Coriander

Botanical Name : Coriandrum sativum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Coriandrum
Species: C. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names:cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania

Habitat :Cilantro is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia

Description:Coriander is an annual herb . It is a soft, hairless plant growing to 50 cm (20 in) 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 (5–6 mm) than those pointing towards it (only 1–3 mm long). The fruit is a globular, dry schizocarp 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) in diameter.

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First attestick to see ed in English late 14th century, the word coriander derives from the Old French coriandre, which comes from Latin coriandrum, in turn from Greek  (koriannon). The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ko-ri-ja-da-na  (written in Linear B syllabic script, reconstructed as koriadnon), similar to the name of Minos’s daughter Ariadne, which later evolved to koriannon or koriandron.

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

Edible Uses:
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Coriander is common in South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Tex-Mex, Latin American, Portuguese, Chinese, African, and Scandinavian cuisine.

The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (particularly in North America).

It should not be confused with culantro (Eryngium foetidum L.) which is a close relative to coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) but has a distinctly different appearance, a much more potent volatile leaf oi  and a stronger smell.

Leaves:
The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. However, many people experience an unpleasant “soapy” taste or a rank smell and avoid the leaves.[8][9] The flavours have also been compared to those of the stink bug, and similar chemical groups are involved (aldehydes). There appears to be a genetic component to the detection of “soapy” versus “herby” tastes.

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The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (such as chutneys and salads), in Chinese dishes, in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish, and in salads in Russia and other CIS countries. Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on Indian dishes such as dal. As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes. The leaves spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried

Fruits:
The dry fruits are known as coriander or coriandi seeds. In India they are called dhania. The word “coriander” in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), 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.
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The variety C. s. vulgare has a fruit diameter of 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in), while var. microcarpum fruits have a diameter of 1.5–3 mm (0.059–0.12 in). Large-fruited types are grown mainly by tropical and subtropical countries, e.g. Morocco, India and Australia, and contain a low volatile oil content (0.1-0.4%). They are used extensively for grinding and blending purposes in the spice trade. Types with smaller fruit are produced in temperate regions and usually have a volatile oil content of around 0.4-1.8%, so are highly valued as a raw material for the preparation of essential oil.

It is commonly found both as whole dried seeds and in ground form. Seeds can be roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly before grinding to enhance and alter the aroma. Ground coriander seed loses flavour quickly in storage and is best ground fresh.

Coriander seed is a spice in garam masala and Indian curries, which often employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin. It acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are eaten as a snack. It is the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes: sambhar and rasam. Coriander seeds are boiled with water and drunk as indigenous medicine for colds.

Outside of Asia, coriander seed is used for pickling vegetables, and making sausages in Germany and South Africa (see boerewors). In Russia and Central Europe, coriander seed is an occasional ingredient in rye bread as an alternative to caraway. Coriander seeds are used in European cuisine today, though they were more important in former centuries.[citation needed] The Zuni people have adapted it into their cuisine, mixing the powdered seeds ground with chile and using it a condiment with meat, and eating leaves as a salad.

Coriander seeds are used in brewing certain styles of beer, particularly some Belgian wheat beers.   The coriander seeds are used with orange peel to add a citrus character.

Roots: click to see
Coriander roots have a deeper, more intense flavour than the leaves. They are used in a variety of Asian cuisines. They are commonly used in Thai dishes, including soups and curry pastes.

Medicinal Uses:
* Digestion
Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Depurative * Digestive * Emmenagogue * Febrifuge
Parts Used: seeds, essential oil
Constituents:  anethole, camphor, linalool, pinene, quercetin, rutin

Cilantro (leaves)and Coriander (seeds) and are names for different parts of the same plant, Coriandrum sativum, a naturally healing food in both forms. Cilantro is an excellent culinary herb that adds flavor to foods and improvse digestion. There are both scientific studies, and anecdotal evidence to support cilantro’s reputation as a powerful depurative.. The herb may also have a protective effect when cooked and eaten with fish and other foods that may be contaminated with heavy metals.

Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.
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Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis, and this activity was found to be caused in part by these chemicals acting as nonionic surfactants.

Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran.  Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid. In holistic and traditional medicine, it is used as a carminative and as a digestive aid.

Coriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for type 2 diabetes. A study on mice found coriander extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity.

Coriander seeds were found in a study on rats to have a significant hypolipidaemic effect, resulting in lowering of levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein. This effect appeared to be caused by increasing synthesis of bile by the liver and increasing the breakdown of cholesterol into other compounds.

Coriander leaf was found to prevent deposition of lead in mice, due to a presumptive chelation of lead by substances in the plant.

The essential oil produced from Coriandrum sativum has been shown to exhibit antimicrobial effects.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Known Hazards: Coriander can produce an allergic reaction in some people.

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Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriander

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail18.php

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