Coriander has been used in cultures throughout the world, including ancient China, ancient Egypt, and ancient Greece. It was listed in the Ebers papyrus, which dates to about 1500 BC.
Common Names: Cilantro
Latin Name: Coriandrum sativum
Plant Family: Umbelliferae
Parts Used: Leaf, seed, essential oil
Habitat: Native to southern Europe and western Asia; grows in most soils; cultivated throughout the world
Uses: Although more often used as a spice than as a medicine, coriander is a gentle remedy for stomach cramps, bloating, and flatulence. It counters nervous tension and settles spasms of the gut. A lotion made from coriander can be applied externally for rheumatic pain.
Actions & Constituents: Flavonoids in coriander have antioxidant properties. Coriander also contains coumarins and phenolic acids, and is antispasmodic and antiseptic.
How to Prepare: The fresh or dried seeds can be used as a spice in cooking; the leaves, known as cilantro, are commonly used fresh in Mexican, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisine. An infusion can also be made as a gentle digestive aid.