Do you know this herb?
Warming, comforting Coriander, and so versatile and easy to use.
These days it is available to buy in the supermarkets and garden centres. I suggest you buy the plant in the pot, and grow as a houseplant, balcony or patio plant, or in your flower beds.
Just cut off the leaves and add to salads, add to your cooking (eg casseroles, omelettes) or use as a garnish. New leaves quickly grow and the plant will give a plentiful supply. If the plant grows faster than you can pick the leaves, do not worry, the flowers are pretty and produce seeds which are also edible. The seeds can be used in curry, chutney, pickles, breads, cakes and even for flavouring liqueurs (Benedictine & Chatreuse).
A few historical facts:
- Seeds of this herb were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb of 1325 BC.
- It was known to the Greeks and Romans and features in many medieval herbals remedies.
- From Tudor times until recently coriander seeds coated in sugar were a popular sweet.
Horticulture: A hardy annual grown in temperate zones (small seeds), the plants with larger seeds are grown in warmer climates. To me, it is a delicate leaved plant with pretty white flowers.
Aromatic Uses: The crushed seeds can be added to scented sachets and pot pourri.
Aromatherapy: The leaves produce the essential oil known as Cilantro, whilst the ripe seeds crushed and steam distilled produce the essential oil know as Coriander. This oil has many properties and therefore many uses for the body and mind. It is known for being stimulating, balancing and relaxing – perfect for lifting the spirits. It has been used since ancient times and considered the herb of happiness with aphrodisiac properties.
As an Essential Oil, what is it good for?
- It can relieve the stiffness and pain in muscles and joints.
- Coriander has a warming effect that stimulates the circulation.
- The oil has analgesic properties that help relieve general headaches and localised neuralgia pain, and can ease menstrual cramps.
- The antiseptic properties are useful with for treating spots and fungal infections.
- Combined with its deodorizing effect it very helpful for smelly feet, bad breath and gum disease.
- Used in room sprays or diffusers, coriander has an energizing effect that helps lift apathy and feelings of nervous exhaustion.
How to Use?
Be careful when using aromatherapy oils:
- *** Never ingest aromatherapy oils.
- ***Always use essential oils with care & follow the strict guidelines of how & when to use them.
I always recommend speaking to a qualified Aromatherapist before using essential oils for specific ailments.
- Essential Oils. DK Neal’s Yard Remedies
- The Complete Guide to Garden Herbs by Jessica Houdret
- Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Colour by Rosemary Caddy
- Compiled by Helen-Reeves (Aestheticienne & Aromatherapist)
- Photograph by Helen-Reeves