Plants & People: Coriandrum – Amazing Health Benefits

Coriander, scientifically known as Coriandrum sativum (Plant family Apiaceae), is a herb with savoury deep green leaves. Its use as a spice for different sauces can be traced back to 5,000 BC, making it one of the world’s oldest spices. This unique vegetable is very famous in Asian countries and its popularity is spreading across the globe. Coriander is identified with different names like Dhania or Dhaniya (Hindi), Dhaniyalu (Telugu), Dhane (Marathi), Dhoney (Bengali), and Dhaniya (Gujarati, Oriya & Punjabi), (Chinese) parsley and coat meal. In most markets in Uganda, this wonder plant is mainly referred to as dhania; a word of Indian origin. Coriander is not only a famous spice vegetable but also has numerous amazing health benefits for our body. The leaves contain borneol chemical substance which is a good antibiotic important to overcome intestinal digestive problems such as diarrhoea which is majorly caused by pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, regular consumption of coriander leaves offers a perfect way to fight off these pathogens from gastrointestinal tract. Coriander leaves contain plenty of useful acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and vitamin C which are effective in reducing the level of bad cholesterol in the body; protecting the body from cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, coriander is excellent in fighting mouth ulcers and killing off bad bacteria that may cause mouth infections. It is also extremely useful for treating halitosis, which is why it is often used in natural toothpaste manufacture. Coriander leaves contain high quantity of vitamin A, vitamin C and minerals like phosphorous, which prevents vision disorders, macular degeneration and reduces stress on the eyes. The leaves also contain beta-carotene which prevents a number of eye diseases, hence reducing the effects of vision degradation in aging patients. The antioxidants in coriander leaves, includes beta carotene, vitamin C and E, caffeic acid, ferulic, quercetin, kaempferold which are extremely beneficial for scavenging cancer cells and preventing skin oxidation. Therefore, regular consumption of coriander leaves can protect skin from wrinkles and reduce chances of one getting cancer due to the effects of free radicals. Consuming coriander leaves on regular basis is effective in reducing high blood pressure in hypertension patients. This is as a result of interaction between calcium ion and cholinergic receptors. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, coriander seeds are used to support healthy menstrual function as it plays a vital role in regulating proper endocrine gland function and the hormones that regulate menstrual cycles. It also plays an important role in reducing bloating, cramps and pain during the menstrual cycle. Coriander leaves contain high quantity of iron that is helpful for anemia patient. Therefore, regular consumption of coriander is recommended to prevent a number of respiratory problems, extreme fatigue and abnormal heart beating caused by a lack of body iron. Coriander leaves stimulate the endocrine gland and hence increases insulin secretion from pancreas resulting in increased assimilation and absorption of blood sugar in our body. This is beneficial for diabetes patients as this results in reduced blood sugar level and healthy living. The use of coriander leaves in relaxation therapy is not a new phenomenon. This is due to the fact that the leaves contain kaempferol compound that is essential for stimulation of the formation of serotonin and dopamine substances which make an individual happy and relaxed without consuming anti depression medicines. The leaves also have strong anti-histamine properties with ability to stop a number of allergies.