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Medicinal Uses for Coriander

Coriander has been used as a flavoring agent and medicinal plant since ancient times. Across many cultures, coriander was historically used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as stomachache, indigestion and nausea. However, at this time, high-quality human trials supporting the use of coriander for any indication are lacking. Ayurveda: In traditional Indian medicine, coriander was historically combined with seeds from other plants, such as such as cumin, cardamom, fennel, anise and caraway. In Ayurvedic medicine, dhania (coriander seed) is considered to have the following properties: acrid, cooling, diuretic, antipyretic, stomachic, aphrodisiac, stimulant, laxative and anthelmintic. In the ancient text of the Sushruta Samita, coriander is referred to as Kustumvari, which was commonly used raw and undried for digestion, as a demulcent, for thirst and to relieve burning sensations of the skin. The bitter and pungent taste was believed to purify the body and to relieve all three doshas in Indian medicine. Coriander seeds are high in essential oils, which may be used during aromatherapy. The essential oils have been used to improve gastrointestinal conditions and as an appetite stimulant and antispasmodic. Coriander has also been used to treat impotence, rheumatism, pain, vomiting, cough, hepatitis C, fever, sore throat, goiter, migraines, and menstrual disorders, eye problems blood impurities, parasitic worms, skin conditions, kidney disorders, mouth ulcers, oral inflammation and high cholesterol. It has also been used to improve vitality and memory. Coriander juice has been used to treat nausea and morning sickness, colitis and liver disorders. Biblical: Coriander is referenced in the Old Testament, where it is compared to manna. Chinese medicine: Chinese herbal medicine uses cilantro and coriander for measles, stomachache, nausea, hernia, dysentery, piles, poor appetite, dyspepsia, nausea, flatulence and as a tonic and aphrodisiac. It is thought to improve circulation of qi-energy in the stomach. It has also been used to treat various types of pain, including muscle pain and pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatism and neuralgia. According to herbal texts, during the Chinese Han dynasty about 2,000 years ago, coriander was thought to have the power to make people immortal. In traditional Chinese medicine, coriander was historically combined with seeds from other plants, such as cardamom, fennel, anise and caraway. Asian (other) medicine: In Asia, coriander has been used to treat piles, headaches, inflammation, colic, conjunctivitis, and ulcers. The essential oil of coriander has been used to treat rheumatism, th and neuralgia. In Japan, Coriandrum sativum had been known as a foodstuff in the 10 Century, but it disappeared in the next century perhaps because of its perceived disagreeable smell. It was reintroduced by the Portuguese in the 18th Century as ko-en-do-ro in Japanese, from the Portuguese word coentro. European medicine: Reportedly, Ancient Greeks may have used coriander as an aphrodisiac and to promote weight loss. In Medieval Europe, coriander was thought to improve memory and increase libido. In traditional European medicine, coriander was historically combined with seeds from other plants, such as such as cardamom, fennel, anise and caraway. Coriander was used as a digestive by Germans living in Russia. According to the German Commission E, coriander may help treat gastrointestinal conditions such as dyspepsia and loss of appetite. There are reports on the use of coriander oils in the Polish and British pharmacopeias and of studies performed in the Netherlands on coriander seeds, but further information is not available on these reports. Middle Eastern medicine: In regions in the Middle East, coriander has been used to treat eye problems, inflammation, and various gastrointestinal conditions, including abdominal colic, dyspepsia, flatulence and nausea. Coriander was traditionally thought to arouse passion because it was referred to as an aphrodisiac in the classic Arabian novel, A Thousand and One Nights. Reportedly, Ancient Egyptians combined coriander with fresh garlic and wine as an aphrodisiac. Coriander was used for relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iranian folk medicine. Modern (Western) herbal medicine: Traditionally, gin was used as a medicinal beverage, and coriander was added to help calm the stomach. Today, coriander preparations are used by herbalists for digestive complications such as dyspepsia, stomachache, loss of appetite, and flatulence. Coriander has also been used as part of a dietary intervention program to control vitamin A deficiency in children. Coriander herb and coriander oil are listed in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. For more information about coriander, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements database.

1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. www.naturalstandard.com