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Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as Chinese Parsley or Dhania, and in the United States the stems and leaves are usually called Cilantro. It’s an annual plant that grows on slender green stems. The plant can grow up to three feet tall and the leaves resemble Parsley leaves. When Coriander blooms it produces white flowers, with a hint of purple and round, light brown seeds. These seeds can be harvested and used as spices.
Coriander grows as a native plant around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and in the Americas. Most Coriander is produced in Morocco, Romania and Egypt. Coriander is common in spice blends including curry powders, chili powders, garam masala and berbere. The leaves of the plant, cilantro, are also a popular flavouring in many Indian, Latin American, and Southeast Asian dishes. Many people do not know that all parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.
Coriander has a long history and it can be traced back for thousands of years. Folklore says it was grown in Persia 3,000 years ago and used to fragrance the hanging gardens of Babylon. There is mention of Coriander in the Bible where manna is described as being “like a coriander seed, white” (Exodus 16:31). As civilization spread, so did the popularity and uses of Coriander. It is still widely used in tonics and cough medicines in India. Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek physician, recommended the use of Coriander as a medicine. Pliny mentioned that the highest quality Coriander was grown in Egypt. Coriander Seeds appear to have been quite prized by the Egyptians as they have been found in tombs of the 21st dynasty.
Late Bronze Age invaders introduced Coriander into Britain. The invaders used Coriander to flavour their barley gruel. The British mixed Coriander with Cumin and vinegar and used to preserve meat. Farmers in the Essex, England region refer to Coriander by the name of Col. Thought to be an aphrodisiac, Coriander was added to love potions during the medieval and Renaissance periods. Robert Turner would appear to agree with this assessment and said that when consumed with wine, Coriander “stimulates the animal passions.” Coriander Seed is high in essential volatile oils, fatty acids, and minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Coriander Seed contains many of the B vitamins and vitamin c.
The taste and energetics of Coriander seed are cooling, warming, sweet, bitter and pungent. Coriander has an affinity towards the digestive system, cardiovascular system, immune system, liver, metabolism, respiratory system and urinary system. Combine Coriander with Cumin and Fennel to make an Ayurvedic tea called CCF that supports the digestive system and the mind, balancing all doshas.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Coriander Seed to one cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Coriander is often used in Spanish, Mexican, Latin and Indian cuisine. It is a common ingredient in spice rubs, marinades, chilis, sauces, soups and curries and works well with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
Cautions & contraindications:
Coriander can cause some side effects, including allergic reactions and increased sensitivity to the sun.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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