If a jar of coriander seeds isn’t already on your
spice rack, consider adding it to your shopping list. Not only do
the seeds lend an interesting savor to foods (it’s reminiscent of
citrus peel and thyme), but this historic remedy for troubled
digestion may even help balance your cholesterol.
rooted in history
Traditional Chinese physicians began using coriander (Coriandrum
sativum) in 600 AD. They recommended it, as did
Indian and European healers, as a digestive aid
and often combined it with other stomach-soothing seeds like anise,
caraway, and fennel. In Germany, coriander tea is
still used medicinally for digestive complaints and is added to
for laxatives because it helps counteract their
stomach-upsetting effects. It is approved by Commission E, the
equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration or Health Canada, for loss of appetite and digestive
including mild cramping, flatulence, and
what’s in it?
Like most spices, coriander seed is a complex blend of chemicals,
including linalool, anethole, and camphor. It also
contains the antioxidants quercetin and rutin—which
may he why it’s been studied for its ability to quell inflammation
and balance blood sugar. Coriander is reported to
have strong lipolytic activity—meaning, it helps break down fats.
coriander compound called dodecenal, which is found in the seeds and
the fresh leaves of the plant, was found to be twice as potent as
the antibiotic drug gentamicin for killing the bacteria Salmonella.
Even without these powerful healing
micronutrients, coriander seeds abound with health. They are high in
fiber and protein, and rich as well in many vitamins and minerals
you need for everyday health. Among them are calcium, iron,
phosphorus, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
what science says
Frankly, science doesn’t say all that much about this spice—yet. But
recently, Indian scientists studied coriander seeds’ potential for
lowering cholesterol. In research published in 2008, the scientists
added the seeds to high-fat rat chow that contained added
cholesterol—a rat version of the fast-food diet. The coriander-fed
rats had lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher “good” HDL
cholesterol than the rats that didn’t eat coriander. Obviously, more
study is needed before we know whether coriander seeds might lower
Coriander seed is sold whole or ground. For best
flavor and health potency, buy whole seeds and then grind in a clean
coffee-bean grinder or blender just before using.
good to know
Coriander contains many antibacterial compounds.
And bacteria are what creates body odor So some herbalists recommend
making a strong tea from crushed coriander, soaking a cloth in it,
and applying the tea compress under your arms for a few minutes for
a lovely smelling treatment for body odor.