Coriander seeds have some serious history. Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek physician, recommended their use. Apothecaries during the Middle Ages prescribed their use in love potions. Even Tutankhamun, the boy-king of Egypt had bushels of coriander seeds stored in his tomb for use in the afterlife. So, why were these seeds used and valued by so many civilizations? Better known in Sri Lanka as Koththamalli, coriander seeds from the plant Coriandrum sativum, have served as an essential component of ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. They are used both as a remedy against several acute and chronic diseases, as well as for overall health and immunity.
Here’s 10 reasons why coriander seeds are the coveted medicinal remedy of the ancients, and the key to strengthening your immune system well into the future.
1. Promotes digestion & gut health
A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off bacteria, viruses and fungi. It also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.
Coriander seeds contain fatty acids (linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids) and essential oils (linalool, camphene, and terpene) which are responsible for contributing to the protective lining of the gut. They are also responsible for improving digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices, which in turn increases the nutrient absorption by the gut. Essential oils such as linalool also ease gas, bloating, stomach pain, nausea and other symptoms of an irritated digestive system and restore healthy functioning.
2. Prevents foodborne illnesses & detoxifies the body
Dodecenal, an antimicrobial compound found in both coriander seeds and leaves is twice as potent as well known pharmaceutical antibiotics in fighting certain infections and bacteria including Salmonella, which can cause life-threatening food poisoning.
Coriander seeds also remove mercury from foods we consume and remove lead from the liver, testes, blood vessels and the brain.
3. Helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the body’s hormone insulin functions improperly resulting in chronic high blood-sugar levels. The pancreas gland either does not produce insulin or the body cells have become resistant to insulin’s effect.
Coriander seeds lower blood sugar and help maintain healthy levels by stimulating insulin secretion from the pancreas and also exhibiting insulin-like activity at the cellular level. It is important to note that if you are undergoing treatment for diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar level before consuming coriander seeds in large amounts.
4. Provides a foundation for overall health and immunity
Coriander seeds possess high doses of many vitamins including vitamin A, B, C, folic acid and beta-carotene which is why coriander is often used to treat the common cold, flu, fever and seasonal body pains. The seeds are also the storehouse of many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin which are essential for energy metabolism.
Micronutrients such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium collectively boost the production of red blood cells, regulate heart rate, blood pressure, growth and development, and break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells which are believed to play a role in causing tissue damage and disease. Coriander seeds also contain high levels of potent antioxidants such as linalool which demonstrate immune-boosting and anticancer effects.
5. Detoxifies the skin
The skin is the largest of the body’s organs and our first barrier to fight illness and disease. Coriander seed oil is a natural antiseptic, an antimicrobial and antifungal agent. It also soothes and cools the skin, making it the best way to treat skin issues like rashes, dermatitis, eczema, mouth sores and ulcers. The antioxidants in coriander seeds also help fight against free radicals that damage the skin.
6. Relieves pain and inflammation naturally
Coriander seeds contain linoleic acid and cineole which have anti-arthritic and anti-rheumatic properties. They act on the central pain receptors as natural pain relievers. Consuming coriander seed water can also treat joint inflammation, pain and swelling. Coriander seed oil can be applied topically to relieve joint pain.
7. Promotes heart health
High LDL or bad cholesterol levels are a strong marker for various metabolic diseases. Coriander seeds have antioxidant properties and dietary fiber that advance the healthy working of the liver and facilitate bowel movements. The fiber also binds to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) reducing their re-absorption in the colon, which lowers bad cholesterol levels.
Coriander seed extract is a diuretic. It helps your body flush out excess sodium and water, lowering blood pressure. Coriander extract also significantly reduces total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and overall triglyceride levels.
8. Provides relief to urinary tract health
Coriander seeds are effective for treating urinary tract infections as they improve the filtration rate of kidneys enabling quicker urine generation. Coriander seeds also help relieve the discomfort and pain associated with a urinary tract infection and enhance the healing process.
9. Promotes brain health, treats migraines and improves sleep
Many brain ailments, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis, are associated with inflammation. The powerful antioxidants in coriander seeds have anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and neuroprotective effects. They are also known to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality and duration, and significantly decrease the duration, severity and frequency of migraine attacks
10. Menstrual health
Coriander seeds naturally stimulate your endocrine glands to secrete and maintain proper hormone balance, which in turn, helps maintain a healthy menstrual flow. The anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties of the seeds also helps relieve cramps and bloating.