Coriander Health Benefits
What is Coriander?
Coriander Coriandrum sativum, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an herb widely used in various cuisines worldwide. Both its leaves (cilantro) and seeds (coriander seeds) are used in cooking to add flavor and aroma to dishes.
Coriander is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean region, specifically in regions spanning from southern Europe to southwestern Asia. It has a long history of cultivation and usage, dating back thousands of years. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans utilized coriander in their culinary practices, medicinal preparations, and even as an aromatic spice in perfumes.
Today, coriander is cultivated in many countries with suitable climates, including India, Morocco, Russia, Mexico, and the United States. It is a popular ingredient in various cuisines, including Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisines, where it is used in dishes such as curries, salsas, chutneys, and salads.
It's worth noting that coriander can polarize people's taste preferences, with some individuals finding its flavor refreshing and citrusy, while others perceive it as soapy or unpleasant. This dichotomy of taste perception is thought to be influenced by genetic factors.
Six Coriander Health Benefits
Coriander offers several potential health benefits. Here are some of them:
It's important to note that while coriander may offer potential health benefits, individual results may vary, and it should not be considered a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific health concerns.
Coriander contains antioxidants that can help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidant properties of coriander are attributed to its various compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids:
The presence of these antioxidants in coriander suggests that consuming the herb may contribute to overall antioxidant status in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer, and age-related degenerative disorders.
It's important to note that the antioxidant content can vary depending on factors such as the variety of coriander, growing conditions, and processing methods. Nonetheless, coriander is recognized for its potential as a dietary source of antioxidants.
Coriander Vitamins and Minerals
Coriander (both the leaves and seeds) contains a range of vitamins and minerals that contribute to its nutritional value. Here are some of the key ones:
It's important to note that coriander's vitamin and mineral content can vary depending on factors such as the plant's growing conditions, maturity, and preparation methods. Coriander can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet, contributing to the overall nutrient intake.
Coriander Culinary Uses
Coriander is a versatile herb that is used in various culinary traditions around the world. Different parts of the coriander plant, including the leaves and seeds, are utilized differently. Here are some of the leading culinary uses of coriander:
These are just a few examples of how coriander is used in cooking. Its versatility and distinctive flavor make it a popular herb and spice in many cuisines, including Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.
Coriander in Beer Brewing
Coriander was used in brewing beer before hops became a widespread ingredient for imparting bitterness. Before the extensive use of hops in beer production, various herbs, spices, and botanicals were utilized to add flavor, aroma, and balance to the beverage.
Coriander was one of the many plants employed for this purpose. It was particularly popular in certain beer styles, such as Belgian witbier and some traditional German beers. In these styles, coriander was used alongside other ingredients like orange peel to provide a characteristic flavor profile.
The addition of coriander in brewing contributes a citrusy, herbal, and slightly spicy note to the beer, enhancing its complexity. While hops eventually became the dominant choice for bitterness in beer due to their preservative properties and consistency, coriander and other botanicals are still used today in brewing to create unique and flavorful beer styles.
Coriander leaves do not contain alpha acids as hops do. Alpha acids are compounds found in the resin of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) that contribute bitterness to beer. They are specifically responsible for hopped beers' bitter taste and aroma.
Coriander, on the other hand, does not contain significant amounts of alpha acids. The main flavor components in coriander come from various aromatic oils such as linalool and geraniol, which provide the herb's distinct citrusy, herbal, and slightly spicy flavor.
While coriander is not used primarily for bitterness in beer brewing, it is often employed for its aromatic qualities. Coriander seeds, in particular, are commonly used in brewing certain beer styles, such as Belgian witbier, to add a unique flavor and aroma profile rather than bitterness.
Hops contain various flavor-enhancing oils that contribute to beer's overall character and aroma. These oils are typically concentrated in the lupulin glands found in the hop cones. Here are the main flavor-enhancing oils present in hops:
Used in beer, citral can contribute lemon and citrus notes (citral has a distinct lemony aroma, reminiscent of fresh lemon zest or lemon peel. It imparts a bright, tangy, and refreshing citrus flavor to the beer), zest and vibrancy (provides a crisp, lively, and refreshing sensation, and a pleasant aroma, which can contribute to the sensory experience of the beer. Its citrusy scent can evoke a sense of freshness and enhance the aromatic complexity of the brew. There is a hop variety called Citra, which contains plenty of citral oil.
These essential oils vary in concentration and proportions depending on the hop variety, the time of day the hops are picked, and the weather, and they play a crucial role in defining the vast aroma and flavor profiles of different beer styles.
It's important to note that the specific combination and levels of these compounds can vary among hop varieties, giving each hop its unique characteristics and allowing brewers to create a diverse range of beer flavors.
More About Coriander Oils
While coriander leaves contain some aromatic compounds that can contribute to the flavor and aroma of beer, they do not contain the same spectrum of oils found in hops. Geraniol and linalool are indeed present in coriander, but the concentrations and proportions of these compounds differ from those found in hops.
Coriander has a distinctive flavor profile primarily due to its unique combination of compounds, including but not limited to:
While coriander can be used in brewing to add its unique flavor profile to specific beer styles, it does not provide the same bitterness or complex hop oil profile that hops offer. Hops remain the primary ingredient for bitterness, aroma, and flavor in traditional beer brewing, while coriander is utilized to create different beer profiles with its distinct herbal and citrus characteristics.
Herbs, Spices, and Minerals
As with everything we eat, herbs and spices work optimally in the presence of the full complement of 75+ pure hydrophilic plant-derived minerals. See this page for a complete rundown of why we need ALL the minerals mother nature ought to give us with our foods. Unfortunately, if the herbs and spices are grown on mineral-deficient soils (most commercial farm soils are), they will also lack vital minerals.
Volcanic And Glacial Soils
Those fortunate to have fresh glacial or volcanic soils added to the soil in which their herbs grow can be certain that their herbs will contain many minerals now missing in most soils around the world.
Can We Add Minerals To Grow Bags?
Yes. Our Powdered Minerals contain 75+ minerals from 70-million-year-old Senonian compost extracted from the TRC mines in Utah. Simply add a spoonful of the powder to a watering can before watering the Grow Bag. You only need to do this once because plants take the minerals in trace amounts to be incorporated into their tissues. Think about tomato plants in greenhouses: mineral-rich, juicy tomatoes every time! But growing your own herbs is just as good.
It’ll be worthwhile experimenting: compare the growth and yields of herbs grown in soils with added powdered minerals with those in grow bags with ordinary compost. First, of course, you must adopt the scientific approach and use controls with various mineral dosages. Then repeat the experiment with other herbs. But one thing is for sure: eating mineral-rich herbs will mean you also get to benefit from the minerals.
Synonymous terms: health benefits of coriander leaves