Coriander is an important spice crop having a prime position in flavouring food. The plant is a thin stemmed, small, bushy herb, 25 to 50 cm in height with many branches and umbels. Leaves are alternate, compound. The whole plant has a pleasant aroma. Inflorescence is a compound umbel comprises 5 smaller umbels. Fruit is globular, 3 to 4 mm diameter, when pressed break into two locules each having one seed. Fruit has delicate fragrance; seeds are pale white to light brown in colour.
There are two distinct morphological types, one erect and tall with a comparatively stronger main shoot and the other bushy with a relatively weaker main shoot and longer spreading branches.
It is a native of Mediterranean and commercially produced in India, Morocco, Russia, East European countries, France, Central America, Mexico, and USA. Coriander is a tropical crop and can be successfully cultivated as a rabi season crop in an area free from severe frost during February when the crop flowers and sets its seeds.
The young plant is used for flavouring and garnishing curries and soups. The fruits (seeds) are widely used as condiments with or without roasting in the preparation of curry powders, sausages and seasonings. It is an important ingredient in the manufacture of food flavourings, in bakery products, meat products, soda & syrups, puddings, candy preserves and liquors.
In medicines it is used as a carminative, refrigerant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac. In household medicines, it is used against seasonal fever, stomach disorders, and nausea. Coriander oil and oleoresins are primarily used in seasonings for sausages and other meat products.
Antioxidant: Coriander is a good antioxidant that stops free radicals that cause oxidation in our skin. Coriander leaves can protect our skin from wrinkles. Coriander leaves is effective to reduce skin inflammation. High antioxidant content in coriander seeds reduces itchiness, redness, and inflammation in the eyes.
Antioxidants help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Basically, antioxidants can make your immune system better to keep you healthier and more energetic.
Carminative: Coriander has carminative properties that help reduce the build up of gases in the intestinal tract and the inflammation that these cause. It also helps to combat constipation, digestive disorders and Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
Antibacterial and Antifungal: It is very useful for healing fungi infection and bacteria infection. It is also helpful for mild rashes like dermatitis. Due to its antibacterial problems it helps in bad breath. Coriander can help get rid of body smell that is caused by bacteria.
Reduces Blood Cholesterol: Coriander leaves are very effective in reducing cholesterol level in our blood. It also helps to increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
Expectorant: Coriander has expectorant properties, and also reduces build up of mucous. Helps in asthma and bronchitis.
Other commonly used home remedies which can help the symptoms of respiratory health and asthma are Ginger, Garlic, Curry Leaves, Cloves, Cinnamon, Chilies, Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Basil, Asafoetida, Aniseeds.
Insomnia: Coriander is capable of acting as a sedative and helps to reduce anxiety. Coriander seeds as a natural remedy to treat insomnia and anxiety.
Preventing Diabetes: Coriander leaves stimulate the endocrine gland, increasing insulin secretion from pancreas which finally increase the insulin in our blood. This helps reducing blood sugar levels.
Aphrodisiac: Coriander is believed to be a natural aphrodisiac and traditionally, it was widely used in certain combinations with other herbs to enhance a person’s libido.
Diuretic: The herb acts as a diuretic, which can help flush extra sodium from your system and reduce your blood pressure.
You may also read Cardamom for their Diuretic advantages.