Coriander is a fragrant flowering plant that is a member of the parsley (Apiaceae) family. As one of the oldest spices, it has naturally evolved and cultivated for thousands of years into several variations. Coriander contains unique citrus yet nutty flavour making it a popular spice within the South Asian cuisines. In North America, we’re more familiar with coriander’s leaves, or cilantro as we commonly referred to it.   

Besides aromatic smell and taste, coriander has been an important ingredient within many traditional medicines. Its health properties have been linked to alleviating numerous ailments including bacterial infections, regulating blood sugar, clearing up skin conditions while enhancing digestive process. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of coriander’s health and wellness powers.

benefits of coriander seedsHistory of Coriander

Being one of the oldest herbs on record, coriander is written about in ancient texts including Sanskrit, Egyptian papyri, and the Old Testament; where manna’s white colour is described as being “like a coriander seed” (Exodus 16:31). This annual herb is believed to originate from Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and old Persia. Earliest evidence of its use date back as far as 6,500 B.C. of Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period. The oldest archaeological discovery of coriander was found in Nahal Hemar Cave (now Israel) belonging to the ancient Neolithic culture of upper Mesopotamia. The ancient Egyptians cultivated coriander some 3,100 B.C for its fragrant and medicinal properties. Evidence was found during Egyptian pyramid excavations, as several baskets of coriander seeds were discovered inside the tomb of Tutankhamun (king Tut). [1]

Ancient Greece was the next major civilization that cultivated coriander. One of the earliest forms of Greek around 1,450 B.C, (Mycenaean Greek) used Linear B syllabic script tablets to record scented perfume making formula using coriander. [1] The Greek physician Hippocrates was also a fan of coriander for its medicinal and aromatic applications. The name for the plant was derived from the Greek word koris, meaning ‘a stink bug’. This reference was from the distinct aroma that cilantro leaves give off when they are bruised. The name kept on evolving throughout Greek scripts from koriannon and later to koriander in German scripts. Cilantro is a Spanish word for coriander, and is commonly used in North America describing the leaves of the plant.

Chinese have extensively used coriander for centuries and believed it to treat various conditions including food poisoning. The plant was so popular in the Orient that it also dubbed its other name “Chinese parsley”. In 1670, coriander was first brought to the British colonies of North America and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.

As civilization spread, so did the popularity and uses of coriander. It has been used as a condiment and as an ingredient in medicines. It is still widely used in traditional tonics and cough medicines in many Asian countries. Today, many countries produce coriander including Russia, Morocco, Egypt, Romania, China and India.

What is Coriander?

A member of the parsley family, coriander is known and referred to by several names including cilantro and Chinese parsley. It is an annual plant with slender green stems, and can reach up to three feet (one metre) tall with green, parsley looking leaves. When coriander blossoms, it produces white flowers with round, light brown seeds. These seeds can be harvested and used as spice. Coriander grows as a native plant around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and in the Americas.

Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice as it’s consumed in dry or fresh form. An herb often refers to the fresh, leafy part of a plant. Herbs pack a lot of flavour and can be sweet, spicy or savoury. Spices often come from the seeds, root or bark of the plant which are considered edible (besides the leaves). Some plants have only leaf or seed portion which can be consumed, and hence designate as one category. Other plants, like coriander can be both. In North America, cilantro is often referred to the leaves of the plant, as the actual coriander name is reserved for the seeds. 

Although part of the same plant, the leaves (cilantro) and seeds (coriander) have their own distinct flavours. Coriander is an aromatic spice containing a musky / citrusy scent. Its earthy aroma is subtle yet complex. Coriander oil is used in cosmetics, body care products and perfumes. It is not a strong spice to taste, as the flavour is warm and citrusy yet mild. Due to its undertones, coriander works well with other spices, enhancing overall flavour without competing for the top spot.

Besides a versatile profile, coriander is very rich in nutrients which are essential for our body.  These active ingredient possess numerous health benefits which have been associated with [2]:

    • Boosting digestive health
    • Protecting against disease and infections (eyes, mouth)
    • Protecting against several types of cancers (lung)
    • Improving numerous organ functions (liver)
    • Good for the heart (regulating blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol)
    • Good for the brain (stimulating cognition, memory and nervous system)
    • Good for bone health
  • Improving Iron deficiency

Coriander nutrient list contains petroselinic acid (omega-12) which is a geometrical version (isomer) of the oleic acid (omega-9). [2,3] Coriander is also high in linalool, a naturally occurring terpene which carries a pleasant scent (floral with hint of spice, kind of like lavender). Linalool has been extensively studied showing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-depressant and neuro-protective properties. [2,4]

Coriander’s Benefits

Coriander is a mildly pleasant flavouring spice and is immensely popular amongst South Asian, Orient and Latin American dishes. The active compounds which carry these pleasant scent and taste profiles also produce numerous health benefits. From beginning of times, to the ancient texts, to modern science, coriander has always been part of every civilization. Its global popularity continues to marvel modern research and applications. Lets take a closer into the power of this unique and ancient seed.

Antioxidant Benefits

The daily reactions inside our body naturally produce free radicals [also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS)]. These free radical molecules are unstable, and react with many internal molecules such as proteins, DNA, and compounds within cells. The body keeps a balanced supply of ROS for immune response against foreign invaders. Physiological and environmental factors like food, air quality, extreme exercise or other life stresses increase our internal ROS production, increasing oxidative stress. Antioxidants are the counter-active molecules that react with ROS and neutralize their effect, protecting the body systems against cell damage.

Coriander is an ancient spice with numerous powerful antioxidants. Though its overall antioxidant value comes to 5141 on the ORAC Scale however, its essential oil form ranks #4 on the same ORAC Scale for antioxidant value amongst top 72 essential oils across the world. [5]

The flavours and health benefits of coriander come from numerous phytonutrients, many of which are active antioxidants. These include:

    • Numerous flavonoids (which are the biggest category of polyphenols – with over 4,000 identified compounds). The flavonoids within coriander possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties by actively seeking out and reacting with ROS. [6]
    • Linalool is the main active ingredient in coriander making up about 50% of total essential oil. [7] It is a strong antioxidant and antibacterial agent. This chemical is classified as a terpene, a large family of plant produced compounds, far smaller in size to our polyphenols, but none-less important. Terpenes are the major building blocks of many vital compounds (like steroids), and possess extensive health properties. Linalool is found in numerous plants, carrying a fragrant profile. It has been extensively used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant abilities affecting nervous system and producing a calming effect [7].
    • Besides linalool, coriander also contains other powerful terpenes within its essential oil content including alpha-pinene, gamma-terpinene (terpinolene), geranyl acetate, limonene and camphor. [8]
    • Coriander (seeds) also contain many other phytonutrients including dietary fiber, vitamin-A, vitamin-K, copper, manganese, iron and calcium. The leaves (cilantro) pack calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-B2 (riboflavin). Many of these vitamins come in high concentrations and are strong antioxidants (such as vitamins E and C). [7,8]
    • Coriander’s powerful antioxidant activity has been linked to its high levels of terpene (like linalool) and terpenoid components.
  • Together these compounds improve antioxidant defence enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)) which decrease oxidative stress. [6,9] Some studies report coriander juice reduced lipid peroxidation by 300-600%, while increasing antioxidant enzymes (CAT by 57-75%, SOD by 57-62%, and GPx by 80-83%) and liver function at same time. [32]

Detoxification Roles

The modern environment affects our body in different ways. Pollutants and toxins in the air and food place further stress on our systems raising oxidative stress. Mercury (Hg2+) is a natural element which is poisonous to us, even in smaller concentrations. Due to current global changes, numerous types of marine life (especially certain types of seafood) contain higher levels of mercury. Due to this real danger, numerous cautions have been issued regarding consumption of ocean based fish and shellfish. Research identified coriander as a powerful detoxification agent. Studies show coriander’s impressive abilities in removing 95% of mercury within pH scale range of 4 to 10, which happens to be the ideal acidity for us (human body pH is 7.35 to 7.45). [10]

Lead is another potent toxin which causes various health and organ problems. It can increase free radical levels and affect antioxidant enzymes (CAT, SOD, GPx and GSR) while decreasing hemoglobin (oxygen carrying molecules) at same time. To prevent metal based poisoning, the body needs compounds called chelating agents which able to mix in water (water soluble) while binding to floating metals in the blood stream. These chelating compounds are non-toxic and can be excreted as urine or bile. Repeated studies showed coriander to be a strong chelating agent, removing lead from various parts of small animals. [11,12] Coriander consistently detoxified affected tissues by removing lead from liver, testes, blood vessels and the brain. Coriander extract treatment decreased lead producing oxidative stress, while improving antioxidant defence enzymes, sperm production, liver and brain function. [11,12,13]

Digestive Aid and Protection

In Ayurveda, coriander is one of the six digestive spices that has been used for thousands of years (other ones being: fennel, cumin, cardamom, turmeric and ginger). Known as the most “cooling spice” this traditional remedy comes with plenty of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which alleviate variety of digestive conditions by relaxing contracted digestive muscles, often the cause of cramping and other gut discomforts. Human trials using coriander mixtures significantly lowered abdominal pains and overall irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms compared to placebo counterparts. An eight week study concluded that coriander improved digestion by increasing several gastric enzymes and relieving bloating and flatulence. [14]

Coriander’s antioxidant, antispasmodic and anti-flatulent ingredients stimulate natural production of bile from the liver and digestive enzymes from the pancreas, enhancing overall gastrointestinal (GI) process. [15] Dietary fiber content within these seeds absorb water adding bulk to foods resulting in quicker emptying of the GI tract. Coriander also provides several important elements including iron, magnesium, and manganese. This ingredient list improves the function of overall digestive system and eases constipation and bloating. [2] The fiber also binds to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) reducing their re-absorption in the colon, which lowers serum LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol levels.

Coriander can also decrease or prevent alcohol (ethanol) causing stomach ulcers. Ethanol can behave as a free radical (aka reactive oxygen species – ROS) causing tissue damage, including the thinning of the stomach lining. The antioxidant compounds of coriander like terpenes (such as linanool), flavonoids, coumarins, catechins, and other polyphenoilcs act as free-radical scavengers, inhibit stomach ulcers and contribute to the formation of the protective digestive lining. [16]

Anti-Diabetic—Lowers Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body’s hormone insulin functions improperly resulting in chronic high blood-sugar levels. The pancreas gland is either not producing insulin or, the body cells have become resistant to insulin’s effect. Insulin is the main switch in the body that shuttles sugars from blood into cells and is critical to healthy carbohydrate metabolism.

Diabetes mellitus involves numerous biochemical pathways, each one extensively researched. Current drugs on the market effectively manage this condition but, their long term use often comes with side effects. To resolve this world crisis, the science is turning to all natural ingredients which have been effectively used for centuries in traditional practices. The World Health Organization understands the hidden powers of such ingredients and has recommended a development herbal medicines, including anti-diabetic agents. [17]

Coriander is one of such natural products, low value on the glycemic index with an impressive list of powerful antioxidants. Vitamin-C within both coriander seeds and leaves is a strong ROS scavenger and has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Coriander is still being used to treat hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) in several parts of the world including Morocco and Saudi Arabia. [18] Human trials confirm these ancient practices, as using the spice has significantly decreased blood sugar, triglycerides and overall cholesterol (lowering LDL – referred to as “bad” cholesterol, while increasing HDL – referred to as “good” cholesterol levels) in type 2 diabetic patients. [19,20]  Animal trials confirmed human coriander results to be as effective as a common anti-diabetic drug (glibenclamide) by lowering blood glucose, triglycerides and overall cholesterol through greater insulin secretion. [21]

Heart Health—Lowers Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels are a strong marker for various metabolic diseases. Science has extensively investigated coriander for overall blood health and lipid management. Our modern diet comes with high quantity of fats, some of which negatively impact blood circulation. High levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) have been attributed to number of problems including increased risk of heart disease. As seen with anti-diabetic studies, coriander extract has significantly reduced total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and overall triglyceride levels in both people and small animals. [19-22] 

Animals who were fed high cholesterol diet found that using coriander oil reversed total blood lipid levels including, overall triglycerides and cholesterol levels. [23] Also, coriander contains number of phytonutrients which protect tissues (preventing lipid peroxidation), enhance HDL-cholesterol and antioxidant enzymes (like superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)). [2,32]

Heart Health—Regulates Blood Pressure

Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional practices have been using coriander seeds to treat hypertension. Coriander’s nutrient profile of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic abilities also are shown to reduce high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterols levels. [2,20-23] Coriander contains fiber, which helps with digestive health and lowering of overall blood lipids, reducing blood clot formation and chances of a heart attack and stroke.

The science extensively studies coriander’s power of spice to relax muscles and decrease hypertension. Being a mighty digestive aid, coriander improves digestion and diuretic effect on the body, which all show reduced hypertension. Coriander’s phyto-compounds interact with Calcium (Ca2+) channels, decreasing the contractility of the smooth muscles of the heart and blood vessels, and generating the relaxation effect. In fact, coriander’s diuretic effect along with relaxant tissue abilities show results similar to standard hypertension drugs (verapamil). [24]

Coriander’s main active compound (terpene) linalool has been identified as the major player in vasodilation (relaxation) of smooth muscles, including blood vessels. Numerous animal studies show linalool as a strong agent for cardiovascular improvement. A three week linalool study produced a significant reduction in overall blood pressure. Linalool prevented cardiac hypertrophy (abnormal thickening of the heart muscle) often seen with chronic high blood pressure, while increasing levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin 10 (IL-10). [25] In another study, linalool counteracted induced hypertension in small animals through vasomodulation (neuronal regulation of blood flow) by interacting with Calcium (Ca2+), relaxing vascular walls of small animals and reducing blood pressure. [26]

Promotes Weight Loss

Coriander has also been shown to be an effective weight-loss agent. Being a fiber rich spice, coriander engages digestive processes of these non-digestiable carbohydrates which requires energy, increases metabolism while suppressing overall appetite. This calorie deficit process promotes weight loss, reducing the risk for metabolic syndrome and other related conditions.[2] Also, the diuretic effect of the coriander helps weight loss by removing excess water, toxins and waste form the body [25]. This speeds up the gut emptying process, while eliminating water retention and bloating effect.

Fights Bacterial Infections

Throughout history, many cultures utilized coriander to help fight various ailments and diseases. Today, science continues to confirm numerous health benefits of coriander. The phytonutrients within coriander seeds possess strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and may help in preventing the spread of food-borne pathogens. 

Coriander appears especially effective against conditions caused by Salmonella choleraesuis (Salmonella), which include food poisoning, dysentery, cholera and typhoid. The mighty antibacterial powers are due to dodecenal – a compound found in coriander (both seeds and leaves) in high concentrations. Dodecenal is a potent all-natural Salmonella killer and found to be twice as powerful as a standard medical antibiotic gentamicin. [27] Therefore, adding coriander to your diet will greatly reduce risk of developing such conditions including common food poisoning.

Studies of coriander’s essential oil is shown to prevent the growth of several bacterial strains (both Gram-positive and Gram-negative types) including Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Escherichia coli (E. coli). In majority of cases, all mentioned bacteria cause illness in humans. [28-31]

Coriander is also a common traditional treatment for various inflammation based discomforts, irritations and diseases such as conjunctivitis (often referred to as the pink eye). Conjunctivitis can be caused by several type of pathogens including bacteria, virus or allergens – resulting in inflammation and irritation in and around the eye. [30] Virus causing conjunctivitis is the most common type of infection, with allergic version coming close by affecting up to 40% of population. Using coriander has been shown to be effective against numerous microbes and allergens causing conditions like conjunctivitis. [31]

Anti-Cancer Agent

The same powerful antioxidant compounds that have produced numerous health benefits throughout the body, may also possess cancer fighting abilities. Spices like coriander make part of the phytotherapy—a recognized complimentary and alternative medicinal (CAM) therapy—often used by health care in combination with standard medical treatments. CAM therapy is becoming more mainstream as spices produce protective effect in several ways, including directly reacting with damage causing free radicals, improving function of healthy tissues while inhibiting growth of cancer cells. [33] This research is growing fast and coriander seeds, leaves and essential oils continue to be investigated as cancer fighting agents.  

Cancer is predominantly studied through various human cell cultures, which have been identified and able to live longer than few months. These cell lines possess many traits of regular cells, but can also mutate and become tumorigenic. Each identified cancer type line is designated by a certain acronym. For instance, breast cancer is predominantly studied within MCF-7 cells, a cell-line from 1970 of a female breast cancer patient. [34,35] Other research-based human tumor cells include AGS (gastric), DU-145 and LNCaP (prostate), HCT-116 (colon) and NCI-H460 (lung) carcinomas.

Recent studies associate oxidative stress as a contributor of greater cell mutation (proliferation). ROS caused cellular and DNA damage raises potential for more mutations, often found within breast tissue and other types of organs. [36] Test tube and animal experiments shown that coriander’s antioxidants have a high scavenging ability, which seek out and directly react with ROS, protecting tissue integrity and reduce tumor growth. [37]

Extracts of coriander root show extensive protective properties against free radical damage, while increasing activity of liver’s antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxide (GPx). The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory nutrients of coriander inhibit proliferation of various cell lines including, MCF-7 (breast), GS (gastric), DU-145 and LNCaP (prostate), HCT-116 (colon) and NCI-H460 (lung). [36-38]

Also, certain free radicals like hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are toxic to certain cancers. [39] Coriander fights tumors by increasing H2O2 leading to cell death (apoptosis). [38] The same phytonutrients which destroy ROS in healthy cells, appear to increase their production in cancerous tumors. [38] This quickly developing research revolves around the activation sequences of antioxidant enzymes, which temporarily increases SOD and lowering CAT and GPx, producing such unique free radical conditions inside human MCF-7 (breast) cancer. [40] Coriander is one of the spices which appears to produce such affect in human cancers. [38,39] 

Linalool is coriander’s major component and has been continuously investigated by researchers for its abilities to fight inflammation and various types of cancers. Our cells have a programmed auto-destruct mechanism (apoptosis) which is important for keeping balance and minimizing infection or physiological mistakes (mutation). Caspases are a family of protease enzymes which play a vital role in the programmed cell death. [41]  Often inactive enzymes, caspases spring to action during immune response and increase of inflammatory proteins (cytokines) such as interleukin 1 beta (IL-1b) and IL-18. [42,43] Coriander’s potent antioxidants are shown to decrease breast tumor growth (metastasis) by increasing caspase-3, caspase-8, and cascade-9. [37]

Anti-inflammatory—Improves Liver Health

Being body’s largest filtration system, liver is a complex organ. Liver is made up of thousands and thousands of cells—hepatocytes—which filter the blood from the portal vein in order to identify, separate, detoxify and restructure the circulating compounds. To do that, liver possesses an army of enzymes to perform such involved biochemical tasks. Many of these compounds are toxic and produce stress on the liver, eventually causing damage and decreasing its activity.


As we’ve seen, coriander’s anti-inflammatory properties can help improve liver’s health and function. Researchers found that coriander essential oils as well as extracts possess hepato-protective properties in animals with drug-induced liver and brain damage. [22,31] Antioxidant content of the seeds act as strong ROS scavengers by seeking and reacting with free radicals and protecting tissue integrity. Also, coriander increases antioxidant enzymes improving liver’s health and creating a greater hepatoprotective effect.  [22,31,44]

Prevents Anemia

Anemia is a condition that develops when the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the main molecule of RBC which binds and carries oxygen. The iron element is part of the heme group and is main component which attaches and holds-on to the oxygen. [45]  Coriander seeds contain many essential vitamins and minerals including iron which helps compensating such deficiency. [46]

Brain Health and Cognition

dupischai blogWhen we think of the term inflammation, we often associate it with the signs described by the Roman scholar and encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25 BC – 50 AD) who wrote medical encyclopedia De Medicina. Celcus described symptoms of different fevers and four cardinal signs of inflammation, known as “Celsus tetrad”: calor(warmth), dolor(pain), rubor(redness and hyperaemia), and tumor(swelling). [47] In Central Nervous System (CNS) the Celsus’ cardinal inflammation signs can’t be seen, and hence for long time were not investigated as a possible cause of neural based diseases. CNS inflammation studies go back more than three decades show similar biochemical patterns, like increased pro-inflammatory proteins (cytokines), both in the blood and the brain. This interaction between the immune system and the nervous system shown to increase several mood disorders such as depression. [48] Scientists termed this type of neural response as neuro-inflammation. [49] Neuro-inflammation is primarily regulated by microglia cells [50-53], a type of macrophage that acts as immune response in CNS.

Neuro-inflammation has been linked with development of several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), depression, stroke, anxiety and brain tumors. Scientists observed how chemically induced oxidative stress produces more tissue damage (lipid peroxidation) and lower antioxidant enzyme levels within liver and the brain. The brain is especially sensitive to oxidative stress affecting several regions. [54] Phytonutrients within numerous spices, including coriander are shown to directly reduce oxidative stress and decrease risk of developing a neurological disorder [55]

Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a fast reacting organic compound and a great researching tool (marker) for oxidative stress. It reacts with DNA material (adenosine and guanosine) causing disruption and mutation. [56] Scientists noted elevated MDA levels in animal brains have been linked with greater risk of seizures and epilepsy. Studies shown that coriander possesses anticonvulsant properties by decreasing MDA levels within the brains of small animals. Linalool is believed to be responsible for this antioxidant effect and brain tissue protection of oxidatively stressed animals. [57,58]

Treats Migraines and Improves Sleep

Coriander can also help you sleep better. Animal studies show that active compounds within this spice improve sleep duration without any groggy or neurotoxic effect (often seen with sleeping medication). [59] Coriander essential oil was shown to protect brain tissue along with a calming effect. The active ingredient linalool works by reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality in animal trials, as effectively as common anxiolytic drugs (diazepam). [60]

Migraine is a primary headache disorder where the headaches repeat themselves in moderate to severe pain strength. Often pulsating in nature, migraines typically affect one half of the head and can last up to 72 hours. Sensitivity to light, sound or smell, nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of this type of headaches. [61] There are number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen as well as prescription medication specific to treat either the pain or symptoms. Migraines are not a modern disease, as historic records appear on Ebers papyrus and date back to Ancient Egypt of 1,500 BC. [61] Spices and herbs including coriander make popular traditional remedies in numerous countries around the world for headache treatment. Modern science has also confirmed these properties in number of human trials. A study of 68 migraine patients showed that coriander significantly decrease in duration, severity and frequency of migraine attacks. [62] Another study of 88 migraineurs used a coriander-herb mixture producing the same positive benefits against heartaches. [63]

Improves Skin Health

The UV radiation from sun exposure damages skin cells and is one of the environmental factors of oxidative stress. As many aware, continuous sun exposure increases risk of developing skin cancer. Coriander has been extensively studied showing powerful anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and detoxifying abilities, protecting various body tissues and compounds against ROS damage including within skin cells and early signs of aging. [2]

Coriander studies are shown to improve skin conditions such as eczema, irritations and rashes.  The linoleic acid within the seeds further relieves pain (analgesic) within rheumatism and arthritis. The antiseptic properties suppress bacterial growth, reducing skin inflammation of pimples and acne. [31]

Glutathione (GSH) is a powerful antioxidant and is considered one of the most important ROS scavengers. Reduced GSH levels within blood stream is often a sign (or maker) for oxidative stress, including in cancer patients. [64,65] GSH is a hot topic in the skin care and beauty therapy. Repeated human trials shown GSH to significantly improve skin health, smoothness, elasticity, and whitening while decreasing wrinkles, blemishes and signs of aging. [66,67]

Many spices and herbs including coriander have been shown to contain powerful antioxidants which increase protection against sun exposure and skin damage. These seed ingredients increase production of structural proteins like collagen, elastin and immune boosting proteins (cytokines) such as TGF-beta1, while decreasing inflammatory causing proteins. [68] Coriander’s antioxidants engage free radicals and decrease or stop the damage, keeping skin looking youthful. Numerous detoxifying studies showed that coriander’s ability to decrease oxidative stress, remove toxins and poisonous metals from body systems while increasing antioxidant enzymes and GSH within blood levels. [2,6,8,10-13,32]

Micronutrient Profile

Coriander seeds are packed with powerful ingredients. As with all spices, coriander has few calories but holds potent micronutrients which boost digestion, internal health and immunity.  Just one tablespoon (5 grams) of ground coriander seeds contains: [69]

    • about 15 Calories
    • 0.6 grams of Protein
    • 2.7 grams of Carbohydrates, most of which is Fiber (2.1 grams)
    • no sugar
  • 0.9 grams of Fats, majority of which are essential monounsaturated (found in nuts, avocados and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6)

Here’s a more complete list of micro and phytonutrients [69,70]:

    • protein
    • carbohydrates
    • dietary fiber
    • polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)
    • monounsaturated fats
    • vitamin A
    • vitamin B1 (thiamin)
    • vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
    • vitamin B3 (niacin)
    • vitamin B6
    • vitamin B9 (folate)
    • vitamin B12
    • vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
    • calcium
    • copper
    • potassium
    • phosphorus
    • manganese
    • magnesium
    • sodium
    • zinc
    • selenium
  • iron

Coriander’s essential oil is also rich in potent phytonutrients like linalool, limonene, carvone, geraniol, camphor, elemol, and borneol. The flavonoid list includes quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and apigenin.  The seeds also contain phenolic acids such as caffeic, chlorogenic and linoleic acids. These and above mentioned compounds make coriander seed a mighty antioxidant, tissue-protective, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredient. [2]

Possible Drawbacks

Coriander—seeds, leaves and essential oil—have been part of traditional medicines for centuries and deemed safe to consume. However, regardless of extensive benefits, a word of caution is warranted when using this spice for extended periods or in large quantities.

Coriander is a member of same plant family as caraway, dill weed, fennel and mugwort, which may cause an allergic response. If you are allergic to these types of spices, you may have some sensitivity or allergies towards coriander.

One of coriander’s benefits of lowering blood sugar levels, should be a caution for people suffering from diabetes or hypertension. Due to its ability to naturally lower blood sugar levels, coriander can also decrease blood pressure levels and can have an adverse effect on people who are already suffering from low blood pressure or take medication to lower it. As with anything, moderation is key.

Final Thoughts

Coriander is an ancient spice which has made its way into many world culinary creations and even more kitchens. Its flavourful profile makes it a staple ingredient in many South Asian curries and masalas. Besides being an aromatic and tasty herb, coriander possesses numerous health benefits which have been utilized for thousands of years, and date back to the times of early written languages. Traditional remedies use roots, leaves and seeds improving numerous health conditions from lowering blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure to treating food poisoning and digestive problems.

Coriander’s main active compound linalool responsible for fragrance and numerous medicinal properties. Other phytonutrients further enhance immune response, improve organ function and fight various pathogens. Compared to other spices, coriander is inexpensive and available year round. Coriander lives up to DUPIsCHAI slogan power of spice capable of exciting kitchen creations as well as boosting health and wellness.

You can experience the taste and health benefits of Coriander Seeds in our Arise Chai. As the morning-style chai, Arise Blend is flavourful, spicy and intense drink designed to start the day with a boost of wellness in a cup.

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