Coriander, the must-have ingredient in Indian cuisine, is scientifically termed Coriandrum sativum and belongs to the Apiaceae family, naturally being a powerhouse of nutrients. In India, it is commonly called “Dhaniya” in Hindi, “Malli” in Malayalam, “Kothimira” in Telugu and “Kothamalli” in Tamil.
The leaves of the coriander plant are an indispensable part of Indian cooking, be it in soups, salads, rasams, curries, and dals, owing to its vibrant green colour and the pleasant aroma of the sprigs. In addition, they confer immense health benefits including regulating blood sugar levels, protecting the liver and kidney and providing useful antioxidant properties.
The coriander plant is native to many countries across the world, being widely cultivated in Europe as well as parts of Africa and Asia. In recent times, there has been an emphasis on medicinal plants with potent nutritive values, for use in treating chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity. This has led to the naturalization and propagation of the coriander plant or cilantro in several western nations as well, including the warmer regions of North America and Australia.
The coriander is essentially a soft plant, at a height of 50 meters. The green stems bear broad leaves which develop into white or pale pink flowers. Upon developing, the fruits are shaped like globules with a brownish tinge. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds and are a staple in Indian kitchens. While all parts of this therapeutic herb are edible, only the coriander leaves and seeds are utilized for innumerable food and medicinal purposes.
Coriander leaves display an impressive nutritional profile, being high in proteins and dietary fibers, with negligible cholesterol and saturated fats. Besides, they also abound in vital vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Moreover, they are endowed with the goodness of powerful antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which promote anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial functions.
Here are some fantastic advantages to human health, that can be derived by regular consumption of the miraculous herb – the fragrant and delicious coriander leaves.
Coriander Leaves Health Benefits:
1. Promotes Healthy Vision:
Coriander leaves contain profuse amounts of vitamin A, besides vitamin C, vitamin E and the carotenoid class of antioxidants, which improve eyesight. They are also effective in healing conjunctivitis and macular and age-related degenerative disorders of vision. Also Checkout: Eat These Foods To Beat Vision Problems-Infographic
2. Manages Diabetes Symptoms:
The significant levels of dietary fibers and proteins in coriander leaves help in regulating blood sugar levels. Drinking a small glass of coriander juice with some lemon and honey infusions can control appetite, promote weight loss and alleviate diabetic symptoms.
3. Treats Liver Dysfunction:
The rich quantities of alkaloids and flavonoids in coriander leaves assist in curing liver ailments such as jaundice and bile disorders. Moreover, they also confer useful hepatoprotective traits, enhancing liver function and ensuring proper elimination of toxins from the body, via kidneys.
4. Fortifies Bone Density:
Coriander leaves are blessed with generous amounts of the connective tissue enriching minerals, namely calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Eating these leaves in dals and salads vastly augments bone density and soothes aching joints in arthritis and osteoporosis. Also Read: Osteoporosis - Everything that you need to know
5. Remedies Stomach Problems:
The anthocyanins in coriander leaves enable anti-inflammatory qualities, which aid in healing stomach ulcers and indigestion. Furthermore, eating coriander leaves also elevates the levels of gastric mucosal secretions, which defend the stomach walls from strong acids, thereby enhancing gut health.
Coriander leaves, apart from imparting a unique flavour and a refreshing scent to customary local desi recipes such as dals, soups and sambars, also supply key nutrients and offer a host of wellness advantages. Add a dash of fresh, bright green and crisp coriander leaves to your vegetable salad or evening snack, for uplifting and revitalizing your health.