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Cilantro Benefits, Nutrition & Uses

The Cilantro plant is an aromatic herb whose taste might be unbearable to many. But do not throw it away, as Cilantro holds nutritional and health benefits.

Generally, the Cilantro Plant is vital in 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.

Keep reading to highlight the benefits of the Cilantro plant and its primary uses in our daily life.

Cilantro Plant Overview

Cilantro is a popular herb known by different nicknames, such as “Mexican and Chinese Parsley,” with all parts edible, including the seeds.

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

Common NameCilantro
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

Cilantro is most useful in our kitchen, although some people use it for decoration as it is equally easy to grow and care for.

Nutritional Value of Cilantro

Cilantro holds medicinal benefits because of the various nutrients, such as vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, etc., present in the plant.

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, the Cilantro plant has numerous proven health benefits, with major ones listed below.

1. Rich in Antioxidants

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

Polyphenols and Carotenoids are particularly important among Cilantro’s antioxidants, with their accountable role in cardioprotective ability and anticancer agents.

Moreover, the Cilantro plant contains antioxidants like terpinene, quercetin, and tocopherols, making it a functional food.

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 study, Cilantro plant extracts contain compounds like phenolics, flavonoids, steroids, and tannins that supports healthy liver function and blood sugar regulation.

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 like riboflavin, folate, niacin, phosphorus, and zinc.

A handful of Cilantro leaves can provide 16% of the daily value of vitamin K and helps the bones to repair themselves, thus preventing problems like osteoporosis.
A template containing the nutrient source present in the Cilantro.
Cilantro leaves have the highest nutrients among all other parts.

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

It is also a blessing for pregnant women as they need 90 mcg of vitamin K daily.

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

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

4. Boasts Anticonvulsant Properties

Anticonvulsant 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 anticonvulsant medicines.

Researchers from the University of California-Irvine discovered a highly effective Potassium Channel Subfamily Q (KCNQ) activator in the leaves of the cilantro.

This discovery is significant as it may lead to more effective use of Cilantro to develop more effective anticonvulsant drugs.

5. Reduces Anxiety

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

PubMed research found that Cilantro extracts have the same anti-anxiety effects as a popular prescription drug, valium.
Cilantro against anxeity
Cilantro extracts have 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 possess anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

Recent research concluded that the oil extract of Cilantro seeds acts on pathogenic bacteria to kill the cellular membrane.

Thus, seed oil can be used in antibacterial formulations for food poisoning and hospital infections. Moreover, Cilantro also contains an anti-microbial peptide called plantaricin.

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

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

7. Improves Heart Health

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

The Cilantro extract helps to flush excess sodium and water from our bodies 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 compared to people following the Western diet.

8. Possesses Several Skin Benefits

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

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

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

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

Journal of Ethnopharmacology states that Cilantro may help lessen the adverse effects of lead on the kidneys.

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

Moreover, 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.

It ensures the 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 a few drawbacks, like people finding its taste a little “soapy” and its smell pungent and in rare cases, a few may have skin irritation too.

However, there is nothing to worry about as ASPCA claims that the Cilantro plants are non-toxic to humans and pets.

For the most part, Cilantro is healthy to eat, but too much of it can harm your health leading to allergic reactions, upset stomach, flu, and blood clotting disorders.

People with low blood pressure should be more cautious while consuming Cilantro, as it controls the amount of cholesterol in our bodies.

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

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

How to Eat Cilantro Plant?

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

Most people prefer spreading freshly chopped leaves over their food, while some love mixing it in their soup which is the best way to add more antioxidants and vitamins to your diet.

The secret is enjoying yourself while exploring how 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, the seeds, called Coriander, are also widely used as spices worldwide.

However, despite its preference by many people, some may not find its smell pleasant. Likewise, folks also claim this plant has a “Soapy Taste.”

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

Where to buy Cilantro Plant?

The popularity of this aromatic plant has spread across different continents. Hence it is readily available on the U.S. market via nurseries and online platforms.

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

Fresh Direct4-5 business days
Hooks Green HerbsWithin 10 days
The Growers Exchange5-7 business days
WalmartSame day delivery

To Conclude

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. Thus, Cilantro offers advantages that we cannot ignore.

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