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Cilantro Benefits, Nutrition & Uses

Cilantro Plant is an aromatic herb that grows best in colder weather. Did you know that Cilantro, also called “Chinese parsley,” is the whole plant, while its seed is called Coriander?

Although its taste is undesirable for many, this plant has a huge medicinal value. 

Generally, Cilantro Plant has numerous benefits like lowering blood sugar levels, reducing anxiety, combating inflammatory diseases, improving heart health, better skin, etc. Similarly, it has high nutritional value and contains many essential nutrients.

Cilantro plant in a planter
Cilantro Plant

This herb is known by different nicknames, such as “Mexican and Chinese Parsley.”

This article highlights the benefits of the Cilantro plant and its major uses in our daily life; keep reading to find them out. 

Cilantro Plant Overview

Cilantro is a very popular herb. All parts of this plant, including its seeds, are edible.

You can find different varieties of Cilantro plants across the globe. Some include Long-standing, Costa Rica, Delfino Cilantro, Leisure, Slo Bolt, Caribe, etc.

Benefits of Cilantro
Benefits of Cilantro

Look at the table below to learn about the Cilantro plant’s quick facts. 

IndicatorIdentity
Common NameCilantro
FamilyApiaceae
GenusCoriandrum
Plant typeAnnual
USDA zone3 to 11
NativeAsia, Africa, and some parts of Europe
Blooming PeriodSpring
Flower colorWhite and Whitish-pink
Flower structureCluster of flowers called an umbel
Life SpanAbout six to seven weeks
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Cilantro is most useful in our kitchen, although some people also use it for decoration.

These aromatic house plants are equally easier to grow and care for.

Nutritional Value of Cilantro

Cilantro has huge medicinal benefits. It contains various nutrients such as vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, etc.

Furthermore, according to the USDA data, 100 grams of Cilantro plant has the following nutritional value. 

PrincipleNutrient Value
Calcium67 mg
Magnesium26 mg
Zinc0.5 mg
Iron1.77 mg
Carbohydrate3.67 kcal
Fiber2.8 grams
Protein23 kcal
Fat0.52 Kcal
Choline12.8 mg
Vitamin A6750 IU
Vitamin C27
Riboflavin0.162 mg
Niavin1.11 mg
Vitamin B60.149 mg
Folate62 mcg
Pottassium521 mg
Phosphorus48 mg
Sodium46 mg
Copper0.225 mg

Cilantro Plant Benefits

The Cilantro plant is more than just a herb. Also called coriander, Cilantro is a vital component of many Mexican and Asian dishes.

Besides, there are numerous proven health benefits of the Cilantro plant.

We have listed a few of the benefits of Cilantro plants below. Continue reading to know them all. 

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are crucial substances that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals and fight the inflammation in our bodies. 

Polyphenols are particularly important among the different types of antioxidants found in Cilantro. 

According to a review published in Molecules, polyphenols in the Cilantro plant reduce inflammation and prevent cellular damage. 

Cilantro leaf
Cilantro leaf

Moreover, the Cilantro plant contains antioxidants like terpinene, quercetin, and tocopherols.

Such molecules help boost immunity and act like neuroprotective agents, eventually preventing premature aging and reducing other disease risks. 

2. Helps Lower Blood Sugar

Cilantro contains different nutrients such as potassium, vitamins, magnesium, iron, etc. 

Due to the presence of these nutrients, the Cilantro plant can help reduce blood glucose levels and maintain insulin activity in diabetics. 

According to a National Library of Medicine study, Cilantro plant extracts can support healthy liver function and blood sugar regulation.

Those extracts contained compounds like phenolics, flavonoids, steroids, and tannins.

Similarly, Coriander seed extract enhances insulin release and lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic rats compared to control mice.

People with low blood sugar levels should take precautions while consuming Cilantro as its stimulating enzymes are vital.

3. Good Source of Nutrients

Beyond the antioxidant values, the Cilantro plant is a significant source of nutrients. It contains nutrients like riboflavin, folate, niacin, phosphorus, zinc, and much more. 

A handful of Cilantro leaves can provide 16% of the daily value of vitamin K.

Cilantro Nutrients
Cilantro Nutrients

Vitamin K helps the bones to repair themselves, thus preventing problems like osteoporosis. 

Besides improving bone health, vitamin K also plays a crucial role in lowering the risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, Cilantro is also a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and the vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Similarly, Cilantro is a blessing for pregnant women due to its high vitamin K content.

Since pregnant women need 90 mcg of vitamin K daily, including enough Cilantro in the diet can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.

Just a quarter cup of fresh cilantro provides 16 percent of the daily recommended intake for vitamin K and 270 IU of vitamin A.

4. Boasts Anti-Convulsant Properties

Anti-convulsant property is essential in controlling excess seizures in epilepsy and other diseases. 

A study published in FASEB Journal states that Cilantro activates the brain’s potassium channels and helps prevent seizures.

The researchers have found that the components of the cilantro bind with a part of the potassium channels.

This, in turn, helps to reduce cellular excitability within the human body.

The potassium channels in the Cilantro plant have also helped to make various anti-convulsant medicines.

Moreover, severe epileptic encephalopathies resistant to current anti-convulsants cause neuronal voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily Q (KCNQ) dysfunction.

Researchers from the University of California-Irvine discovered a highly effective KCNQ channel activator in the leaves of the cilantro.

This discovery is significant as it may lead to more effective use of Cilantro as an anti-convulsant to develop more effective anti-convulsant drugs.

5. Reduces Anxiety 

The cilantro plant contains several natural sedative properties. Due to this, the plant can help to calm our nerves. 

A PubMed research found that Cilantro extracts have the same anti-anxiety effects as a popular prescription drug, valium. 

Cilantro against anxeity
Cilantro extracts have the anti-anxiety effects

While valium can have several side effects like hallucinations, aggression, and memory problems, the cilantro extract can relieve anxiety without causing these side effects.

Additionally, Cilantro is found to influence the activity of the brain’s electrophysiology through its volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

These VOCs, in turn, help to improve people’s negative emotions.

6. Contains Anti-Microbial Properties

Besides its benefits to the human body, Cilantro plants also possess Anti-microbial and Anti-fungal properties.

The leaves, root, and stem of the Cilantro plant contain an anti-microbial compound called dodecenal

Dodecenal is proven effective against the viruses such as Salmonella that causes food poisoning.

Moreover, Cilantro also contains an anti-microbial peptide called plantaricin.

Both these compound helps protect your body against infections and illnesses caused by contaminated food. 

Further, Coriander seeds oil may facilitate promote healthy digestion for IBS sufferers by reducing unpleasant digestive symptoms such as bloating and discomfort.

7. Improves Heart Health

According to World Health Organization (WHO), almost 18 million people lose their lives annually due to heart diseases.

Molecules journal revealed that the parts of the Cilantro plant protect our body from many cardiovascular diseases.

Cilantro benefits in Heart Health
Cilantro Benefits Heart Health

The Cilantro extract helps to flush excess sodium and water from our body by acting as a diuretic

Hence the Cilantro plant may enhance your heart health by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.

However, new research is still ongoing to find the benefits of the Cilantro plant on the human heart.

Additionally, rates of heart disease appear to be lower among cultures that regularly consume coriander when compared to people following the Western diet.

8. Possesses Several Skin Benefits

As we move out of our house, our skin is often exposed to direct sunlight. The harmful UV rays may lead to unwanted wrinkles.

Since Cilantro can fight free radicals, it can help prevent wrinkles and aging early. 

A report published by NCBI stated that the presence of an anti-fungal property also helps to treat skin irritation and eczema.

Cilantro for skin
Cilantro for skin

Furthermore, people also use the juice of Cilantro leaves to treat several skin conditions such as pigmentation, acne, oiliness, etc., even though proper research is still lacking on this. 

Not only this, but Cilantro may also treat mild rashes like dermatitis.

9. Cilantro for Healthy Kidneys

Our kidney filters around 50 gallons of blood and approximately 2 quarts of urine daily. Therefore we need to keep our kidneys healthy, for which a well-balanced diet is crucial.

Foods like Cilantro offers kidney-specific nutritional and health benefits.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology published an article stating that Cilantro may help lessen the negative effects of lead on the kidneys.

Researchers concluded that Cilantro protected renal health and assisted in removing lead from the body.

Cilantros help to improve the filtration rate of kidneys, thus allowing our bodies to flush out harmful toxins and microbes quickly. 

Overall, Cilantro helps to keep the urinary system clear. 

10. Cilantro Benefits Liver Function

Cilantro may support the maintenance of liver function by shielding your liver cells from toxins.

According to a study conducted on rats, rats aided with Cilantro had a lower probability of developing liver damage from toxin exposure than rats on a control diet.

Cilantro Helps in Liver Function
Cilantro Helps in Liver Function

Similarly, the same study found that polyphenol was highly concentrated in Cilantro leaves and that these compounds act as natural cleansing agents.

These active ingredients have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that help treat the fatty liver by clearing its fat and necrosis and ensuring proper functioning of the liver.

Thus, incorporating Cilantro into your diet may benefit people treating fatty liver. 

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Every plant has its practical value, sometimes with few health hazards.

Some people may find its taste a little “soapy” distasteful and its smell pungent. In rare cases, a few people may have skin irritation too.

As per ASPCA, the Cilantro plants are non-toxic to humans and pets.

Dog in a garden
Dog in a garden

For the most part, Cilantro is healthy to eat, but too much of it can harm your health.

Here are some possible side effects of overconsuming Cilantro.

  • Allergic Reactions lead to symptoms like hives, swelling, darkened skin, etc.
  • Upset stomach causing stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Flu Symptoms cause intestinal illness.
  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorders.
  • People with low blood pressure should be cautious while consuming Cilantro, as it controls the amount of cholesterol in our bodies.

Consuming Cilantro in small amounts, such as 1-2 tablespoons daily, will be safe enough for you. 

Hence besides having a huge beneficial value, Cilantro has very few drawbacks.

How to Eat Cilantro Plant?

Cilantro plants are easier to grow, and it is equally easier to serve and eat.

The Cilantro plant is well-known for its culinary uses in the kitchen, mostly in Asia, Africa, and middle-east.

Most people prefer spreading its freshly chopped leaves over their food, while some love mixing it in their soup.

The best way to add more antioxidants and vitamins to your diet is to garnish food with raw Cilantro.

Despite its preference by many people, some of them may not find its smell pleasant. Likewise, folks also claim this plant to have a “Soapy Taste.”

So if you’re not a huge lover of Cilantro in its fresh, raw form, search online for recipes that use this herb.

The secret is to enjoy yourself while exploring the several ways Cilantro can liven up a dish.

Drinking Cilantro is one of the simplest ways to reap its benefits. 

You can make tea using this method with any herbs. Let’s see the detailed recipe here.

  • Take some fresh Cilantro leaves.
  • Boil some water and steep the leaves in hot water for 5-7 minutes.
  • Strain the leaves and drink them up.

Besides the whole plant, its seeds, called Coriander, are also widely used as spices worldwide. 

Where to buy Cilantro Plant?

The popularity of this aromatic plant has spread across different continents.

Hence it is easily available on the US market via nurseries and online platforms. 

You can go to the plant nursery nearby or order Cilantro the plant online by sitting on the couch at your home.

The online shopping plant websites where you can buy the Cilantro plant are as follows:

ShopsDelivery
Fresh DirectEstimated of 4-5 days
Hooks Green Herbswithin 10 days
The Growers Exchange5-7 days

Conclusion

Cilantro offers a lot of advantages that we cannot ignore. You can use it for a variety of good purposes every day.

People love Cilantro plants because of their rich supply of vitamins and other minerals.

Similarly, it deserves great praise for its capacity to alleviate specific health issues in the human body.

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