Cilantro Health Benefits

Cilantro Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Cilantro is an aromatic herb used in culinary preparations as flavoring and spice having many health benefits.
Cilantro Health Benefits inclues treatment of digestion problems, loss of appetite, hernia, nausea, diarrhea, bowel spasms, and intestinal gas, hemorrhoids, measles, toothaches and joint pain. 


Cilantro Side effects and warnings. Cilantro is considered safe to most people at recommended dosages, but not for pregnant women. May cause side effects such as allergic reaction to senstive people.

What is Cilantro

Scientific Name: Coriandrum sativum

Other Names: Chinese Parsley, Cilantro, Coriandri Fructus, Coriander, Dhanyaka, Huile Essentielle de Coriandre, Koriander, Kustumburi, Persil Arabe, Persil Chinois, Persil Mexicain, Punaise Mâle.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.), a herbal plant, belonging to the family Apiceae, is valued for its culinary and medicinal uses. Cilantro herb is used as flavoring agent and/or as traditional remedies for the treatment of different disorders in the folk medicine systems of different civilizations. Cilantro is a potential source of lipids (rich in petroselinic acid) and essential oil (high in linalool). Possesing a multitude of bioactives, a wide array of health benefits have been ascribed to this herb, which include anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anxiolytic, anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-dyslipidemic, anti-hypertensive, neuro-protective and diuretic. Interestingly, Cilantro also possessed lead-detoxifying potential.

Cilantro also Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley represents the leaves of an annual herb native to regions spanning from southern Europe and North Africa to Asia.  Cilantro are used in the preparation of foods (used in Indian, Chinese and Mexican Cuisine). Cilantro leaves have a citrus, soapy taste with strong odor that to some it is pleasant but to others, the taste is offensive.coriander leaf


Cilantro is an annual plant with erect slender stems that grows to 90 cm (36 in) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, slightly lobed and pinnate at the base while slender, linear and more divided on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in short stalked umbels, five to ten rays, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the center. The fruit is a globular, dry schizocarp 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) in diameter . The seed clusters are very symmetrical and the seeds fall as soon as ripe.

Health Benefits of Cilantro

Traditionally, boiled Cilantro leaves is used for digestion problems, loss of appetite, hernia, nausea, diarrhea, bowel spasms, and intestinal gas. Pounded Cilantro leaves is also used to treat hemorrhoids, measles, toothaches and joint pain. 

Cilantro is also used to prevent and treat infections caused by bacteria and fungus.

Cilantro is rich in minerals that may be valuable in maintaining overall health. Cilantro leaves  are rich in calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron. Research has shown that low potassium is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility. While iron is essential for red blood cell production. Calcium and manganese is essential in treating and preventing weak bones (osteoporosis) and can help reduce spinal bone loss in older women.

Cilantro seed oil has a reputation in many traditional medicines as an anti-inflammatory agent, an analgesic, anti-diabetic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, fungicidal, and has cholesterol-lowering effects. These health benefits are due to the abundance of phytonutrients found in Cilantro’s volatile oils, these include carvone, geraniol, limonene, borneol, camphor, elemol, and linalool.

Cilantro is also rich in flavonoids that are considered antioxidants, these include quercitin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin. Cilantro also contains active phenolic acid compounds, including caffeic and chlorogenic acid.

Cilantro contains natural antibacterial compound called dodecenal that is safe and effective against Salmonella, a deadly bacteria that is the cause of foodborne illness.

Cilantro leaves have sufficient antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibers that actually help in maintaining good level of HDL – known as good cholesterol while reducing the LDL level. – the bad cholesterol.

Cilantro is also beneficial in maintaining good skin and mucus membrane because it is rich in folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene and vitamin-C.  The rich vitamin A is important in protecting the vision, lungs and other vital organs.

Scientific Studies of Cilantro Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Cilantro to Liver Cirrhosis

A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Industrial Health, October 2012, investigated the effects of Cilantro on thioacetamide-inudce hepatotoxidity in rats. Thioacetamide (TAA) is a potent hepatotoxin that causes centrilobulal necrosis and nephrotoxic damage that can result in bile duct proliferation and liver cirrhosis. Results had shown that Cilantro leaves attenuate hepatotoxicity induced by TAA more than that of seeds due to the higher content of phenolic compounds and antioxidants in the leaves of Cilantro. Treatment with Cilantro leaves and seeds helps in improving the adverse effect of TAA-induced hepatotoxicity.

Cardio protective effect of Cilantro on isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats.

The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, September 2012 reported a study made to investigate the effects of Cilantro on cardiac damage caused by isoproterenol  in Wistar rats. Results had shown that pre-treated rats with methanolic extract of Cilantro seeds was able to prevent or resist the increase of LPO and plasma lipids while it decreased the endogenous antioxidants together with markers of cardiac damage.  The study concluded that Cilantro seed extract can prevent myocardial infarction by inhibiting myofibrillar damage. It is also concluded that, the rich polyphenolic content of Cilantro extract is responsible for preventing oxidative damage by effectively scavenging the IP generated ROS.

Anti-diabetes effect of Cilantro  in Merions Shaw Rats

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, September 2011, reported a study made to investigate the traditional use of Cilantro as treatment for diabetes through an experiment in rats. The hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity of Cilantro extract in rats was measured using a forced hypercaloric diet and restricted physical activity in rats. Results have shown that a single dose of Cilantro extract suppressed hyperglycemia in sampled rats, and normo-glycemia was achieved at 6-h post-dose; there was no effect on lipids, TG or insulin, but IR decreased significantly. The hypoglycemic effect was lower in normal rats with reduced plasma glucose (normoglycemia on Day 21), insulin and IR, TC, LDL-cholesterol, and TG. Atherosclerotic index decreased while cardioprotective indices increased only by CS-extract, with no effect on body weight, urea or creatinine. The study concluded that Cilantro extract may have cardiovascular protective effect validating the traditional use of Cilantro in diabetes.

Beneficial Effects of Coriandrum sativum on Induced Colon Cancer

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, August 2000, published a study on the biochemical effect of Cilantro seeds on lipid parameters in 1,2-dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) induced colon cancer in rats. The study shows that the concentrations of cholesterol and cholesterol to phospholipid ratio decreased while the level of phospholipid increased significantly in the DMH control group compared to the spice administered group. Fecal dry weight, fecal neutral sterols and bile acids showed a sharp increase in the Cilantro-fed group compared with the DMH administered group. Thus, Cilantro plays a protective role against the deleterious effects in lipid metabolism in experimental colon cancer.

Cilantro Side Effects and Warnings

Side Effects and Warnings

Cilantro is considered safe when taken in food amounts. When used as a medicine, it is considered safe when properly used in recommended dosages.

There are no sufficient studies on the potential side effects of Cilantro to breast feeding and pregnant women. It is advised to avoid its medicinal use to stay safe.

Cilantro may cause allergic reaction, skin irritation and inflammation. 

Cilantro may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight. If this happens it is advised to stay out of the sun or to use a sunblock.

In one medical report, continuous intake of 200ml of 10% Cilantro extract for 7 days caused severe diarrhea, stomach pain, darkened skin, depression, lapse of menstruation, and dehydration.

Cilantro Availability and Preparation


Cilantro leaves are readily available in most  vegetable and herb sections in most supermarkets. While Cilantro seeds can be found in the spices section.

Medicinal Cilantro preparations are also available in herb shops and can be bought in powdered or in fluid extract form.coriander seeds

How to buy Cilantro

When buying Cilantro leaves, look for the fresh tender, aromatic and very green leaves. Avoid those that are wilted and yellowish in color or those without aroma.

The leaves tend to wilt sooner than other leafy vegetables, it is best to use them immediately to not lose the flavour.  Or store them in refrigerator in a jar of water as you do to a flower.

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