple. The flowers areasymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel longer than those pointing toward it.
The fruits are globular consisting of two pericarps and about 3–5 mm in diameter. When pressed, they break into two locules, each having one seed. The fruit has a delicate fragrance. The seeds are pale white to light brown in color.
These synonyms have been mentioned in the eminent textbook of Ayurveda, Dravyaguna Vijnana (Pharmacopoeia of Herbs) and are inspired by its various properties.
Dhanyakais one synonym for coriander. It means, whose seeds resemble grains.(1) Dhanyakaalso mean ‘the rich one’ because people appreciate its properties while eating it.(2)
Chatra is another synonym for coriander. Its inflorescence resembles an umbrella.(1)
Coriander is also called Kustumburu which means, it helps to relieve diseases because it pacifies all three doshas.(1)
Vitunnaka means, it helps in relieving agony and pain.(1)
Rasa or taste:madhura(sweet),katu (pungent),tikta(bitter) andkashya (astringent)
Guna or qualities: laghu (light) andsnigdha (oily)
Virya or potency:ushana (hot in potency)
Vipaka or post-digestive taste:madhur (sweet)
Effect ondosha:tri dosha hara (balances all threedosha)
Parts used: fruits, whole plant and oil
Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum
READ MORE: Turmeric Benefits (Curcumin), Dosage, Side Effects
Cilantro benefits, according to the Charaka Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic text…
Cilantro is included undertrishna nigrahan maha kashyaya (herbs that are helpful in relieving thirst).(3 It is included under sheet prashaman maha kashyaya (herbs that are useful in relieving excessive cold).(4 It improves the taste of food.(5) It is an appetite stimulant.(5) It improves digestive strength.(5) It is helpful in relieving bad breath and bad odor.(5)
Cilantro benefits, according to the Sushruta Samhita, the ancient Ayurvedic text….(6)
Cilantro imparts taste and fragrance to various types of food. It is good for the heart. It is helpful in alleviating excessive thirst. It alleviates burning sensation in the body. It is helpful in purifying various channels of the body.
Cilantro benefits, according to the Bhava Prakash, the ancient Ayurvedic text…7)
Cilantro has diuretic properties. It improves digestive strength. It is helpful in fever. It imparts taste in food. It is helpful in diarrhea. It relieves excessive thirst. It alleviates burning sensations in the body. It has antiemetic properties which means it’s useful in vomiting. It is helpful in asthma and other chronic respiratory problems. It is useful in cough and cold. It is useful in hemorrhoids. It is useful in worm infestation.
Cilantro benefits according to Shodhal…
Cilantro is helpful in fever and burning sensations in the body during fever.(8)
Cilantro benefits according toHaarit…
Cilantro has anti-arthritic properties.(8)
Cilantro benefits according to Vang Sen…8)
Cilantro is helpful in diarrhea. It’s helpful in indigestion. It’s useful in cough and cold in children. It’s helpful in asthmatic and other respiratory problems in children.
READ MORE: Arthritis Pain Relief (Joint Pain): Can Ayurvedic Herbal Oils + Essential Oils Help?
Application of the pulp of fresh green cilantro leaves is useful in headache, inflammation, erysipelas and cervical lymphadenitis.
For mouth ulcers, t is advised to do oil pulling with juice made from fresh coriander.
In nasal bleeding or epistaxis it is advised to instill the juice of fresh coriander into the nose.
In headache you can also use a paste made from dry coriander powder.
Here are some home remedies using coriander according to the textbook of Dravyaguna Vijnana.
The cold infusion of coriander is useful in relieving excessive thirst.(7)
How To Make A Cold Infusion
Here we’ll describe how to make a cold infusion for excessive thirst.
Take dry coriander and grind it with a little bit of water in a mixer. Then add some water in this ground coriander and keep it for one to two hours. After one or two hours add some sugar candy and some honey to it. Drink it slowly. It is helpful in relieving excessive thirst.(8)
Diabetic people or people having high blood sugar levels should avoid this because it has sugar in it or they can take it without adding sugar candy or honey.
The cold infusion of coriander mixed with sugar is also helpful in alleviating burning sensation, excessive thirst and also helps in various Vata Pitta related problems.(7)
After making the cold infusion, remove the pericarp of seeds or peel the seeds. Now use this part of the seeds and cook it with milk. This cooked milk is helpful in memory loss problems.(7)
READ MORE: Golden Milk For Joints, Does It Work?
Dhanyaka Hima For Fever, Burning Sensations, Indigestion
Coriander is helpful in getting relief from burning sensations due to fever. This preparation is known asdhanyaka hima. To prepare this take some coriander powder or you can also grind coriander finely with the help of a mixer.
Soak this powder in water overnight. In the morning, strain it with the help of a cloth (you can also use fine meshed sieve for this purpose). Add some sugar candy to it. It is helpful in burning sensation due to fever and also in general debility due to fever.(8)
Diabetic people or people having high blood sugar levels should avoid this because it has sugar in it.
This is helpful in relieving problems of indigestion and pain abdomen.Make a decoction of coriander and ginger. It is helpful in digestion of undigested food and relieves pain in the abdomen.(8)
It has also been mentioned in the text book of Dravyaguna Vijnana that due to itskashya ras or astringent taste it can have an adverse effect on the quality of semen.(9) So it is advised to consume it in a moderate amount.
This is the amount of coriander dosage to take when consuming it as an herbal supplement.
CorianderPowder: 3-6 gm
Cold Infusion: 20-24 ml
Coriander Oil: 1-3 drops
Always take herbal supplements under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
Essential oils from the leaves and fruits of Coriandrum sativum L. were analyzed for its chemical constituents.
The leaf oil contains 44 compounds mostly of aromatic acids. It contains 2-decenoic acid (30.8%), E-11-tetradecenoic acid (13.4%), capric acid (12.7%), undecyl alcohol (6.4%), tridecanoic acid (5.5%) and undecanoic acid (7.1%) as the major constituents.
The seed oil contains 53 compounds where the major compounds are linalool (37.7%), geranyl acetate (17.6%) and γ-terpinene (14.4%). The compositions of both oils varied qualitatively and quantitatively.
Research has shown the following properties of coriander / cilantro.
READ MORE: 9 Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis, According To Ayurveda
Nutritional value per 100 gm (3.5 oz). These numbers should be used as a guideline only.
Source: USDA nutrient database
Stay tuned, we’ll update this section soon with graphics!
You can grow cilantro easily at home in your garden. Even if you do not have a garden you can grow it in a pot. It is an easy to grow plant. Follow these simple steps.
1. Cilantro In A Pot
Choose an appropriate container that is wide and deep. Do not use a shallow pot because it’s roots are deep. Take a pot which is at least 18 inches wide and should be 8 to 12 inches deep.
2. Best Time To Plant
The time of plantation depends on where you live. This plant would not survive in frosty conditions. However it can be grown year round. It does not like extreme heat either. In too hot weather the plant will start to bolt which means they flower and go to seed. So you have to harvest them quickly and provide shade and sun frequently. So it’s best to choose the time wisely.
In temperate climates, the best time to start planting cilantro is in late spring, between the months of March and May (Northern Hemisphere). In more tropical climates, cilantro will grow better during cooler, dry times of year, such as fall.
You can also plant coriander or cilantro late in the summer and allow it to grow into the fall.
If the weather is not favorable you can try starting your seeds indoors and then transfer them outside as the weather improves.
3. Plant The Seeds
Fill the pot with some fast-draining soil. Neutral soil is rich in organic matter and it is also crumbly in texture. These qualities help in growing the coriander plant. You can also mix in some organic fertilizer or aged manure or compost. They provide a good steady supply of trace elements which in turn promotes growth.
Moisten the soil with a little water. Make it damp, not soggy. It is better to sow seeds directly in the pot. Because it has a long taproot, the plant usually does not transplant well.
Sprinkle the seeds over the soil and disperse them evenly. Cover these seeds with another1⁄4inch (0.6 cm) of soil.
Keep the soil moist until the seedlings germinate. Do not water too much as it can displace the seeds and anyway the plant does not require excess water. Cilantro or coriander is a dry climate herb.
Sometimes some seeds may have a husk over them. In that case gently crush the seed husk before sowing. You need to do this to improve the germination rate.
4. Location Of The Pot
Cilantro or coriander plants grow best under sunlight. Place it in a sunny window-sill or conservatory. South-facing windows offer the most light and best growing conditions for cilantro. The seeds should germinate within 7 to 10 days.
In too much heat it will seed quickly so in summer or hot climates place the pot in a location where it gets shade in the afternoon.
5. Watering Requirements
Keep the soil moist using a spray bottle. Maintain a light mist of the soil. Pouring excessive water onto the soil might displace the seeds and can make soil soggy and squashy. Also cilantro is a dry climate herb so it does not require excessive watering.
While watering the coriander, never wet the foliage as coriander is susceptible to powdery mildew. Mildew is a form of fungus and can destroy the leaves.
6. Prevent Overcrowding And Maintain Optimum Spacing
Do not let plants become over crowded. Thin the seedlings when the plant is 2 to 3 inches tall. Remove the smaller plants and allow the stronger plants to grow larger. You can grow plants closely but keep the distance around 4 to 10 inches between two plants as per your area.
The small plants which you have pulled out, you can use them in cooking.
Also, prevent the growth of weeds near or in between the plants.
7. Harvest The Cilantro
You can start to harvest young cilantro leaves after about 3-4 weeks of sowing seeds. Once the stems of the cilantro reach 3 to 6 inches in length, leaves can be picked from the plant. You can cut up to 2/3rd of the leaves each week. This will also encourage the plant to keep growing.
If you want to harvest the entire plant you have to wait around 45-70 days. Cut the entire plant at soil level or 2 inches above the crown.
Use the fresh and new shoots in cooking because the older and ferny-type leaves can be bitter in taste. Don’t cut off more than one-third of the leaves at one time. This can weaken the plant.
Once you have harvested the leaves, the plant will continue to grow for at least two or three more cycles. This way, it is possible to harvest two to three crops of cilantro or coriander from a single pot.
8. Decide about the flowering of cilantro plant:
After some time the coriander plants will start to flower. The plant will stop producing fresh and new shoots with edible leaves. At this point you can do two things. If you want to harvest the coriander seeds from the plant you should leave it to flower. Once the flower dries, you will be able to harvest coriander seeds and they can be used in cooking.
You can collect seeds and dry them properly. Store them in an airtight container. You can also make a powder with these seeds after drying them. Store in an airtight container and use while cooking.
Another option is to allow the seeds to naturally fall to the ground. This way the cilantro plant will self-sow. It will provide you with more cilantro plants in the following growing season. You can also save the dried seeds and plant them the next growing season.
READ MORE: Ayurvedic Medicinal Herbs You Can Grow (Garden Herbs List)
Once the plant has grown, it requires some care and attention. To nurture the plant properly, follow these simple steps.
Use of fertilizer: You can use fertilizer once every two months with any half strength nitrogen-rich fertilizer to promote foliage growth. You don’t need to fertilize your cilantro plants much if you are using compost or aged manure .
Deadheading:Inspect your cilantro plants every day to see if the flowers are appearing. You can deadhead them regularly to promote the production of leaves. However, you can leave them if you want your plants to seed.
Pests And Diseases: Aphids can make their home on your cilantro. Mildew is the most common disease that kills this herb. It is a type of fungus. Mildew more consistently occurs in humid warm weather. To prevent powdery mildew, keep a distance between the plants. Provide good air circulation and avoid overhead watering and wetting the leaves which promotes the growth of many other fungal infections.
Growing Cilantro In The Garden
First, select the time period of the year when you want to plant the cilantro or coriander. Prepare the area in your garden.
Select a patch of soil in your garden where the plant will get full exposure to the sun. It’s better to plant it in the south because during the daytime, it will get some shade. The soil should be light and well-drained.
You can also cultivate the soil before planting. Use a shovel, rototiller or spade to work 2 to 3 inches of an organic mulch such as compost, rotten leaves or manure into the top layer of soil. If you are using manure, take the composted manure or manure which has been aged for at least 3 months, so it doesn’t burn the young plants. Smooth the area before planting.
Plant the cilantro seeds. Sow the seeds about1⁄4 inch deep. Maintain the space between two plants at 6 to 8 inches. The space between two rows should be approximately one foot.
Cilantro seeds need plenty of moisture to germinate, so water them frequently. They need about an inch of water per week. They should germinate in about 2 to 3 weeks. As cilantro grows so quickly, you should plant a new batch of seeds every 2 to 3 weeks to ensure that you have a fresh supply of cilantro throughout the growing season. The rest of the steps are similar to growing cilantro in a pot.
So you can grow this aromatic herb in your home and you can enhance the flavor of your dishes with health benefits too.
READ MORE: The Sacred Benefits Of Growing Tulsi
1. Dravyaguna Vijnana by Aacharya Priyavrat Sharma, Volume 2, page no. 322, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2017.
2. Adarsh Nighantu, volume 1, page no. 697 by Shri Bapalal Vaidya, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2013.
3. Charak Samhita, Sutra Sathan, 4/29 by Aacharya Vidyadhar Shukla and Professor Ravidutt, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, 2017.
4. Charak Samhita, Sutra Sathan, 4/42 by Aacharya Vidyadhar Shukla and Professor Ravidutt, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, 2017.
5. Charak Samhita, Sutra Sathan, 27/163, 27/307 by Acharya Vidyadhar Shukla and Professor Ravidutt, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, 2017.
6. Sushruta Samhita, Sutra Sathan, 46/231, by Kaviraj Ambikadutta Shastri, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, 2011.
7. Dravyaguna Vijnana by Aacharya Priyavrat Sharma, Volume 2, page no. 324, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2017.
8. Adarsh Nighantu, volume 1, page no. 698 by Shri Bapalal Vaidya, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2013.
9. Dravyaguna Vijnana by Aacharya Priyavrat Sharma, Volume 2, page no. 323, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2017.
10. Nazrul Islam Bhuiyan, Mohammad, and Mahbuba Sultana. “Chemical Composition of Leaf and Seed Essential Oil of Coriandrum Sativum L. from Bangladesh.” ResearchGate.net, ResearchGate 2018, 2009, www.researchgate.net/publication/40804879_Chemical_composition_of_leaf_and_seed_essential_oil_of_Coriandrum_sativum_L_from_Bangladesh.
11. “Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L.) Essential Oil: Chemistry and Biological Activity.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier, 2 June 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115000647.
12. Rajeshwari, Ullagaddi. “Medicinal Benefits of Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L) .” ScopeMed, 2010, www.scopemed.com.
13. “Coriander.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriander.
Comments will be approved before showing up.