For more than three millennia, cilantro has been cultivated for its aromatic foliage, roots and seeds, all found in the tombs of the pharaohs. Cilantro benefits are impressive, it soothes an irritated digestive system and cools any burning sensations in the body. Its sweet aroma can subtly lift the spirits and there’s no doubting that it is packed with micronutrients, antioxidants and other medicinal compounds that can have a huge impact on overall health.
So what does cilantro do to your body?
The seeds of the plant called coriander is an excellent remedy for promoting PItta digestion as it enkindles Agni (digestive fire) but does not aggravate acidity. It can be safely used when there is inflammation in the digestive system and when Agni needs strengthening. It is a useful carminative herb prescribed for IBS and colic. Both the leaf and seed are used to clear gas, cramping and bloating. The powder of the seed is used for worms in children.
A cold infusion of the seeds is very useful for draining heat out of the urinary system. Useful in cystitis, dysuria, and cloudy urine. Cilantro’s antibacterial compounds could potentially help keep the urinary tract healthy and free from unhealthy bacteria in a healthy alkaline environment. In addition, coriander seeds are helpful in relieving symptoms if a UTI does occur.
Simply soak 1.5 teaspoons of dried coriander seeds overnight in two cups of water. Strain and drink, or just add to your morning drink. It’s believed to help relieve the discomfort and pain associated with the UTI and help to speed your healing.
The juice of the leaf is used externally for allergic rashes and internally for allergic rhinitis allergies). Cilantro is used both internally and externally as a remedy for skin irritations, including hives, sunburns and poison ivy. Its natural antihistamines help calm the immune system response against allergens. Fresh cilantro and coconut oil can be blended together and applied topically to soothe sunburns, dry skin, poison ivy and hives caused by an allergic reaction.
To get all the cilantro benefits, try blending with water instead of coconut oil and strain. Apply it to the skin, and drink the remaining juice. This two-pronged approach is particularly helpful when seeking relief due to an allergic reaction.
Rids the Body of Heavy Metals
Arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury can become resident in our tissues. This can lead to heart disease, hormonal imbalances, neurological conditions, infertility and so much more. Cilantro has been shown to bind these toxic metals together, loosening them from tissue and facilitating their elimination from the body.
This herb can help calm the nerves and improve sleep quality due to its natural sedative properties. A recent animal model published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found that high levels of cilantro extract produced the same anti-anxiety effects as the popular prescription drug, valium (diazepam).
Prevents Neurological Inflammation
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, are associated with chronic inflammation. A study published in Molecular Neurobiology found that diets high in turmeric, pepper, clove, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and coriander could potentially help prevent the inflammation associated with these devastating diseases. Researchers also noted that populations with diets rich in these herbs and spices showed lower incidences of neurological degeneration.
As the seeds are a mild diaphoretic, it can help to alleviate fever by allowing the displaced agni, pitta and ama (toxins) to be released through the skin and urine.
Easy to find this time of year. It is also easy to grow or can be found at any Farmers Market – pick up a bunch today.
If you would like to use foods as medicine for you – check out my meal plan at this link. After all, food is not one size fits all.