Updated: June 2, 2022

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is also known as coriander, Chinese parsley, and dhania in different parts of the world. Cilantro is native to the Mediterranean and Asia but is now widely cultivated worldwide. It has a unique flavor and aroma that is either loved or hated by people.

Cilantro is commonly used in cooking, particularly in Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. It is also used for medicinal purposes and as a natural remedy for various ailments. In this article, we will take a closer look at the various uses of cilantro.

Culinary Uses

Cilantro is a versatile herb that adds flavor and depth to dishes. Here are some ways cilantro is commonly used in cooking:

1. Seasoning

Cilantro leaves are used as a seasoning in many dishes, particularly in Mexican cuisine. It adds a fresh and citrusy flavor to salsas, guacamoles, and tacos.

2. Garnish

Cilantro leaves are often used as a garnish for soups, stews, curries, and salads. The leaves add color, texture, and flavor to the dish.

3. Spice

Cilantro seeds are dried and ground into a powder called coriander. Coriander powder is used as a spice in many dishes, particularly in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

4. Tea

Cilantro tea is made by steeping the leaves in hot water. It has a refreshing taste and is believed to have several health benefits.

Medicinal Uses

Cilantro has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Here are some of its health benefits:

1. Digestive Health

Cilantro is rich in vitamins and minerals that aid in digestion. It is believed to help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

2. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Cilantro has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation in the body. This makes it useful in treating conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and allergies.

3. Detoxification

Cilantro is believed to help remove heavy metals from the body, such as lead and mercury. This makes it useful in treating conditions caused by heavy metal toxicity.

4. Skin Health

Cilantro contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It is also believed to have antibacterial properties that may help treat skin infections.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cilantro the same as coriander?

Yes, cilantro and coriander come from the same plant. Cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant, while coriander refers to the seeds.

Is cilantro safe to eat?

Yes, cilantro is safe to eat for most people. However, some people may be allergic to cilantro or may experience adverse reactions such as nausea or diarrhea.

How should cilantro be stored?

Cilantro should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container with a lid. It can also be stored in a glass of water with a plastic bag over the top.

Can cilantro be frozen?

Yes, cilantro can be frozen for later use. To freeze cilantro, wash and dry the leaves, chop them up, and place them in an ice cube tray with water.

In conclusion, cilantro is a versatile herb that is commonly used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. From seasoning to detoxification, cilantro has several health benefits that make it a valuable addition to any diet. So next time you come across cilantro in a recipe, don’t hesitate to give it a try!