Coriander is a savory spice used extensively in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is the seed of the cilantro plant, an herb in the parsley family. Sometimes the leaves are also referred to as coriander.
Coriander may be one of the oldest spices humans used for flavoring; Sanskrit writings from 1500 BC mention it, as does the Bible. (1)
What is Coriander Seed Oil?
Cilantro or coriander leaves are a staple of Mexican food thanks to their distinct flavor. Cilantro benefits us not only with its culinary use but its extreme nutrition, with phytochemicals and antioxidants offering a variety of characteristics supporting health. Coriander spice is the ground seeds of the plant. They have a much different flavor but are no less nutritious.
Coriander seed oil concentrates the many healthful uses of this aromatic plant. It is extracted like other essential oils, through a distillation process that uses steam and pressure to ease out the oil from the solid seeds.
Given the versatility of the live plant and its savory spice, we often overlook the special qualities of coriander seed oil.
9 Coriander Seed Oil Benefits
Coriander seed oil can be found in health food stores and online.
Coriander seeds have been used since ancient times as an aphrodisiac.
Egyptians used it in love potions, as it was said to increase potency and desire.
The vehicles by which these works are complex: its antioxidants improve circulation by regulating cholesterol, boost testosterone levels, increase libido, and improve nutrient absorption. (2) Phytoestrogen chemicals support potency and desire.
In addition, coriander is an effective mercury detoxifier; heavy metals are known to impede libido and sexual function. (3)
2. Boosts Weight Loss
Coriander seed extract has been found to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels and reduce LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein – “bad” cholesterol). (4)
Coriander seed has antispasmodic properties, which is good news for a cough or irritable bowel syndrome. (7, 8) Used in folk medicine to treat insomnia, coriander reduces anxiety, relaxes muscles, and has a sedative effect. (9)
4. Improves Gas Pain
Everyone has the occasional bout of flatulence.
While chewing on an antacid may help calm your stomach, over-use of this type of medication is far from benign.
Phytochemicals in coriander attach themselves to toxins to pull them out of the body.
Studies involving different metal poisoning show that coriander seed oil effectively promotes their elimination from the body—these include mercury, iron, aluminum, and lead. (12)
Additionally, a wide range of antioxidants in coriander seed (including glutathione, “the master antioxidant”) reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress, arguably the source of all serious human disease. (13)
The antioxidant compounds in coriander are so potent, in fact, that this spice provides protection from:
- neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s (14)
- kidney and pancreas dysfunction (15)
- food poisoning (16)
- cancer (17)
6. Fights Pain
A 2003 study of coriander seed extract’s effects on pain found significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers believe that linalool is responsible for these properties. (19)
Coriander oil has been found effective in reducing menstrual pain and cramps by regulating estrogen levels. (20)
7. Improves Digestion
Coriander is a general supporter of the digestive system (21):
8. Fights Fungal Infection
Many people fight various types of fungal infection—they’re the kind that doesn’t like to let go.
Coriander seed has potent antimicrobial properties, including fungus. A 2009 study tested coriander seed oil against five strains of Candida (a common fungus) and it was effective against all but one. (24)
9. Fights Body Odor
Coriander is an effective antibacterial and it’s the breaking down of bacteria into proteins that causes unpleasant body odor. (25) By virtue of its terpenoid antioxidants, coriander inhibits bacteria that make you odoriferous. (26)
You can find a recipe for homemade deodorant here to which you may add coriander essential oil for fresh-smelling armpits without any nasty chemicals.
How to Use Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are readily found crushed into a powder form to use as a spice in cooking. You may sprinkle it in whatever you like for a subtle sweet-savory flavor with a warm hint of peppery citrus.
To use the whole seed for maximum flavor, dry-fry them: heat a frying pan without oil and add the seeds. Stir constantly until they release their strong scent. Remove from pan and cool. Seeds can then be used whole or crushed.
Coriander seeds contain B-complex vitamins and loads of vitamin C. They’re a good thing to add to foods to stave off colds and flu. They have their share of minerals, too: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, and are packed with fiber.
Coriander seed oil is safe for topical use with no contraindications reported, however, always test a new essential oil on a small patch of skin for sensitivity for twenty-four hours prior to use. As with most other essential oils, always mix with a carrier oil (olive, coconut, jojoba, etc.) in the ratio of 1-3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
You may try these home remedies with coriander seed oil:
- Rub on your abdomen after eating large meals to assist with digestion.
- Apply to oily skin areas to reduce breakouts.
- Apply to sore muscles and joints or use with coconut oil and massage into the affected area.
- Soothe and relax muscles and mind by adding 2 cups Epsom salt and 10 drops each of lavender and coriander essential oils in a warm bath.
- Mix a few drops of coriander oil in water and use as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It’s effective against oral thrush, too. (27)
- Apply to athlete’s foot to kill the fungus and rejuvenate the skin. (28)
- Add a few drops to foods to prevent microbial growth, thereby extending shelf life; coriander seed oil has been found more effective than chemical preservatives. (29)
- Mix ½ teaspoon raw honey with 3 drops coriander seed oil and a little water and apply to dry and itchy skin for relief.
Coriander Detox Tea
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 cups water
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Boil water and add all seeds.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea (or not) and place in a glass jar or bottle to drink in small amounts throughout the day.
Coriander Oil Aromatherapy
Psychologically, coriander oil is helpful for migraine, neuralgia, nervous exhaustion and insomnia. It has been used for colds and flu, digestive complaints, muscular aches and pains, and arthritis. Coriander can help promote feelings of security. It may increase creativity, spontaneity, and passion, as well as promote confidence and motivation. Plus, it is considered to be an aid to improving memory. It is useful to use coriander to assist recovery from illness, both physical and emotional.
Follow the instructions on your diffuser or rub a drop of coriander seed oil between your hands and cup over your nose and mouth.
For Internal Use
Coriander seed oil has been deemed safe as a food ingredient by the European Food Safety Authority. (30) Remember that with essential oils, a little goes a long way—a few drops are all you need to impart flavor and nutrition when mixing with other foods. To take on its own to promote healthy digestion or relieve pain, dilute 3-5 drops of essential oil with the same amount of carrier oil and place under the tongue. You can increase the dose using the same ratio once you’ve established that there are no adverse reactions. Don’t take more than 3ml per day though, as too much coriander seed oil can have a narcotic effect (known as “dizzycorn”). (31)
When you hear of an herb that has been used since ancient times for a variety of health issues, it’s wise to take notice. Drugs may work faster for a particular ill but at what long-term cost? Natural remedies are always preferred to synthetics because they work with your body rather than against it.