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Cilantro --- Top 7 Health Benefits
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Last updated September 11, 2017, originally published August 31, 2014

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors, Registered Nurses, Certified trainers and other
members of our Editorial Board.]










Cilantro, coriander, Chinese parsley…all are ways of
addressing the scented plant Coriandrum sativum. In the UK
the whole plant is referred to as coriander, while in the
United States coriander refers to the seeds of the plant and
the leaves are referred to as cilantro.

Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, cilantro has
been used to season food for thousands of years – it was
even mentioned in the Old Testament.
In Exodus, Chapter
17, verse 11, we find "The house of Israel called the name
therof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the
taste of it was like wafers made with honey."
Cilantro is
prized for its medicinal benefits as well as the flavorsome
punch it adds to stews, salads, and salsas.

However, this versatile, healthful herb is not to everyone’s
taste – thousands of people have a strong aversion to the
soapy smell. The word coriander is said to come from the
Greek word for bug – and the Oxford Companion to Food
says the smell of cilantro “has been compared with the smell
of bug-infested bedclothes.” There is even an “I Hate
Cilantro” Facebook page (15,700 likes and counting) and a
popular anti-cilantro blog.

But take a look at the health benefits of cilantro and you may
become a convert. Here’s why you need to get the habit for
herbal cilantro.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Cilantro?

Cilantro is a powerfully healthy herb that is also low in
calories – you’ll only get around 1 calorie from a serving
(quarter cup) of cilantro but 2 percent of your daily value of
vitamin C and 5 percent of your daily value of vitamin A.
Cilantro contains vitamin K, folate, potassium, choline, and
magnesium.

Cilantro may be particularly good for the health because it
contains the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin,
and beta-cryptoxanthin. What’s more, learning how to use
herbs like cilantro in cooking helps you to cut down on the
amount of sodium you add to recipes.

How to Eat More Cilantro

Adding a sprinkling of cilantro to a dish is an excellent way
to boost the flavor without adding harmful sodium or
calories.

Try cilantro in Mexican dishes like tacos or rice and beans, or
add to recipes that use cheese, eggs, or fish. Cilantro works
well in creamy dips and as a garnish for soups. It is best to
add cilantro near to the end of the cooking process because
the leaves are delicate and in this way they retain their flavor
(and nutritional benefits).

We looked at recent scientific studies to show you why
cilantro is a powerful herb for wellbeing – here are the seven
reasons why cilantro needs to be sprinkled in your diet.




























1.
Cilantro Aids Irritable Bowel Syndrome Sufferers

Treat the symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating
associated with
irritable bowel syndrome with cilantro – and
a little extra help from some other restorative herbs.

A 2006 study from Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical
Sciences, Tehran, Iran demonstrated that a combination of
herbs including lemon balm, spearmint, and cilantro was a
beneficial add-on treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

2.
Treat Photosensitivity with Cilantro

Oil from the Coriandrum sativum plant (cilantro) helps to
protect against the damaging effects of photosensitivity – an
exaggerated reaction to sunlight causing skin that burns
easily.

In a 2008 study from University Medical Center Freiburg,
Germany, people with photosensitivity responded well to the
topical application of coriander oil – more than to a placebo
cream – and experienced a mild anti-inflammatory effect on
the skin.

3.
Purify Water With Cilantro?

Those looking for a novel, and important, use of cilantro look
no further than 2013 research carried out by Ivy Tech
Community College in Lafayette, Indiana, and the
Universidad Politécnica de Francisco I. Madero in Hidalgo,
Mexico.

The next time you want to drink water of questionable
quality, seek out some cilantro. Scientists discovered that
cilantro acts as a bio-absorbant material that filters heavy
metals from water (like activated charcoal in a water filter,
which is expensive.) The scientists discovered that ground-
up cilantro placed into a tube for water to filter through
resulted in cleaner water.

4.
Cilantro Acts as a Food Preservative and Prevents
Salmonella

Because of cilantro’s high antioxidant content, oil from
cilantro leaves has been demonstrated to delay spoilage in
foods and also has an antibacterial effect against Salmonella.

According to a 2003 study from the University of Oslo,
inhibits the oxidation process when added to foods (it stops
them going bad so quickly.)

A 2004 study from the University of California, Berkeley
showed that a substance in cilantro called "dodecenal" was
responsible for killing Salmonella bacteria and helping
prevent food-borne illnesses, when added to foods.

5.
Combat Lead Toxicity with Cilantro

Cilantro helps to combat lead poisoning and other toxicities
caused by heavy metals, according to research in 2001 from
the Fujisaki Institute, Okayama, Japan.

Researchers tested an extract of cilantro on rats that were
given lead in their drinking water. Cilantro helped protect
against the build-up of lead in the body. (Read more about
the
health dangers of trace metals in your foods.)

6.
Cilantro Has a Powerful Anti-fungal Effect

Essential oil from the cilantro plant has anti-fungal
properties, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the
State University of Campinas, Piracicaba, Brazil and the
University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Cilantro oil helps to treat oral candidiasis, a fungal infection
of the mouth, according to the experts, making it a valuable
treatment for people suffering from this condition. (Read
more about
natural remedies for yeast infections.)

7.
Use Cilantro as an Anti-Cancer Treatment?

While it would be inaccurate to suggest that cilantro cures
cancer, scientists from UMCPR (University of Malaya Centre
for Proteomics Research), Malaysia in 2013 discovered that
the cilantro plant has antioxidant and anticancer properties
and could be useful for preventing oxidative stress-related
diseases when “used in combination with conventional drugs
to enhance the treatment of diseases such as cancer.”

















































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Cilantro helps to remove heavy metals like lead from your
blood stream.