Coriander – Coriandrum Sativum - Spice

Blending Note: Middle

Main Benefits: Stress, Diarrhoea, Libido, Hormones, Cramps

Properties: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Analgesic, Aphrodisiac, Antispasmodic, Carminative,

Depurative, Deodorant, Digestive, Fungicidal, Lipolysis, Stimulant, Stomachic.

Origin: Hungary

Other Producers: Morocco, Asia, Israel, Greece

Short History:

First attested in English in the late 14th century, the word "coriander" derives from the Old French,  coriandre, which comes from Latin, coriandrum, in turn from Ancient Greek, κορίαννον koriannon. 

Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from coriandrum. It is the common term in North American English for coriander leaves, due to their extensive use in Mexican cuisine. 

Coriander grows wild over a wide area of Western Asia and southern Europe, prompting the comment. It is hard to define exactly where this plant is wild and where it only recently established itself. Fifteen desiccated mericarps were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemar Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archaeological find of coriander. About half a litre of coriander mericarps was recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen and because this plant does not grow wild in Egypt, Zohary and Hopf interpret this find as proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.  

Coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC. One of the Linear B tablets recovered from Pylos refers to the species as being cultivated for the manufacture of perfumes, it apparently was used in two forms: as a spice for its seeds and as an herb for the flavour of its leaves. This appears to be confirmed by archaeological evidence from the same period.  

Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670, and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers. 

About Coriander:

Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and northern Africa to southern Asia. It is a soft plant growing to 50 cm tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the centre of the umbel longer than those pointing toward it. The fruit is a globular, dry schizocarp 3–5 mm in diameter.​

All parts of the coriander plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Coriander is used in cuisines throughout the world. The dry fruits of coriander are known as coriander seeds. The word "coriander" in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds, rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to terpenes linalool and pinene. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured. Having a deeper, more intense flavour than the leaves, coriander roots are used in a variety of Asian cuisines, especially in Thai dishes such as soups or curry pastes. Coriander is commonly found both as whole dried seeds and in ground form.

Medicinal Uses:

Stress, Diarrhoea, Libido, Hormones, Cramps 

Other Uses:

Massage, Cream, Lotion, Bath, Cooking