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This is it. This is the one. This is the blog post that is going to get me kicked out of Texas. Persona non grata. Permanently. Are you ready?
I don’t like cilantro.
Ow! Stop throwing stones! I’m serious. It tastes weird.
Wait. Why are we talking about cilantro? This is supposed to be a post about coriander.
Cilantro and Coriander are the same plant.
Sort of. I mean, it depends where in the world you are, right? From what I understand, in most of the world, coriander refers to the entire plant; leaves, stems, seeds…the whole shebang. Here in America we like to do things differently and that means giving the same plant different names. The leaves are cilantro. The seeds are coriander.
And I like the seeds just fine. (Can I come back to Texas now?)
Those seeds are exactly what we are going to talk about in this post. Let’s start by taking a closer look at the coriander plant.
You might notice that the leaves look a bit like parsley. That’s because they are both in the carrot family! Coriander originated in Southern Europe and Northern Africa to Southwestern Asia, but it is now commonly cultivated worldwide.
Lucky for me, coriander tends to bolt in the heat. That means I can grow coriander in full sun in my garden and not waste a lot of my season watching cilantro grow.
Like most herbs taking up residence in my witchy gardern, Coriander has a rich magical, medicinal, and culinary history.
Steeped in history and magic and as old as magic itself.
Many claim it has supernatural powers to cure the ill and revive the exhausted.
Coriander seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs used in wine for centuries and the book of numbers compares Coriander with manna or life force. Chinese folklore says if you eat Coriander seeds whilst in conception, your baby will be born with remarkable skills.
Coriander Spiritual Meaning
Coriander invites peace and love settling a broken heart and easing the pain of loss. Grow coriander in your garden to uplift the atmosphere refreshing the feel every time you enter your home. This will also help heal with its aroma. Easing depression and anxiety. Adding coriander to your diet starts the process of body repair and refinement, mental alertness and spiritual motivation.
Coriander’s spiritual meaning has its foundations in nurturing the body to achieve optimum health. In turn, powering and uplifting the spirit and sharpening the mind. Ascension and spiritual awakening are not possible when the mind-body-soul is not a healthy working power unit.
Coriander Magical Properties
- Coriander seeds are often used in love spells and fertility rituals for their magical properties.
- Adding coriander seeds to your incense mix strengthens the spell the incense is used for.
- Chewing coriander seeds is said to heighten psychic powers and was used by gamblers right before they bet.
Coriander in its essence is a love and protection herb for the mind-body and spirit. Not only can it strengthen your immune system, it will also amplify your power of thinking and help connect all 7 chakras.
Here are a couple of little spells practiced by the ancients.
- Place 1oz of dried cilantro leaves under your pillow to protect one from nightmares and mischievous spirits.
- To entice romance, love and communion grind 19 coriander seeds to a powder. Add the coriander seed powder to your chalice and fill with red wine. Drink together with your sweetheart on a new moon.
- In some dark corners of magic, coriander seed, willow bark, and mugwort herb made into a tincture and drank. Was used by witches to raise the dead and or to make one immortal.
Okay so when I said a rich history, I meant a RICH history. You might want to pour yourself a cup of tea for this one. Some Cinnamon Spice Chai would be appropriate.
The history of coriander spans several centuries and has historical ties to the Ancient Greeks, the Renaissance and the Spanish Conquistadors. Fifteen desiccated mericarps found in a Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemar Cave in Israel is the oldest archaeological evidence of coriander in ancient times. A pint of coriander mericarps was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It was cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BCE. Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek physician, recommended the use of coriander as a medicine. Pliny mentioned that the highest quality coriander to be found in Italy was that which was grown in Egypt.
Late Bronze Age invaders introduced coriander into Britain. Large quantities of the species were retrieved from an Early Bronze Age layer in Macedonia. The British took coriander to North America in 1670, and it was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers in New England. They used coriander to flavor barley gruel and mixed it with cumin and vinegar and to preserve meat.
Coriander seeds can have a narcotic effect when consumed in quantity. During the Renaissance it was thought to be an aphrodisiac and added to love potions mixed with wine to stimulates animal passions. The Ancient Israelites used coriander in their cooking and the Book of Numbers compares it with manna and bdellium. “Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium.”
Culinary and Household Uses
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. The dry fruits are known as coriander seeds are ground to form the spice commonly known as coriander. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are eaten as a snack in India and are the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes sambhar and rasam.
Outside of Asia, coriander seed is used for pickling vegetables. In Germany and South Africa, the seeds are used in making sausages. In Russia and Central Europe, coriander seeds are an occasional substitute for caraway seeds in rye bread. Coriander seeds are also used in brewing certain styles of beer, particularly some Belgian wheat beers.
In the Salinas Valley of California coriander has been planted among lettuce plants to ward off destructive pests like aphids and attract beneficial insects like hoverflies whose larvae consume 150 aphids per day before reaching maturity.
The health benefits of coriander include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders. Cineole and linoleic acid, both present in coriander, possess antirheumatic and antiarthritic properties. Other components in coriander help induce urination and the release of excess water from the body. The reduction in skin inflammation leads to a reduction in discomfort, and an improvement in skin appearance.
The disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties of coriander are ideal for clearing up skin disorders such as eczema, dryness and fungal infections. The acids present in coriander, like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are very effective in reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins, which can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Coriander also aids in digestion, proper functioning of the liver and bowels.
It is also helpful in curing diarrhea caused by the microbial and fungal action, since components like cineole, borneol, limonene, alpha-pinene & beta-phellandrene have antibacterial effects. Coriander can be used to control nausea, vomiting, and stomach disorders. Consuming coriander has been shown to positively reduce blood pressure and enhance the interaction of neurotransmitters in the peripheral and central nervous system, relaxing blood vessel tension and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Citronellol, a component of essential oils in coriander, is an excellent antiseptic with antimicrobial and healing effects making it a natural choice for organic toothpaste. Before the invention of toothpaste, people chew coriander seeds to reduce bad breath.
You might be thinking to yourself right about now that you need to make sure you have some coriander on your spice shelf. You are right. You need some coriander in your life. You can buy the powder of course, but there is nothing in the world like fresh spices. You have a mortar and pestle right? No? You should get one of those for your spice shelf too.
Another way to get this wonderful spice in your life is with Coriander Vitality oil.
Coriander Vitality™ shares its botanical origins with the cilantro plant, making it a popular flavor in both Latin and Eastern dishes. Steam distilled from coriander seeds, Coriander Vitality oil has a fresh, earthy, slightly citrusy taste that enhances many recipes.
Use Coriander Vitality to enjoy its versatile flavor as you prepare cuisines from around the world, including Chinese soups, Indian masalas, and Mexican salsas.
Coriander Vitality has a slightly sweet and spicy aroma that perfectly matches it flavor.
Features & Benefits
- May support digestion and the immune system
- Delivers powerful antioxidants when taken internally
- Supports oral health when used as a mouth rinse
- Combine 1 drop of Coriander Vitality with 1 drop of V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex in a vegetable capsule and take it after meals to support digestion.
- Add it to Latin and Eastern dishes for an authentic taste.
- Mix it with your favorite dressings and marinades to add a fresh dimension of flavor.
- Take it daily as a dietary supplement to support your immune system.
- Add a couple of drops to a cup of water and swish it around in your mouth to support oral health.
Coriander seeds were found in the ancient Egyptian tomb of Ramses II. This oil has been researches at Cairo University for its effects in lowering glucose and insulin levels and supporting pancreatic function. It has also been studied for its effects in strengthening the pancreas.
Medical Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, sedative, analgesic, antimicrobial, antifungal, liver protectant
Uses: Diabetes, arthritis, intestinal problems, skin conditions
Fragrant Influence: Soothing and calming
Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, page 82
Thank you for digging deeper into Coriander essential oil with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.
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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.
I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733