Common Name


Scientific Name

Coriandrum sativum L.


Coriander is one year-old, herbaceous plant from the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. At temperatures above 4ºC degree it sprouts but the optimum temperature for genotypes with small fruits is 17-20 ºC degree and genotypes with larger fruits are 22-27 ºC degree. After increasing the length of the stem, coriander is sensitive to low temperatures but resistant to dryness. Its full flowering process is considerably longer in the cold and rainy weather, as a result the number of fruits is reduced or several fruits will have only one mericarps containing a grain. The coriander fruits are almost round and consist of two mericarps, each containing a grain. Mericarp is a part of the fruit which separates from each other at maturity. The coriander seeds are greenish-brown and very perfumed (fragrant). There is little information about the primary origin of the coriander plant although it is generally said that the coriander is native to the southern regions of Europe and the western Mediterranean. Experts believe that its application dates back to at least 5000 BC. The name of coriander is derived from Greek words (Koros) means (insect) or (Koriannon) means (bug). German name “Wanzendill” and the Russian name “klopovnik” of this plant are derived from the German and Russian words to mean bug. This smell is caused by various aldehydes ingredients in the essential oil of the green plant. During the plant`s ripening time these aldehyde ingredients disappear. In Some sources the foliage of coriander is called “cilantro” and its fragrant seeds are “coriander”.

Health Benefits

1. Calming Anxiety and Stress  

Clinical applications of benzodiazepines are limited as anti-anxiety with its unwanted side effects. In traditional medicine of Iran coriander is recommended to relieve anxiety and insomnia.

In 2011, the study to test the anti-anxiety effect of aqueous extract of coriander seed in animal model was done and its result was published in IJRPC journal.

Anti-anxiety effect of aqueous extract of coriander grains in doses of 50, 100 and 200 (mg/kg, inside traits) in male Albino mice with the use of Elevated plus- maze test was experimented. The behavioral model of elevated plus- maze is a tool for measuring anxiety. In this behavioral model the aqueous extract showed anti-anxiety effect at the dose of 200 (mg/kg).

2. Antidepressant Properties

The study with the goal of experimenting possible mechanism of aqueous extract function of coriander grain on central nervous system of mice was done. Based on the results, coriander had effect of antidepressant- like and in the doses of 200 and 400 (mg/kg, orally) significantly reduced the immobilization time during the test of suspend of the tail (TST). Extract of diethyl ether of coriander grains showed more significant antidepressant effect in comparison to aqueous extract. The function mechanism of coriander can be related to increase levels of noradrenaline and serotonin in hippocampus and front cortex of brain. This study in 2011 was done and its results were published in International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy.

3. Improving Sleep Quality

Extracts of aqueous, hydro alcoholic and essential oil of coriander grains have relaxing (sedative) – hypnotic activity. The extracts of aqueous, hydro alcoholic and essential oil of coriander grains (100, 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg, as inside trait) were used in male Albino mice, 30 minutes before injection of pentobarbital (calmative and hypnotic of short work, 40 mg/kg). Delay to fall asleep and duration of sleep were recorded. Aqueous extract prolonged the duration of sleep caused by pentobarbital at the doses of 200, 400 and 600 (mg/kg). Hydro alcoholic extract in the doses of 400 and 600 (mg/kg) increased sleeping time caused by pentobarbital in comparing with undertreated group with saline. Essential oil increased duration of sleep caused by pentobarbital just in the dose of 600 (mg/kg).

4. Anticonvulsant

In 2000, the effects of anticonvulsants of aqueous ethanolic extracts of coriander grains in mice for evaluation of traditional application of this plant were studied and its results were published in journal of Archives of Iranian medicine. The test of Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) was used to detect anticonvulsants effects.

Both aqueous ethanolic extracts delayed clonic seizures (a kind of seizure) start and anticonvulsants activity of extracts with the high dose (5 mg/kg) was similar to phenobarbital (a tablet to treat different types of epilepsy especially in children) at the dose of 20 mg/kg in PTZ test. The results emphasize that the aqueous ethanolic extracts of coriander grains have beneficial effect on seizure.

5. Anti-Microbial

Antibacterial effect of aqueous ethanolic extracts of coriander different parts against different pathogenic 9 bacteria that separated (isolated) from urine, blood, feces and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) of different patients was studied. Bacteria include Burkhella, Capacia, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, Gemella morbillorum, Alpha streptococcus), Hemolytic, klebsiella, Pneumonia, Proteus mirabilis, streptococcus pneumococcus and salmonella typhi. Cold water extract of coriander grains had inhibitory effect against some under experiment bacteria. On the other hand, ethanolic extracts of seeds, leaves and stems have shown a wide range of antibacterial activity and the highest values of inhibitory zone against Klebsiella Pneumonia (Pneumonia) and Proteus mirabilis bacteria was recorded.

6. Improving Brain Function

It is believed that coriander can induce some levels of amnesia in a child whose mother consumes coriander during pregnancy. The study to evaluate the effect of coriander grain on learning in second generation mice was done and its results were published in journal of Psychology Research and Behavior Management in 2011. Ethanolic extract of coriander 2% in sunflower oil as solvent oil was dissolved and injected to mother mice in dose of 100 (mg/kg, inside traits) during lactation for 25 days at 5-day intervals. After feeding the baby`s mice with breast milk, their learning was evaluated. Although coriander extract showed negative effect in short term (1 hour) after training course, but enhanced mice learning in next evaluations (24 hours and 1 week after training course). As a result, coriander doesn’t improve learning during short term after training but learning can improve after use of coriander in long term.

7. Increasing Antioxidant Activity

The effect of pre-nutrition with coriander seed powder (CSP) at 10% level was investigated on oxidative stress induced by Hexa-chloro cyclohexane (HCH) in rat liver and its results were published in Nutrition Research in 2001. Pre-nutrition with CSP reduced the increase in conjugated DN (CDS), hydro peroxide and Malone de aldehyde (MDA) caused by HCH in liver. The reported results inferred antioxidant effect of coriander grains against formation free radicals caused by HCH in rat liver. In another study antioxidant effect of coriander grains in rats fed with high lipid diet was considered. Significant reduction in levels of lipid peroxides, free fatty acids and glutathione in comparing with control group was observed while increased antioxidant enzymes activity.

8. Regulating Blood Cholesterol Levels

Lowering function of coriander lipid and antioxidant in cholesterol-fed rabbits was investigated. They were fed with cholesterol (500 mg/kg body weight, daily) for 120 days, and the levels of total cholesterol level, phospholipid, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol level and VLDL cholesterol level increased while LDL cholesterol level ratio significantly reduced than control group. Changes in antioxidant parameters coincided with an increase in liver lipid peroxidation and a decrease in glutathione (GSH) and catalase activity. After treatment with methanol extract of coriander 70% in the dose of 500 (mg/kg, body weight, daily), the level of lipid peroxidation was reduced while glutathione content and catalase activity were increased. After consumption of coriander a reduction in serum lipid profile and increased HDL ratio was observed. In rabbits fed with coriander extract, fecal excretion of cholesterol and phospholipids increased.

9. Anti-Inflammatory

Anti-inflammation potential of coriander oil was investigated in test of the Ultraviolet (UV) Erythema in vivo condition into living body. The test of the Ultraviolet (UV) Erythema is one of the most common methods for assessing the anti-inflammatory ability of topical skin products in vivo. 40 volunteers took part in this study. The test areas behind the body were exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UV-BB) at a specified dose. After that the under test areas were undertreated with Lipo lotion containing 0.5 or 1% coriander oil for 47 hours. Hydrocortisone (1%) and Betamethasone Valerate (0.1%) used in placebo group as positive control sample. The effect of test materials on erythema (abnormal skin redness in some cases like inflammation) caused by UV radiation was evaluated after 48 hours. Additionally, skin tolerance was evaluated against the tested products on non- irradiated skin. In comparing with placebo Lipo lotion contains 5% of coriander oil significantly reduced erythema caused by ultraviolet, but its effect was not as high as hydrocortisone. The skin`s tolerance to both densities of coriander oil was excellent.

10. Anti-Pain

The study on coriander role in acute and chronic pain with formalin test method in mice was done and its results were published in Journal of Rafsanjan University of Medical Science in 2004.

In this study 35 male Albino mice at 5 groups were used. Coriander extracts (100 and 200 mg/kg) or saline as inside traits was injected 30 minutes before formalin test. The pain assessment criteria were lysidine duration and keeping the foot up in the acute (first 5 minutes) and chronic (15 to 40 minutes) post-injection formalin (25 micro L of solution 5%) in the right hind leg of the animal. Based on the results coriander extract had pain killer effect on acute and chronic pain in both doses but the higher dose was more effective. Therefore, coriander extract can balance acute and chronic pain caused by formalin injection.

11. Regulating Blood Glucose Levels

Coriander grains are used as traditional drug to treat diabetes. Antioxidant property and trapping or lockout the free radicals of grains was studied in laboratory condition and also the effect of grain consumption on oxidative stress in diabetic rat`s kidney with Strepotozotocin was considered. The inclusion of grain powder in the diet resulted in a significant drop in blood glucose level and increased insulin levels in diabetic rats. At the same time beneficial effect on oxidant – antioxidant balance in kidney was observed. The addition of coriander seed powder not only inhibited the peroxidation injury process but also significantly reactivated the antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant levels in diabetic rats. Also the seeds “captured activity” against super oxidase and hydroxyl radicals in a density dependent method were showed. Studies have shown that the destruction of pancreatic islets in diabetic rats under treatment with coriander powder also decreased. The results have shown that coriander seeds in addition to anti high blood sugar properties, also have antioxidant properties.

12. Improving Cardiovascular System Function

The coriander preventive effects on cardiac injury were evaluated in male rats using the isoproterenol (a kind of cardiac drug) cardiovascular toxicity model and its results were published in journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology. Rats were initially undertreated with methanolic extract of coriander grains in the doses of 100, 200 or 300 (mg/kg orally) for 30 days and after that and in the last two days they were given isoproterenol (85 mg/kg body weight). In rats Treated with isoproterenol increased lipid peroxidation, decreased levels of endogenous antioxidants and ATP excretions in cardiac tissue along with increased plasma lipids and cardiac injury indicators were observed. In rats with initial treatment with coriander (doses of 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight), all of these changes significantly prevented or endured. The results showed that methanolic extract of coriander can prevent myocardial infarction (heart attack).

13. Alleviating Peptic Ulcer Disease

The effect of primary treatment with coriander on gastric mucosal injury induced by sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, ethanol, indomethacin and accumulation of gastric acid secretions due to pyloric obstruction (stomach outflow obstruction) in rats was investigated. Primary treatment in orally doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg was protected against stomach ulcer and accumulation of stomach acid secretions caused by pyloric obstruction.

Protective effect against injury caused by ethanol on stomach tissue can be due to the property of imprisonment of free radicals of different antioxidant ingredients (linalool, flavonoids, coumarins, catechins, terpenes and poly phenolic ingredients) in coriander.

14. Improving Liver Function

The effect of coriander powder (CSP) on oxidative stress caused by dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) and toxicity in rats was investigated. Rats kept under treatment for 12 weeks. The results showed that consumption of DMH leads to increase liver lipid peroxidation related to reduce in levels of glutathione (GSH), activity of super oxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase.

The mix of coriander seed powder of 10% and dimethyl hydrazine (DMH), significantly reduced Malone di aldehyde (MDA) in liver tissue in comparing with rats just consumed dimethyl hydrazine. Reduction in activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase caused by DMH was normalized with consumption of coriander seed powder of 10%. The mix (combine) of coriander seed powder and dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) significantly reduced Malone di aldehyde and increased the activity of catalase than control group.

Coriander seeds had beneficial effects through reduction of oxidative stress caused by dimethyl hydrazine and increasing amount of detoxification – antioxidant factors in tissues.

15. Diuretic

Chronic diuretic activity of aqueous extract of coriander seed in rats was evaluated. Aqueous extract of coriander seed was performed through continuous intravenous injection (120 minutes) into wistar rats under anesthesia in the dose of (40 and 100 mg/kg). Furosemide (10 mg/kg) a standard diuretic drug was used as a reference medicine. The removal of water and electrolytes (sodium, potassium and chloride) in urine and glomerular filtration rate (equal to creatinine excretion) were determined. Raw aqueous extract of coriander seeds increased the amount of urine output, electrolyte excretion and glomerular filtration rate in a dose- dependent method. The function of furosemide was higher as a “diuretic” and “salts repulsive by the urine”. The mechanism of action of plant extract seems to be similar to the mechanism of furosemide action.

16. Preventing Skin Aging and Repairing Damaged Skin

Protective effect of coriander against skin lesions similar to contact dermatitis (CD) caused by 2, 4-Di Nitro Chlorobenzene in mice was studied. Coriander use in doses of 0.5- 1 % on behind skin of mice body inhibited the development of skin lesions similar to contact dermatitis. Coriander inhibited the progression of this skin lesion in mice by regulating safety agents (mediators) and it can be an effective alternative treatment for contact diseases.

17. Increasing Fertility

The effect of coriander seeds aqueous extract on fertility in female rats was studied that including effects on the estrous cycle (the time it takes for the female to be fertilized), implantation, loss of embryo, abortions, fetal defects and serum progesterone levels on days 5, 12 and 20 of pregnancy. The extract at doses of 250 and 500 (mg/kg orally) in a dose-dependent manner caused significant anti-implantation effect but did not cause complete abortion. Treatment of animals during the eighth to twelfth and twelfth to twentieth day of pregnancy did not have any significant abortion activity. There was no significant change in the weight and length of the embryos of the rats treated with coriander extract and no abnormalities were observed in the organs of offspring born. The extracts significantly reduced serum progesterone levels on the fifth day of pregnancy which could be responsible for the anti-implantation effect of coriander extract.

18. Regulating Irregular Heartbeat

The anti-arrhythmia ability of coriander seeds was evaluated in cardiac tachycardia (fast heart beat rate) caused by barium chloride and bradycardia (heart beat rate reduction) caused by potassium chloride in rats. Heart beat rate and electrocardiogram were recorded during the trial period. The changes in the biological biochemical indicators of the heart were also the parameters studied. In the groups of positive control (barium chloride), cardiac biological indicators (indexes) significantly increased in serum. Study was done in two phases of “healing” and “preventive”. In both of healing and preventive, in under treatment group with coriander grains the levels of enzymes and cardiac biological indicators that were increased with the use of coriander seeds significantly reduced. Electrocardiogram pattern showed that the studied plant has very good anti-arrhythmia ability in healing phase. The anti-arrhythmic ability in preventive phase was also promising, but it was less than the phase of healing. The treatment rats with coriander (100 mg/kg body weight) normalized heart beat rate and reduced heart arrhythmia (disorder in heart rhythm).

19. Anti-cancer

The biochemical effect of coriander seeds on lipid parameters in colon cancer caused by 1, 2- di methyl hydrazine (DMH) in rats was studied. The biochemical effects of coriander seeds (coriander seeds powder 10% added to the diet) on tissue lipid parameters in rats with colon cancer caused by 1, 2- di methyl hydrazine (DMH) after 15 weeks and 30 weeks were studied. Diet contains coriander just during primary 15 weeks of consumption of carcinogenic substance gave to rats.

In this study in the group of DMH (control group) reduction in cholesterol density, cholesterol to phospholipid ratio and significant increasing of phospholipid level in comparing with consumer group of coriander was observed. The coriander- fed group had an enormous increase in fecal dry weight, neutral strolls and fecal bile acids compared to the DMH group. Therefore, coriander plays a protective role against harmful effects of lipid metabolism in colon cancer as experimental.

20. Improving Neurocognitive Function

In 2013 inhalation effect of volatile oil of coriander (1% and 3%, daily, for 12 days) on spatial memory function in Alzheimer`s rats model was investigated and its results were published in journal of Physiology & Behavior. Exposure to coriander volatile oil had positive effects on spatial memory formation in Alzheimer`s rats. By examining the oxidative stress indicators in hippocampus tissue of Alzheimer`s rats, there was a significant increase in the specific activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)and decreased glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity with elevation Malone de aldehyde level. Coriander volatile oil significantly reduced the specific activities of SOD and LDH enzymes and increased GPX activity and balanced the increasing of MDA level.

Based on these results we can say the inhalation of coriander volatile oil reduces spatial memory disorder through reduction of oxidative stress in rat hippocampus.

21. Promoting Weight Loss

Coriander seeds are traditionally used to reduce cholesterol a study gallbladder stone was created in Albino mice by feeding them with a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. Coriander seed powder by 10% added high-fat diet of under treatment group. Percentage of weight gain, total cholesterol levels and grade of gallbladder cholesterol stone in animals were analyzed. Coriander seeds were effective on reducing creation of gallbladder cholesterol stone, prevention of high cholesterol level and excessive weight gain in tested animal samples. The results of this study were published in Adv Res Gastroentero Hepato in 2018.

Bioactive Compounds

1. Lipids

– Fatty acids (Petroselinic, Linoleic, Oleic, Palmitic, Stearic, Palmitoleic, Alpha-Linolenic and Arachidic acids);

-Sterols (Stigmasterol and Beta-sitosterol);

– Tocols: Tocopherol (Gamma-Tocopherol, Delta-tocopherol and Alpha-Tocopherol), Tocotrienol (Gamma-Tocotrienol, Alpha-Tocotrienol and Delta-tocotrienol).

2. Essential Oils

– Main Components:  Linalool, Alpha-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Geranyl Acetate, Camphor, Geraniol.

– Minor Components: Beta-Pinene, Camphene, Myrcene, Limonene, etc.

3. Water-Soluble Constituents

Monoterpenoids, Monoterpenoid Glycosides, Monoterpenoid Glucoside Sulfates and two aromatic compound glycosides.

4. Polyphenols

Phenolic acids (Gallic, Chlorogenic, Caffeic, Vanillic, p-coumaric, Ferulic, Rosmarinic, o-coumaric, Trans-Hydroxycinnamic, Salicylic and Trans-cinnamic acids), Flavonoids (Quercetin-3-rhamnoside, Rutin Trihydrate, Luteolin, Quercetin Dihydrate, Resorcinol, Kaempferol, Naringin, Apigenin, Flavone and Coumarine).

– Coriander seeds contain nearly 11 g of starch, 20 g of fat, 11 g of protein, and nearly 30 g of crude fiber per 100 g.

Traditional Use

All parts of coriander are edible; although, each has a very distinct flavor and perfume and applications. In northern Pakistan, whole coriander plant is a traditional medicine used to treat flatulence, dysentery (bloody diarrhea), diarrhea, cough, stomach discomforts, jaundice and vomiting.

In traditional Indian medicine coriander is used in cases of digestive disorders, respiratory and urinary system disorders because coriander has activities of sudorific, diuretic, soothing abdominal bloating (carminative) and stimulator. In turkey the brewed of seeds is used as digestive tract and carminative and to increase appetite. Coriander is also one of the medicine plants that has traditionally been used as a drug for hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and also in some countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco the brewed of coriander seeds is used as anti-diabetes. Despite the use of coriander leaves in the treatment of diabetes which is also recommended in traditional Iranian medicine the mechanism of control of high blood sugar in diabetics is not well defined. In Ayurveda medicine regular use of coriander seeds is used to reduce blood lipid levels, to treat arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. In Moroccan Pharmacopoeia and Palestine coriander has traditionally been introduced as a diuretic or for the treatment of urinary tract infections. In traditional Iranian medicine the use of coriander to prevent seizure, anxiety and insomnia has a long history.

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