The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Coriandrum sativum L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family

Common Names


  • Bugbane
  • Bug dill
  • Cilantro
  • Coriander seed
  • Chinese parsley
  • Dhanyaka (Sanskrit name)
  • Hu-sui
  • Stinking dill
  • Yan-shi (Chinese name)

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Parts Usually Used

Seed, leaves

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Coriander is a small, erect, shining annual plant; the round, finely grooved stem grows 1-2 feet high from a thin, spindle-shaped root. The leaves are pinnately decompound, the lower ones cleft and lobed, the upper finely dissected. From June to August the white to reddish flowers appear flat, compound umbels of 3-5 rays. The brownish, globose seeds have a disagreeable smell until they ripen, when they take on their spicy aroma. The seeds are hard and egg-shaped, borne in pairs which do not separate.

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Where Found

Cultivated for thousands of years and is still grown in North and South America, Europe, and the Mediterranean area. Grows as a weed, especially in eastern and southern areas of the United States. Native to Mediterranean Europe.

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Medicinal Properties

Alterative, antispasmodic, appetizer, aromatic, carminative, stomachic, pungent, cordial, diuretic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant

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Biochemical Information

Essential oil which consists of a linalol called coriandrol (60-70%), geraniol, borneol and terpenes.

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Legends, Myths and Stories

Coriander is one of the basic ingredients in Indian curry, along with turmeric and cumin seed.

One of the most ancient herbs still in use today. Coriander is known to have been cultivated in the Egyptian gardens thousands of years before the birth of Christ. The seeds were among the funeral offerings found in Egyptian tombs. It spread early to Western civilizations; the great Greek physician Hippocrates used it in the 5th century BC.

Humans have consumed cilantro for at least 8,000 years. It was even found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.

By the time the herb had reached the Chinese continent, it had acquired a reputation for bestowing immortality and the Chinese herbalists developed several coriander compounds to that end.

There are several Old Testament references to coriander as an herb whose fruit is similar to the mysterious food, manna, that God showered upon the Israelites during their desert trek from bondage.

It is said that in parts of South America people are so fond of coriander flavor, the seeds are put into practically all their dishes. Italians use the seed in pizzas, polentas, bologna, ground and spice meat, and sauces. East Indians love the flavor in their curries and certain native dishes.

Coriander seeds are used to flavor gin, whiskey, liqueurs, wine and brandies. An 1878 cook book advises roasting coriander seeds for culinary purposes.

The Domestic Encyclopaedia (1802) states: “coriander seeds are used in bitter infusions and preparations with senna to overcome their disagreeable tastes.”

Coriander seeds are like tiny balls, the green seeds have a disagreeable scent, but upon drying they become very fragrant.

Its generic name is derived from a Greek work, koris, that means “bug”. The ancient Pliny described coriander as “a very stinkinge herb”.

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Coriander can be applied externally for rheumatism, and painful joints. It improves the flavor of other medicinal preparations and stimulates the appetite. Used to treat diarrhea and colic, also cystitis, urticaria, rash, burns, sore throat, vomiting, indigestion, allergies, hay fever. A good stomach tonic and very strengthening to the heart. Will stop gripping caused by laxatives and expel wind from the bowels. At one time it was considered to have aphrodisiac effects. Used to flavor bread and liqueurs. Has the reputation to repel aphids.

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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 2 tsp. dried seeds in 1 cup water. Take 1 cup a day.

Powder: take 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. at a time.

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Nutrient Content

Vitamin C

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How Sold


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It is safer to use cultivated plants, since wild plants may be mistaken for poisonous relatives.

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Resource Links

New Research Tells Why Cilantro Helps Delay Seizures

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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Country Home Book of Herbs, Meredith Books, Editorial Dept. RW240, 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023, copyright 1994

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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