Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Description: The annual or biennial plant is a native of Morocco and grows to about 1 meter in height. It has sparse, fine, feathery leaves and pinkish/white flowers. The brownish, globose seeds have a disagreeable smell until the ripen, when they take on their spicy aroma. The bright green delicate leaves, umbels of lace-like flowers are followed by a mass of green (turning brown) round seeds. These seeds are hard and egg-shaped, borne in pairs, which do not seperate.
Common Uses: The fresh leaves are called cilantro and Hispanic traditions, Chinese parsely in Asian traditions; used as salad or flavoring. Use dates back at least 7000 years. Traditionally, the fresh leaves or tea were used to allay nausea and stomachache. Fruits used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote sweating, as an aromatic appetite stimulant, and to treat diabetes. Fruits considered carminative and diuretic. In Germany coriander is allowed to be labeled for medicinal use to treat dyspeptic complaints and loss of appetite. Recent research, at least in laboratory animals, suggests the fruits may have a protective effect against colon cancer, plus antioxidant, antidiabetic, and potential cholesterol-lowering effects.
Blends well with: Coriander oil blends particularly well with bergamot, cinnamon, ginger, grapefruit pink, lemon, neroli and orange essential oils.
Aromatic Scent: Coriander oil has a sweet, spicy, slightly fruity, herbacious warm smell. It has been claimed by some aromatherapists that the aroma improves if allowed to age.
History: The Egyptians used Coriander seeds as an aphrodisiac. The Romans and Greeks used the seeds to flavor their wines, and in India the seeds are used in their cooking. Coriander seeds were even found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The Carmelite order in France used Coriander seeds to flavor their 17th century toilet water and it is still used in Chartreuse and Benedictine liqueurs.
Cautions: May produce rare allergic reactions in some individuals.