11 Surprising Health Benefits of Coriander

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

The health benefits of coriander may include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, and indigestion. The plant can also come handy for menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders, while also benefiting vision.

What is Coriander?

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) is an aromatic herb in the Apiaceae family of plants, that is extensively used around the world. Its leaves, stems, and seeds have a recognizable and pungent aroma and are commonly used raw or dried in cooking. Some people may not be comfortable with eating cilantro leaves and find that it tastes like soap. The leaves and stalks are commonly known as ‘dhaniya’ in the Indian subcontinent, and cilantro or Chinese parsley in America and some parts of Europe. Coriander seeds, on the other hand, are small, round brown seeds of the plant that are ground into a powder and used to spice curries and sauces. The whole seeds can also be roasted, pounded, and included in meat rubs and marinades. [1] [2] [3]

To know more about the difference between coriander and cilantro, you can read our article on Coriander Vs Cilantro. In this article, we discuss the health benefits of the leaves, stems, and seeds of the coriander plant.

Coriander Nutrition Facts

Coriander or cilantro leaves may be a good source of fiber, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. It has eleven components of essential oils and six types of acids, including ascorbic acid or vitamin C, each having several beneficial properties. Coriander seeds are can also be rich in phytonutrients and have a similar nutrient profile as cilantro leaves. [4] [5] [6]

Health Benefits of Coriander

Let us look at the benefits of including coriander in your diet.

May Reduce Skin Inflammation

Cineole–one of the 11 components of the essential oils–as well as linoleic acid, are both present in coriander. They possess antirheumatic and antiarthritic properties which may help reduce the swelling that is caused by these two conditions. In a study published in the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, researchers have also noted the anti-inflammatory properties of coriander oil. [7]

Nutrition Facts

Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]92.21
Energy 23
Energy [kJ]95
Protein [g]2.13
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.52
Ash [g]1.47
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]3.67
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]0.87
Calcium, Ca [mg]67
Iron, Fe [mg]1.77
Magnesium, Mg [mg]26
Phosphorus, P [mg]48
Potassium, K [mg]521
Sodium, Na [mg]46
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.5
Copper, Cu [mg]0.23
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.43
Selenium, Se [µg]0.9
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]27
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.16
Niacin [mg]1.11
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.57
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.15
Folate, total [µg]62
Folate, food [µg]62
Folate, DFE [µg]62
Choline, total [mg]12.8
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]337
Carotene, beta [µg]3930
Carotene, alpha [µg]36
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]202
Vitamin A, IU [IU]6748
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]865
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]2.5
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]310
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.01
16:0 [g]0.01
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.28
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.27
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.04
18:2 [g]0.04
Phytosterols [mg]5
Stigmasterol [mg]3
Beta-sitosterol [mg]2
Sources include : USDA [8]

Can Help Relieve Skin Disorders

The disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal, and antioxidant properties of coriander may prove to be ideal for clearing up skin disorders such as eczema, dryness, and fungal infections. The coriander oil has also been patented for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties by a physician at University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany. [9]

May Lower Cholesterol Levels

Coriander seeds contain beneficial acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). These compounds may be very effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, according to The Journal of Environmental Biology. They also can help reduce the level of bad LDL cholesterol deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins. LDL cholesterol leads to serious cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes. More importantly, this herb could also help raise the levels of “good” or HDL cholesterol, which works as a preventative line of defense against some dangerous conditions. [10]

Might Ease Diarrhea

The essential oils found in coriander contain components, such as borneol and linalool, which may aid in digestion, proper functioning of the liver, and bonding of bowels. A study published in Ethnobotanical Leaflets says it can alo be helpful in relieving diarrhea caused by microbial and fungal actions since components like cineole, borneol, limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-phellandrene all have antibacterial effects. The herb is also increasingly popular as an at-home treatment for the prevention of nausea, vomiting, and stomach disorders. [11] [12]

A bunch of fresh coriander leaves on a wooden table

Coriander leaves are used to make chutneys as well as a garnish. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

May Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that coriander may positively help lower blood pressure. By enhancing the interaction of calcium ions and acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system relaxes blood vessel tension, thereby reducing the chances of several cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. [13]

Might Be Useful In Healing Ulcers

Coriander oral extracts and essential oil have shown potential in treating colon inflammation. Research shows that the herb has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This may make it a good candidate for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) prevention of therapy. [14]

Can Prove To be Beneficial For Salmonella Protection

Salmonella is one of the most dangerous causes of foodborne illnesses in the world. So any natural way to protect yourself against it is very important. Coriander may have unusually high levels of duodenal, a natural compound that is twice as powerful an antibiotic as the leading treatment for salmonella-based illness. This is confirmed by a study from the University of California at Berkeley. [15]

Can Be Used To Promote Bone Health

As a rich source of calcium, coriander may be of great value for people who want to protect their bones. Calcium and other essential minerals found in coriander may help with integral components of bone regrowth and durability, as well as protect against osteoporosis. Adding even a small amount of this herb to your diet can prove to be helpful in keeping your bones healthy and strong for years to come. [16]

Might Aid in Digestion

Due to the rich content of its essential oils, coriander may help in the proper secretion of enzymes and digestive juices in the stomach; thereby, this stimulates digestion and peristaltic motion. It can also be helpful in reducing the symptoms of anorexia. [17]

Studies have shown that dyspepsia (indigestion) is reduced if the leaves and seeds are regularly added to the diet. For small children who have a higher chance of developing abdominal colic than adults, small amounts of the leaves or seeds in their diet may quickly solve the issue! [18]

Health benefits of coriander infographic

Research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that coriander positively helps lower blood pressure.

Might Aid In Eye Care

Coriander is loaded with antioxidants and minerals, all of which can be beneficial to preventing vision disorders, macular degeneration, and reducing strain and stress on the eyes. There is also beta-carotene in the leaves, which may help prevent some other diseases that affect the eye and can even reverse the effects of vision degradation in aging patients. [19]

It is a very good disinfectant with and has antimicrobial properties that may be protective against contagious diseases like conjunctivitis. Coriander oil might also be used extensively in preparing several eye care products.

May Potentially Help in Diabetes Management

A study published in the journal of Food Chemistry states that due to the stimulating effect of coriander on the endocrine glands, the secretion of insulin may increase from the pancreas which subsequently increases the insulin level in the blood. This may regulate the proper assimilation and absorption of sugar and the resulting drops in the blood sugar level. This property is extremely beneficial for people with diabetes and other related conditions. [20]

How To Use Coriander?

You can use fresh or dried coriander leaves as well as coriander seeds in several ways to spice your curries and meat. Here are our favorites:

Using Coriander leaves/Cilantro:

Using ground coriander/coriander powder:

Word of Caution: There have been very few dangers associated with coriander. However, as with almost any food, it is important to note its allergic reaction to the skin. One unusual side effect is that some patients complain that excessive coriander intake makes them more sensitive to sunlight and more susceptible to sunburn. [21]

Pregnant women may need to refrain from consuming coriander until more established research is done. It is best to be safe, so speak with a doctor before adding coriander to your diet, and pay attention to the response your body generates!

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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