Coriander ( Coriandrum sativum )
Part of Plant Used: Leaves (cilantro), seeds (coriander)
Origin: Mediterranean, Middle East
History: Considered both an herb and a spice, coriander has been used for some 7000 years. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used coriander as an aromatic stimu-lant as well as for other medicinal purposes. The Old Testament even makes mention of coriander.
Known Active Ingredients: dodecenal; Phytonutrients: carvone, geraniol, camphor, linalool; Flavonoids: quercitin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, epigenin; Phenolic acid: caffeic, chlorogenic acid
Health Benefits: Coriander emerges from this analysis as a wonder herb/spice. Studies on mice have confirmed that it helps stimulate the release of insulin to lower blood sugar, reduces the amount of lipid peroxidation in the blood, and lowers LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL.
Research suggests that the volatile oils in cilantro have antimicrobial properties. Dodecenal has been shown to be twice as effective at killing Salmonella as common antibiotics. Eight other antibiotic compounds have been isolated from this herb too.
Some herbalists and natural health practitioners claim that cilantro can chelate heavy metals like aluminum and mercury from the body. Dr. Yoshiaki Omura found that some patients secreted more of these toxic metals following a Chinese soup containing cilantro. Cilantro can be made into a deli-cious pesto by combining it with garlic, olive oil, and almonds. The full recipe is here.
Flavor: Some people have a genetic disposition to dislike cilantro. Some of us love it, some think it tastes like soap. I love it! So anyway, what’s it taste like? Well, for those of us that don’t think it tastes like hand lotion or soap, it’s citrusy with a nice tang.

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