Not a fan of cilantro? Many people complain that the herb tastes and smells like soap. This is because the herb contains aldehydes, which is also used in the production of soaps and lotions. The substance is also produced naturally by some bugs (1).
However, when the leaves are crushed and chopped, the enzymes they contain gradually convert the aldehydes into other substances with no aroma or foul taste. The herb has so many benefits that it may be time to give it another try. Chop it and see, you won’t be disappointed!
1. Toxic Metals Body Cleanser
Cilantro works as a chelating agent to bind to heavy metals and helps remove them from your body (2). One of the ways this works is thanks to its high level of chlorophyll, which changes the charge of the intracellular mercury to a neutral state to make it easier to expel.
Studies have found that coriander significantly protects against lead-induced oxidative stress and cilantro actually accelerates the removal of heavy metals from the body through the kidneys and liver (3,4). Since heavy metals toxicity creates a body prone to disease, Cilantro can help prevent illness.
Use the herb and the seeds of cilantro in curries, chutneys, sauces, salads and soups.
Or you can make a coriander tea at home: steep a teaspoon of ground coriander seeds in a covered cup with boiling water for 5-10 minutes and drink 2-3 times a day.
2. Treats Cardiovascular Problems
Cilantro protect arteries by lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Many studies have evaluated this phenomenon : A September 2011 study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that taking 20 milligrams of cilantro per kilogram of body weight per day for 30 days lower both sugar and lipid levels in the blood (5).
Researchers believe that this is due to cilantro’s polyphenols and cardio-protective nutrients capable of preventing myocardial infractions (6).
3. Fights Diabetes
Not only does the herb control blood sugar directly, it also lowers inflammation in the pancreas and supports healthy liver function by detoxifying the organ and controlling cholesterol (7,8). It’s seen as a life-changing herb for diabetics.
4. Natural Antioxidant
Cilantro doesn’t just affect fight oxidative stress in the body, it inhibits unwanted oxidation processes when added to other foods, to prevent spoilage (9). It even contains the all-mighty heart-protecting quercetin. Chlorophyll even has the ability to decrease oxidative damage induced by chemical carcinogens and radiation (10).
5. Improves Anxiety
Studies show that 100 and 200 mg per kg dose of cilantro produced anti-anxiety effects almost similar to diazepam, a popular anti-anxiety drug with devastating side-effects. It’s also beneficial for the management of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, by improving memory, having a sedative effect and conducting anticholinesterase activity (11).
6. Promotes Healthy Sleep
Just like how cilantro reduces anxiety, it can also improve insomnia by having a sedative effect.One compound, monoterpene linalool, is said to be the main cause of this activity. Steep it as a tea with a touch of honey an hour or two before bed for best results (12).
7. Reduces Blood Pressure
Coriander is full of potassium, which helps regulate sodium levels in the blood to keep blood pressure within normal range. Scientists have observed that the herb also acts as a diuretic to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
8. Kill Fungi and Bacteria
Many natural health products are infused with cilantro to help tackle skin problems like eczema and dermatitis thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Eating the herb regularly can help prevent bacterial overgrowth and prevent larvae infestation (13).
9. Natural Internal Deodorant
Topical chlorophyll application can deodorize foul-smelling wounds so doctors added the compound to the diets of to patients with colostomies and ileostomies in order to control fecal odor in the 1940s and 50s. More recent studies have yielded mixed results, but there have been cases where100-200 mg/day were effective in reducing fecal and urine odor.