We can start off with the great Cilantro vs. Coriander debate. Let’s dive in and get this out of the way so we can learn what this tasty plant can do for you. Cilantro and coriander come from the same plant. However, they are named differently in different parts of the world. In North America, cilantro refers to the leaves and stalks of the plant. The word “cilantro” is the Spanish name for coriander leaves. Meanwhile, the dried seeds of the plant are called coriander. Internationally, it’s a different story. Coriander is the name for the leaves and stalks of the plant, while the dried seeds are called coriander seeds. So whatever you decide to call it, cilantro or coriander, it will still provide health benefits and add some spice to a tasty dish.
Let’s roll with the benefits…
This first one is a bit of a stretch in my opinion, but I figure I would include it as more studies are surely necessary. Contemporary studies have found that the consumption of cilantro may reduce the occurrence of epileptic seizures. Specifically, researchers report cilantro to be a highly potent activator of the voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily Q, referred to as the KCNQ channel. Dysfunction of the channel can cause brain damage, disease, or malfunction due to an epileptic seizure. This type of dysfunction does not typically respond to current anti-epileptic medication. It is thought that a component of cilantro, dodecanal, binds to the potassium channel causing them to open and reducing overall excitability of the neuron.
Now on to the benefits that are more solid…
Cilantro is a member of the Umbelliferae plant family, which also includes carrots. Beta-carotene and lutein, which are found in cilantro and other Umbelliferae family members, are both carotenoids well known for their antioxidant characteristics. Antioxidants aim to reduce damage caused to cells by free radical released during oxidation.
Research has found that a positive relationship between antioxidant activity and the phenolic content of cilantro extracts. Additionally, the leaves of the herb offered greater antioxidant activity compared to the seeds. Based on this, increased dietary consumption of cilantro may act as a barrier against unwanted oxidation often linked to heart issues and heart disease.
Similar research has found that carotenoids can reduce the likelihood of developing a range of conditions such as eye disease and specific cancers.
Due to the adverse side effects of benzodiazepines to manage anxiety, researchers have investigated the anxiolytic effects of coriander seed extract in mice. In one study, the extract’s ability to reduce anxiety was comparable to that of prescription medication. The extract also produced muscle relaxant and sedative effects.
Management of Diabetes
Many consider the use of herbs such as cilantro to be beneficial in managing conditions such as diabetes. There is a growing body of preclinical literature that supports these claims. Research examining such effects in diabetic mice has found that those given diets or water extracts of the cilantro seed showed reduced levels of hyperglycemia. However, the studies failed to find a reduction in excessive thirst – a common symptom of diabetes – as a result of the herb treatment.
Literature suggests that cilantro has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Cilantro, as an anti-inflammatory agent, has been observed in the production of the Sri Lankan Maharasnadhi Quather (MRQ). MRQ contains cilantro seed as its primary component and is reported to boast anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in human and animal research.
Animal studies investigating the health benefits of cilantro have found the herb to have antimicrobial properties. In one study, chicks were given either a water-based cilantro extract or cilantro seed powder varying in concentrations. When compared to the control group, those that consumed the aqueous extract and 1.5% and 2% of the powder showed substantially reduced Escherichia coli in the ileal (small intestinal) microflora.
Complementary research has shown that the use of a coriander-derived essential oil to treat thrush was successful.
After reading extensively I compiled a mass of information. Once I boiled it all down I realized that the information predominantly came from one source, not 100% mind you, but a large portion. So, I would like to thank and recognize
Stay Healthy, Stay Legit, Stay Free.
Strictly opinion and not medical advice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist and/or nutritionist before starting/stopping any supplement or exercise program.