Coriander is a small, erect, sweet smelling, annual and a perennial herb that grows up to 20 cm in length with many branches. The stem is feeble, smooth and light green in color. Leaves are compound, thin, alternate and easily breakable. Fruits are spherical – about one centimeter in diameter with some longitudinal ridges. They are green when tender and brownish yellow when ripe.
Coriander seeds are dried when they are ripe. They have an aromatic odor and agreeable spicy taste. The seeds consist of moisture 11.2 percent, protein 14.1 percent, fat 16.1 percent, minerals 4.4 percent, fiber 32.6 percent and carbohydrates 21.6 percent per 100 grams. Their mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, iron, phosphorous, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. Coriander juice is highly beneficial in deficiencies of vitamin A, B1, B2, C and iron.
Botanical Name- Coriandrum sativum
Indian Name- Dhania
Below are some of the medicinal properties of coriander:
- Coriander is a valuable herb in treating digestive disorders. One or two teaspoons of coriander juice, added to fresh buttermilk, is highly beneficial in treating indigestion, nausea, dysentery, hepatitis and ulcerative colitis. It is also helpful in typhoid fever.
Dry coriander treats diarrhea and chronic dysentery, as well as being useful in acidity. Chutney made from dry coriander, green chillies, grated coconut, ginger and black grapes without seeds are a remedy for abdominal pain due to indigestion.
- Regular drinking of coriander water helps lower blood cholesterol as it is a good diuretic and stimulates the kidneys. It is prepared by boiling dry seeds of coriander and straining the decoction after cooling.
- Coriander seeds check excessive menstrual flow. Six grams of the seeds should be boiled in half a liter of water, till only half the water remains. Sugar should be added to it and taken when it is still warm. The patient gets relief after taking the medicine for 3 or 4 days.
- A decoction prepared from freshly dried coriander is an excellent eye-wash in conjunctivitis. It relieves burning and reduces pain and swelling.
- One teaspoon fresh coriander juice, mixed with 1 or 2 seeds of banana, given once daily regularly, for a week is a very effective preventive measure against small pox. It is believed that putting fresh leaf juice in the eyes, during an attack of small pox, prevents eye damage.
- A teaspoon for coriander juice, mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder, is an effective remedy for pimples, blackheads and dry skin. The mixture should be applied to the face, after washing it thoroughly, every night before retiring.
The young plants of coriander are used in chutneys, curries, sauces and soups. In the dried form, coriander is an important ingredient of curry powder and is also used in picking spices and sausages.