Coriander – Coriandrum Sativum
At first sight this herb may remind you of the flat leaf parsley.
Coriander also goes by the name “Chinese Parsley” and “Cilantro”.
In the United States it is common to use the Spanish word “cilantro” when speaking about the coriander leaves.
To add to the confusion many Americans speak of the seeds as “coriander” (in Europe coriander is the plant). This is something to consider when using recipes from around the world.
Coriander has been used as a cooking and medicinal herb for centuries. The leaves, seeds and root are all edible in the coriander plant.
This is an annual herb, native to the Mediterranean countries and Asia.
The coriander root is commonly used in Thai cooking.
The roots of the coriander have a more powerful taste than the leaves.
Coriander seeds are much more intense in flavor that the leaves. The seeds should be ground in a mortar before using. Do not overuse ground coriander seeds, only small amounts are needed. Ground coriander seeds are used in baking, sauces and sausages. It is also used in curries.
The coriander leaves (cilantro) are lovely to use in cooking. Use lots of leaves to bring out the flavor. Coriander leaves are often used in soups, salads and curries. Try this recipe for a delicious coriander soup!
The coriander leaves are not ideal for slow cooking. Add the leaves shortly before serving.
Coriander leaves need to be used fresh. They are not suitable for drying or freezing as the herb quickly loses its flavor.
Coriander seeds will keep their aroma for years if stores in an airtight container.
Coriander oil is used to flavor gin, vermouth, and liqueurs. It is also used in some perfumes.
Coriander leaves (cilantro) are believed to help fight heavy metal poisoning as for example amalgam that has been used in teeth and mercury or lead. Dr. Omura discovered how soup with coriander leaves had a positive effect on reducing the amount of heavy metals in the body. This claim is not officially supported by established medical institutes.
Tests have although shown that coriander has a positive effect on people suffering from diabetes. Coriander helps lower the blood sugar level in the body.
Coriander tea is used in many parts of the Middle East to help relieve anxiety and insomnia.
Coriander seeds are used in Asia to fight fever. Coriander seeds have diuretic qualities.
Coriander increases the appetite and improves digestion. Fresh coriander leaves and coriander seeds are great for the digestion system. Coriander tea may help dispel wind.
Coriander seeds are used as breath freshener. It is often used for this purpose by smokers or people who have enjoyed a lovely meal containing garlic.
Coriander tea used as a gargle may reduce tooth aches.
Coriander oil is much used in aromatherapy. It can ease pains and stress. Coriander has been used throughout the centuries as an aphrodisiac herb. It has been believed this herb stimulates the passion to make love.