Coriander is an herb that’s commonly used to flavor international dishes.
It comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant and is related to parsley, carrots, and celery.
In Canada, Coriandrum sativum seeds are called coriander, while its leaves are called cilantro. In other parts of the world, they’re called coriander seeds and coriander leaves. The plant is also known as Chinese parsley.
May help lower blood sugar
High blood sugar is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Coriander seeds, extract, and oils may all help lower blood sugar. In fact, people who have low blood sugar or take diabetes medication should practice caution with coriander because it’s so effective in lowering blood sugar.
Animal studies suggest that coriander seeds reduce blood sugar by promoting enzyme activity that helps remove sugar from the blood.
A study in rats with obesity and high blood sugar found that a single dose (9.1 mg per pound of body weight or 20 mg per kg) of coriander seed extract decreased blood sugar by 4 mmol/L in 6 hours, similar to the effects of the blood sugar medication glibenclamide.
- Rich in immune-boosting antioxidants
Coriander offers several antioxidants, which prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Its antioxidants have been shown to fight inflammation in your body.
These compounds include terpinene, quercetin, and tocopherols, which may have anticancer, immune-boosting, and neuroprotective effects, according to test-tube and animal studies.
- May benefit heart health
Some animal and test-tube studies suggest that coriander may lower heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Coriander extract appears to act as a diuretic, helping your body flush excess sodium and water. This may lower your blood pressure.
Some research indicates that coriander may help lower cholesterol as well. One study found that rats given coriander seeds experienced a significant decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.
What’s more, many people find that eating pungent herbs and spices like coriander helps them reduce their sodium intake, which may improve heart health.
- May protect brain health
Many brain ailments, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis, are associated with inflammation.
Coriander’s anti-inflammatory properties may safeguard against these diseases.
One rat study found that coriander extract protected against nerve-cell damage following drug-induced seizures, likely due to its antioxidant properties.
A mouse study noted that coriander leaves improved memory, suggesting that the plant may have applications for Alzheimer’s disease.
Coriander may also help manage anxiety.
Animal studies demonstrate that coriander extract is nearly as effective as Diazepam, a common anxiety medication, at reducing symptoms of this condition.
Keep in mind that human research is needed.
- May promote digestion and gut health
Oil extracted from coriander seeds may accelerate and promote healthy digestion.
One 8-week study in 32 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) found that 30 drops of a coriander-containing herbal medication taken thrice daily significantly decreased abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort, compared with a placebo group.
Coriander extract is used as an appetite stimulant in traditional Iranian medicine. One rat study noted that it increased appetite, compared with control rats given water or nothing.
- May fight infections
Coriander contains antimicrobial compounds that may help fight certain infections and foodborne illnesses.
Dodecenal, a compound in coriander, may fight bacteria like Salmonella, which can cause life-threatening food poisoning and affect 1.2 million people annually in the United States.
Additionally, one test-tube study revealed that coriander seeds are among several Indian spices that can fight the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Other studies suggest that coriander oil should be used in antibacterial formulations due to its ability to fight foodborne illnesses and hospital-acquired infections.
- May protect your skin
Coriander may have several skin benefits, including for mild rashes like dermatitis.
Studies note that the antioxidants in coriander extract may help prevent cellular damage that can lead to accelerated skin aging, as well as skin damage from ultraviolet B radiation.
Furthermore, many people utilize coriander leaf juice for skin conditions like acne, pigmentation, oiliness, or dryness. Nonetheless, research on these uses is lacking.