By Edeline Anne Goh
The coriander plant, scientifically known as Coriandrum Sativum, is a valuable plant. Both its leaves and seeds offer multiple health benefits. If you’re not too familiar with the word ‘coriander’, you probably know this plant with another name. In some countries, such as in South America, it is commonly known as cilantro. Closer to home, many often refer to it as Chinese parsley. In India, it is commonly known as dhania.
Coriander leaves are often used as a garnish on dishes and if you love the taste of it, you can easily add some in your soup or just about any meal that you’re putting together. A word of warning: if you’re cooking for others, you might want to ask if they like the taste of coriander as not everyone is a fan!
The coriander seed exudes a fresh, citrusy flavour, which is often used in Indian cuisines as well as in spice blends such as curry powder and garam masala. Sometimes, these little seeds are also used in pickles or incorporated into savoury buns and pancakes.
Coriander seeds are also known for their medicinal properties. Since ancient times and across various cultures, this humble seed was used to treat gastrointestinal problems and many other diseases. Today, after plenty of modern research, more health benefits of these amazing seeds have been uncovered.
- Anti-Diabetic Properties
Coriander seed extract is known to increase insulin secretion. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which aids your body cells in absorbing glucose from the blood. If not enough insulin is present in your blood, it might gradually lead to diabetes if your glucose level is too high. Therefore, if your blood test indicates high glucose levels, you might want to include coriander seeds in your shopping list.
- An Antioxidant
Antioxidants are known for protecting cells from destructive free radicals. Damaged cells can lead to various health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Nowadays, just about everyone knows that adding colourful fruits and vegetable to meals will ensure a good daily dose of antioxidants. Now that you have discovered that coriander seeds are rich in antioxidants, you have a good reason to add them into your cooking.
- Menstruation Cramps
Menstruation cramps can adversely affect a woman’s productivity levels and emotional state. Coriander seeds offer a natural remedy to this problem. All you need to do is steep about fifteen to twenty seeds in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes. Let the water cool down and enjoy! You could also add some honey to your ‘coriander drink’ as well.
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Coriander seeds have hypolipidemic properties which mean that they help to lower low density lipoproteins (LDL) — also known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol from your liver to your the tissues in your body. If too much cholesterol is transported, it will lead to a possible build-up of plaque in your arteries, which can cause serious cardiovascular diseases.
- Helps With Itchy Skin
If you happen to have an itchy rash on your skin, don’t scratch it just yet! Instead, head to the kitchen and grab that bottle of coriander seeds. If it is not in powder form, pound a handful of it in a mortar and add honey and some water to make a paste. Coriander seeds are known for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation properties. Apply a small amount on your skin to ensure that there are no allergic reactions. If all is well, you will feel almost instant relief after applying your homemade coriander paste.
Now that you have discovered some of the great health benefits of coriander seeds, you have no reason not to incorporate them into your diet and into your health regime. The best part? It doesn’t cost a lot and it can even be conveniently grown in your own home!