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Coriandrum sativum

The name Coriandrum is derived from the greek word koros (a bug), in reference to the pungent smell of the leaves.

Other names: Cilantro in America, Dhaniya in india
Family: Umbelliferae – flowering plants, related to celery, carrots, parsley
Origins: indigenous to Southern Europe, the Eastern Mediteranean and Egypt spreading from there to China, India and to the rest of the world
Growing conditions: likes a dry, warm light soil and is an anuual plant

Looks like: the leaves remind of parsley but later become more jagged, the flowers are white;
Parts used: fruit (dried seeds) and (fresh) leaves, that have a recognizable and pleasant (to some) aroma

Constituents: the seeds contain volatile oil of up to 2.6%, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties which play a great role in maintaining the shelf-life of foods
100g fresh plant contains (%RDA): Dietary fiber 11%, Potassium 15% and Manganese 21%, Vitamin K 388% and Vitamin C 45%

Medicinal actions:

aromatic stimulant and carminative (a substance that relieves flatulence and soothes intestinal spasm and pain)
lowers cholesterol levels
Anti-inflammatory action
improves digestion
helps us to detox from heavy metals (but only organically grown plants should be used. Ccriander also attracts heavy metals from the soil it grows in)


Use in food as fresh herb or dried seeds.
Fluid extracts 5-30 drops or in tablet form.


This herb is used in cooking all around the world – as a spice and raw material in food.
Peruvian use it in almost all of there dishes. The fresh leaves are used in salads, pestos and is also added to soups often by Egyptians and Peruvians. Coriander is an ingredient in curry powder.
Northern europeans use the seeds mixed in their breads. In England the seeds are used to flavour alcoholic beverages like Gin.
Coriander root is used in asian recipes, especially in thai curry pastes and has a milder taste than the leaves.

Book: ‘A modern herbal’ by Mrs.M.Grieve

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