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Coriander

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  • Botanical: Coriandrum sativum
  • Family: Apiaceae
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Coriander

Botanical

Coriandrum sativum

Family

Apiaceae

Known as

Coriander, Koriander, Arabische Petersilie, Asiatische Petersilie, Chinesische Petersilie, Gartenkoriander, Gebauter Koriander, Gewürzkoriander, Indische Petersilie, Kaliander, Klanner, Schwindelkorn, Schwindelkraut, Stinkdill, Wandläusekraut, Wanzendill

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

June to July; August to September

Parts Used

herb, leaves, seed

Aroma

fruity, herbaceius, spicy, sweet, warm

Medicinal

anorexia, bowel cleansing, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, gastrointestinal, rheumatism, stomach pain, gastric acidity, stomach cramps

Muscle & Joints

lower back pain (lumbago), rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

anxiety, irritability, loss of appetite

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bowel cleansing, constipation, digestion, flatulence, gastrointestinal, laxative

Properties

analgesic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, depurative, digestive, expectorant, revitalizing, stimulant, stomachic

Note

middle

Description

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft plant growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems.

The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the centre of the umbel longer (5–6 mm or 0.20–0.24 in) than those pointing toward it (only 1–3 mm or 0.039–0.118 in long).

The fruit is a globular, dry schizocarp 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) in diameter.

Properties & Uses

Coriander is a commonly used domestic remedy, valued especially for its effect on the digestive system, treating flatulence, diarrhoea and colic. It settles spasms in the gut and counters the effects of nervous tension. The seed is aromatic, carminative, expectorant, narcotic, stimulant and stomachic. It is most often used with active purgatives in order to disguise their flavour and combat their tendency to cause gripe. The raw seed is chewed to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and to cure foul breath and will sweeten the breath after garlic has been eaten. Some caution is advised, however, because if used too freely the seeds become narcotic. Externally the seeds have been used as a lotion or have been bruised and used as a poultice to treat rheumatic pains. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. 

Other Uses

An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavouring, in perfumery, soap making etc. It is also fungicidal and bactericidal. The growing plant repels aphids. A spray made by boiling of one part coriander leaves and one part anise seeds in two parts of water is very effective against red spider mites and woolly aphids. An oil from the seed is used for making soap. The report does not make it clear if the essential oil or the fixed oil is used. The seed contains about 20% fixed oil, this has potential for industrial use in Britain, it could become an alternative to oilseed rape though the oil content is a bit on the low side at present (1995). The oil can be split into two basic types, one is used in making soaps etc, whilst the other can be used in making plastics. The dried stems are used as a fuel.

Cautions

The plant can have a narcotic effect if it is eaten in very large quantities. Powdered coriander and oil may cause allergic reactions and photosensitivity. Use dry coriander sparingly if suffering bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis

Distribution

S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain

Constituents

borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene