Coriander – Everything tastes better with it!
Coriander, Cilantro, Dhaniya, Kothmir, Chinese parsley, whatever name you call it by, many of us, Indians, feel comforted by its sight and smell. A simple annual herb loved by many, it is native to parts of Europe, Asia, North Africa and South America. Its leaves are often used raw and its seed in powder form. For the few who do not like coriander leaves, and need to find a reason to eat it, let us briefly review its many health benefits.
For cholesterol: believed to help metabolism as it increases good cholesterol and reduces bad.
For digestion: promotes liver function and enzyme production. Also helps with gas, pain due to cramps and nausea.
For skin and hair: Antiseptic properties and anti inflammatory actions help with acne, rashes and overall health.
For cell growth and health: Rich in carotenoids and chlorophyll, coriander has numerous antioxidative properties that protect the body from free radicals.
For anti cancer properties: Coriander is believed to have anticancer properties due to its phytochemicals
For nervous system: Coriander has a reputation for helping strengthen brain function
For Blood: Rich in iron, vit A and vit K, coriander is very good for anemics and patients recovering from ill health. Also believed to lower sugar levels in blood.
For breastfeeding women: may increase milk production and flow
For immune system: It’s antiseptic and anti bacterial activities help against ulcers, hemorrhoids, toothaches and even worms. It is also believed to help against food poisoning.
For aches and pains: it’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties help reduce or eliminate muscle pain, headaches, pain in joints and pain due to gastro intestinal conditions.
For emotional control: believed to help contain depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
For detoxification: Coriander is believed to help eliminate heavy metals that can cause developmental, neurological and cellular damage to the body.
For water purification: Cilantro leaves are believed to purify drinking water and eliminate viruses, foreign bodies and bacteria like salmonella, etc.
Excess amounts can have diuretic effects
Rarely, people may have increased sensitivity and allergies to coriander.
Diabetics should use with caution and monitor sugar levels as it is believed to reduce sugar levels.
Patients recovering or scheduled from surgery are advised to watch coriander intake for a 2-3 weeks before and after surgery.
My favorite recipe:
Recipe of Kothimbir Vadi
Kothimbir vadi is a crispy fritter made from coriander leaves and chickpea flour. It’s a favored Maharashtrian snack. There are various different ways of making Kothimbir vadi but usually people prefer steaming and then frying. Traditionally the kothimbir vadi is steamed, and then fried. Most people love just the steam vadi by itself without frying it. It is a very popular Maharashtrian snack in India can be made healthy by just steaming and not deep frying it. Frying gives a great crispy texture and also increases the taste of it. But even steaming and eating it all by just steaming is not a bad idea as it tastes great too.
2 cups chickpea flour/besan
2 cups chopped coriander leaves
Water as required.
1 tsp Ajwain seeds.
1 tbsp rice flour.
1 tsp turmeric powder.
2 tsp cumin seeds.
1 inch ginger.
Salt to taste.
Wash the coriander leaves. Chop and keep them aside.
Make a paste out of cumin seeds, ginger and chillies.
In a bowl mix coriander leaves, the above paste, ajwain seeds, chickpea flour, rice flour and salt.
Add water and make soft dough.
Roll the dough and steam it for 15 minutes.
Once the steamed vadis are cooled down cut them into round thin shapes.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the vadis till they are crispy.
Vadis can also be served without frying just steamed vadi can also be served if you want to avoid oil.
Frying gives a crispy texture to the vadis.
After frying take it out on a paper to absorb the excess oil.
Serve it hot with or without any chutney and a cup of tea.
The Cilantro Detox : Per Dr. Rudolph Ballantine
Once a day: Take ¼ cup of chopped and packed fresh cilantro. Put on salad, in a soup, chutney, or just chew it up.
Twice a day: Take a tablespoon of bentonite clay suspension with a glass of water.
Do this for two weeks, under medical supervision.
Ok, on more from the other side
Numerous online content and websites were consulted for the writing of this article. This article is an attempt at consolidate the information. The best source of information is your doctor and this article is not intended to replace medical advice.
Written and amalgamated by Dr Archana Naidu-Komandur, BDS, DDS, PG, FAGD