Coriander originated in the Middle east and Mediterranean and has been used as a spice and traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is one of the most ancient spices and virtually every part of the plant has medicinal or culinary value. While coriander spice comes from the seeds of the plant, the leaves are actually the herb known as cilantro. Coriander is known as “dhanya” in Indian and is highly esteemed in Ayurvedic medicine. It has especially been known as a remedy for digestive tract disorders, respiratory tract disorders, urinary tract infections.1 It appears in ancient Greek medical texts, in the Bible, and in early Sanskrit texts. It has also been referred to in traditional Chinese medicine as a “tonic of the Stomach and Heart”. The seed was also highly esteemed in ancient Egypt. Texts describe a beverage used as an aphrodisiac, containing coriander and garlic steeped in wine, and was found in the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramses II.2 Coriander is also known to have been used in Morocco as a diuretic and in traditional Iranian medicine “for relief of anxiety and insomnia”.3 In addition to its medicinal properties, coriander has been used in many traditional regional culinary applications, from a flavoring for sausages to an ingredient in chutneys and in pickle making.1
Coriander Seed essential oil is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing in small doses. In large doses it does have a stupefying (dulling of the senses) effect so be sure to be aware of your ingestion quantity and rate. Please consult a physician before using Coriander if you are pregnant.
1 S., Bhat, et al. “Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L.): Processing, Nutritional and Functional Aspects.” African Journal of Plant Science, vol. 8, no. 1, 2014, pp. 25–33., doi:10.5897/ajps2013.1118.
2 Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: a Guide to Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance through Essential Oils. Gaia, 2005.
3 Mahendra, Poonam, and Shradha Bisht. “Coriandrum Sativum: A Daily Use Spice with Great Medicinal Effect.” Pharmacognosy Journal, vol. 3, no. 21, 2011, pp. 84–88., doi:10.5530/pj.2011.21.16.
4 Wildwood, Christine. Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, 2000.