Cilantro is unique because its name changes depending on what stage that it is in its growth cycle. Its official Latin name is “Coriandrum Sativum”. If it has not formed seeds yet, people usually call it by its Spanish name, “coriander.” But this name actually refers only to its leaves, which are used in Spanish cooking. After the plant matures, it forms seed pods.
During this time of the herb’s life cycle, people call it by its proper name, which is cilantro. Many might be surprised to find out that cilantro and coriander are actually from the same plant. So the health benefits that are attributed to coriander seeds are almost the same as those found in cilantro leaves.
Health Benefits of Cilantro
The fresh flavor of the leaves of this herb makes it easy to add to all types of dishes. But for those who find that they can’t manage to eat the half cup of it a day that is needed to achieve all of its health benefits, a tea can be made from the leaves or seeds instead. Consuming cilantro daily does has numerous positive effects on the body. We list just some of the lesser known ones.
Helps eliminate heavy metals from the body
Herbalists often use this unassuming herb to help the body eliminate heavy metals. The way that cilantro removes heavy metals is similar to that of a cleaning agent. It binds to them, so they can no longer remain lodged in the soft tissues of the body. Once they are free, they pass through the body along with other waste.
This cleansing is similar to chelation that also cleanses the body from heavy metals. The herb detoxifies the liver and kidneys while it removes the heavy metals. So some people find that they have much more energy afterwards. They lose a few pounds in the process too.
This herb also works remarkably well in controlling blood sugar in diabetics. Because of this, it is sometimes used to manage type two diabetes, in conjunction with a regular medical treatment. It is helpful to use both the seeds and the leaves simultaneously for it to be the most effective.
Works against anxiety and depression
The effects of Coriandrum sativum are still being studied. However, it seems this herb does have positive effects when it comes to depression and anxiety. Though its effects are relatively weak, cilantro could be used to aid people suffering from mild anxiety and depression. Cilantro has virtually no side effects, even in large doses. However, it should not replace a proper medical treatment, if that it is what your doctor recommends.
Besides all of its healing properties, both the leaves and the seeds have a multitude of vitamins and minerals to offer. The leaves have more vitamins than the seeds, though. And the seeds have more minerals than the leaves do. So it is helpful to eat both of them to attain the most nutrition.
Together, the seeds and leaves have 2% of the daily value of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium that are necessary for strong bones and teeth. Calcium and magnesium are also crucial for a steady heart rhythm, since one of them is needed to tighten the heart muscle for the heartbeat, and the other is needed for relaxing the heart muscle. If they are out of proportion, a person can develop a dangerous arrhythmia, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
And there is the same amount of magnesium that is needed for healthy nerve function and emotional balance. Often, people suffering from stress and anxiety are low on magnesium. So simply increasing their daily intake of it has a calming effect on their body. The Vitamin K and potassium in it prevents leg cramps and fluid retention. There is also some iron in Coriander that prevents anemia.
You can generally obtain all the health benefits cilantro has to offer by ingesting it. Here are some of the ways in which you can use cilantro.
Cilantro as cooking spice
Cilantro is commonly used as a spice in various dishes. In many ways, it is similar to parsley. It can be added to hot soups, just as you are turning off the heat. You must then let it sit for a couple of minutes, to release the flavor.
To obtain the most benefits from cilantro, ideally, you must eat it raw. Cilantro is a relatively mild spice, so you can add it to pretty much anything. You can use cilantro to spice regular olive oil, and then sprinkle on top of salads.
You can also add cilantro to chutneys, regardless of what other ingredients you are using. It also goes very well with pasta, and rice, especially if you are cooking them with lots of vegetables and light sauces.
Fresh leaves from this herb help prevent gastric upset caused by spicy foods. So, people frequently use them as garnish on spicy dishes to prevent gas, bloating, and indigestion. They also help prevent foodborne diseases from meat not being prepared in a properly clean environment.
Cilantro as herbal medicine
Cilantro is also used for treating a wide variety of conditions. Since it is so high in vitamins and minerals, some people use it as a natural supplement to ensure that they don’t become vitamin deficient. It can also help those who are already suffering from a vitamin deficiency to improve.
Coriandrum sativum contains natural anti-oxidants too. These substances reduces the oxidative stress on the body. This, in turn, helps healthy cells from degrading too fast.
The seeds from this plant work remarkably well for urinary tract infections. To benefit from this effect, you can steep the cilantro seed in hot water and drink the cilantro-infused water as a tea.You should drink around one or two cups daily to cure the UTI. This should work in a few days. Cilantro seeds work so well because they have natural antibacterial properties. However, if you don’t notice any improvments in five days, you should consult a medical specialist.
Cilantro is a remarkable herb with many health benefits and uses. It also has a high nutritional value, which makes it the perfect addition to any diet. This herb is helpful in preventing and treating many diseases in people who are unable to get help from a doctor right away. But it is not meant to be a replacement for proper medical attention from a licensed physician, though.