Coriander

Coriandrum sativum, Umbelliferae. The fresh leaves, roots and ripe seeds are the parts of the plant used.

The flowering heads are collected in late summer and left to ripen. The seeds are then easily collected as they can be shaken off. The fresh leaves can be picked as needed. The fresh leaves are used extensively in cooking as are freshly dug roots.

Functions of coriander

Coriander:

  • helps the digestive system get rid of wind and will ease the pain that sometimes is associated with the wind.
  • will also assist in easing diarrhea, especially in children. It may be used as an equivalent to 'gripe water' which is usually made from dill seeds.
  • oils act as a stimulant to the stomach, increasing the secretion of digestive juices and thus also stimulating the appetite.
  • has a number of pain relieving compounds including ascorbic acid, borneol, caffeic acid, camphor and so on. This means that it can be added to any pain relieving infusion.
  • essential oils have been used for relieving tiredness, weakness, poor circulation, influenza and rheumatic pain.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of gently crushed seeds and leave to infuse for 5 minutes in a covered container. This should be drunk before meals for digestive problems.

For the gardener

Coriander is an annual that can be planted in the spring or autumn. The seeds need to be planted where they are to grow as it does not tolerate transplanting well. The seeds stay fertile for about 5 years and germinate quickly.

They prefer a well drained, sunny position. They like the company of chervil and are often grown near dill and fennel.

Provide them with plenty of water in the growing season.

References

Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hemphill, R. 1992, Herbs for All Seasons. Angus and Robertson.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

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