Benefits of Cilantro

378755_1038Cilantro (also known as Coriander), is a wonderfully aromatic herb that you may recognize from guacamole’s or salsa. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and dried seeds are most traditionally used in cooking and food-making. Ancient Greece used cilantro essential oil as a component of perfume, and the Romans used to use cilantro to mask the smell of rotten meat. Beyond that, cilantro has some amazing benefits, ranging from toxic metal cleansing to helping prevent cardiovascular damage and easing diabetic symptoms. Read below for more.

 

Toxic Metal Cleansing

Cilantro is known for its heavy metal detoxification benefits. It has been found to remove heavy metals from the body (taken in via consumption of non-organic foods, using conventional water supplies in your home, eating fish, using deodorants, smoking cigarettes and/or being around second-hand smoke, cooking foods in aluminum cookware or aluminum foil, taking over-the-counter drugs like antacids, using vaccines, or if you have metal fillings in your teeth). Heavy metals are connected with many serious health problems including cancer, heart disease, brain deterioration, emotional problems, kidney disease, lung disease and weak bones. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissues.

 

Cardiovascular Protection

All herbs are wonderful for cardiovascular support. The organic acids found in cilantro have been found to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). It also helps dissolve cholesterol build up in the arteries to help those suffering from atherosclerosis and heart disease.

 

Anti-Diabetic Activity

In parts of Europe, cilantro has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant, due to its wonderful ability to help lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels (it packs in a whopping 521 mg of potassium per 100 grams!). Individuals suffering from diabetes have problems regulating and keeping their blood sugar stable. Consuming cilantro and keeping sodium intake to a minimum, could help eliminate this effect.

 

Antioxidant Activity

Cilantro contains an antioxidant called quercetin (among others), which attributes to this herbs amazing antioxidant activity. Antioxidants help protect your cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals (a primary cause of the aging process). Protecting yourself against free radicals with antioxidants is the most effective way to reduce developing chronic disease later in life. The antioxidant activity in cilantro helps protect against most degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and many more.

 

Anti-anxiety Effects

Cilantro has muscle relaxing qualities and may act as a mild sedative. It acts on calming the nerves, helping to relieve anxiety and reducing the harmful effects of stress. Sipping on some cilantro, cucumber and celery juice after a long day is an excellent way to get in B vitamins to help calm the mind and help you de-stress.

 

Improves Sleep Quality

Similar to the effects it has on reducing anxiety, cilantro is a calming herb, so it also helps improve the quality of your sleep.

 

Blood-sugar Lowering Effects

Cilantro’s health benefits also go past helping lower LDL cholesterol, but can also reduce hypertension by lowering blood pressure! Each 100-g serving of raw cilantro leaves provides over 521 mg potassium and only 46 mg sodium (naturally occurring cell salts). Consuming a high-potassium, low-sodium diet may help you control your blood pressure. Try juicing cilantro or putting it in salads!

 

Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal Activity

Cilantro acts as a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal agent for the skin and disorders like dermatitis and eczema. This herb also has wonderful anti-bacterial properties that can be used to help improve oral health. The antimicrobial substances in cilantro help prevent and cure small pox too!

 

Natural Internal Deodorant

The large amount of chlorophyll in cilantro is a great way to detox the body from the inside out. Flushing out toxins from the liver, kidney and digestive tract help remove excess bacteria from the body that would normally sweat out and accumulate in your armpits and feet. Bacteria dislike chlorophyll (due to the high oxygen content), and thus, this herb helps your body deodorize and smell great.

 

Sources:

Patel, D., Desai, N., Gandhi, H., Devkar, R., Ramachandran, A. (2012) Cardio protective effect of Coriandrum sativum L. on isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats. Food Chem Toxicol., 50, 3120-5.

Sreelatha S., Inbavalli R. (2012) Antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antihyperlipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum leaf and stem in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Food Sci., 77, 119-23.

Park G, Kim HG, Kim YO, Park SH, Kim SY, Oh MS. (2012) Coriandrum sativum L. protects human keratinocytes from oxidative stress by regulating oxidative defense systems. Skin Pharmacol Physiol., 25, 93-9.

Mahendra P, Bisht S. (2011) Anti-anxiety activity of Coriandrum sativum assessed using different experimental anxiety models. Indian J Pharmacol., 43, 574-7.

Rakhshandeh H, Sadeghnia HR, Ghorbani A. (2012) Sleep-prolonging effect of Coriandrum sativum hydro-alcoholic extract in mice. Nat Prod Res., 26, 2095-8.

Aissaoui A, Zizi S, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B. (2011) Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol., 137, 652-61.

Deepa B, Anuradha CV. (2011) Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract. Indian J Exp Biol., 49, 30-8.

Furletti VF, Teixeira IP, Obando-Pereda G, Mardegan RC, Sartoratto A, Figueira GM, Duarte RM, Rehder VL, Duarte MC, Höfling JF. (2011) Action of Coriandrum sativum L. Essential Oil upon Oral Candida albicans Biofilm Formation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.

Lixandru BE, Drăcea NO, Dragomirescu CC, Drăgulescu EC, Coldea IL, Anton L, Dobre E, Rovinaru C, Codiţă I. (2010) Antimicrobial activity of plant essential oils against bacterial and fungal species involved in food poisoning and/or food decay. Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2010, 69, 224-30.

Soares BV, Morais SM, dos Santos Fontenelle RO, Queiroz VA, Vila-Nova NS, Pereira CM, Brito ES, Neto MA, Brito EH, Cavalcante CS, Castelo-Branco DS, Rocha MF. (2012) Antifungal activity, toxicity and chemical composition of the essential oil of Coriandrum sativum L. fruits. Molecules., 17, 8439-48.

 

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