Cilantro or Coriander is a small, flowering plant that can grow up to 20 cm in height. The leaves are light, green colour and the flowers are small and asymmetrical. The flowers bloom in summer. The ripe fruit splits into half and releases two seeds. Feathery leaves are present when the stalks have flowers. The leaves are fan-shaped and deep lobed. It needs well drained soil and a cool temperature to grow well.
Geographical places where Cilantro herb grows
It grows extensively in Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Asia. It grows in all places in India.
The common name for cilantro in India is Dhaniya. Its English name is coriander and coriander in hindi is known as Dhaniya .
Botanical name and family of Coriander plant
The botanical name for this is Coriandrum Sativum. It belongs to the Umbellifers family.
Cilantro medicinal uses and health benefits
The good, beneficial effects of coriander or cilantro are due to the rich nutrient content present in it. We see phytonutrients, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids. It has six types of acids minerals and vitamins, and eleven types of essential oils.
Treat mouth ulcers: Before the invention of toothpaste, chewing on coriander leaves was a widespread practice to get rid of bad breath. This is due to the antiseptic properties of citronellol. The other components have healing and antimicrobial properties that cure the ulcers in the mouth. It is not uncommon to find coriander in some of the natural toothpaste for these reasons.
Control high cholesterol levels: Oleic acid, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), stearic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid help reduce the blood cholesterol level. By reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol that gets deposited on the walls of the blood vessels, cilantro reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis. It improves the level of the HDL cholesterol that helps prevent the elevated level of LDL and thus improves the health of the person.
Treat blood sugar disorders: The coriander stimulates the endocrine glands so that the secretion of the insulin is increased. This helps in the proper absorption of sugar in the blood. This reduces the level of sugar in the blood. For those who suffer from diabetes, an addition of coriander in the diet will help them control their blood sugar levels. It ensures the normal metabolic functioning and helps reduces the spikes in the blood sugar level.
Also Read: Home remedies for diabetes
Helps cure conjunctivitis: Many of the constituents in coriander such as the mineral phosphorus, antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin C help prevent macular degeneration and vision disorders. They help reduce the stress and strain in the eye. Many of the diseases of the eye are prevented by the beta carotene present in the coriander. In elderly people, the cilantro can reverse the effects of vision degradation.
Prevent urinary tract infections: The common complaints for urinary tract infections are diabetes, genetics, sexual activity, E. coli, and staphylococcus bacteria. Cilantro has antibacterial properties that help to battle these pathogens. It helps to keep the urinary tract healthy and prevents the incidence of the infection. The simplest way to have cilantro is to soak some coriander seeds in water and drink it in the morning.
Rectify menstrual disorders: If you have the menstrual disorder, then you must have coriander powder. This will help rectify the problem by regulating the functioning of the endocrine gland along with the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. It can help reduce bloating, cramps, and pain you get during the menstruation cycle.
Toxic metal cleaning: The exposure to toxic metals such as aluminium, cadmium, and arsenic causes accumulation in the muscle tissues, the endocrine system, and deeper within the bones. When these reach dangerous levels, it can cause serious health concerns. Common complaints include oxidative stress from free radicals, hormone imbalance, and even impaired organ functioning. Cilantro is a powerful cleaning agent that targets these toxic metals and removes them from the body. You get relief from mercury and lead, two more metals that cause much damage.
Prevent neurological inflammation: Chronic inflammation is the reason for many neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, MS, brain tumours, and Alzheimer’s disease. Coriander leaves along with other spices such as cinnamon, garlic, ginger, pepper, clove, and turmeric helps keep these diseases under control. You will experience a lower incidence of these neurological diseases.
Good for bone health: The Vitamin K and calcium content helps build good bones and teeth. It also augments the growth of the hair. Besides this, it has Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and loads of dietary fibre. It also has potassium and magnesium.
Help treat indigestion: Cilantro helps proper digestion and settles nauseous stomachs. It eases cramps and relieves heartburn. It enhances the production of the digestive juices and cools spicy dishes because it has a cooling effect. Adding some fresh, chopped cilantro will make the dish more palatable.
Lower anxiety and stress in the body: You get better sleep when you add it in your diet. It enhances your sleep cycle naturally because of the sedative effect. In fact, the calming effect is comparable to many prescription drugs such as Valium.
Side effects of consuming excess of cilantro
You have seen the beneficial effects of coriander, now see dome of the adverse effects too. This happens only when you eat cilantro in excess.
- Upsets the stomach: When taken within limits, cilantro will help deal with several gastrointestinal issues. When you eat too much of this, it can upset the stomach. If you eat cilantro continuously for more than a week it will lead to abdominal cramps, vomiting, stomach pain, and extreme gas formation. You might experience loose motion too.
- Causes liver damage: Cilantro eaten in moderation is good for the health but when consumed in excess causes damage to the liver. It interferes with the functioning of the liver. The antioxidants in cilantro do prove beneficial but the excess will certainly hurt your body.
- Breathing problems: This is for people who already have breathing problems. Eating excess cilantro will cause dryness of throat and breathing problems that ultimately lead to asthma. Find natural home remedies for asthma.
This does not mean that you should stop eating cilantro; merely that you should not eat too much.
Coriander is a wonder spice that we must use with moderation. If we do so, we can get all the benefits of this. Avoiding over use will help prevent the side effects that might prove dangerous to our health.