A small herb growing to 60 cm with bright green, delicate leaves and whitish-pink flowers.

Two species of slender, upright annuals belong to this genus which is native to SW Asia and N Africa. Coriandrum sativum (coriander) is a weed of cultivated and waste ground. One of the oldest known herbs, it has been cultivated for over 3,000 years and mentioned in Sanskrit, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Latin texts, as well as virtually all medieval herbals. Coriander was introduced to Chinese cooking and medicine c.CE600, since when it has been known as hu, "foriegn". In Chinese Materia Medica (G.A. Stuart, 1911), it was recommended for certain types of non-pathogenic food poisoning caused by decaying matter. The fresh foliage and ripe seeds have quite different aromas and uses. Coriandrum comes from the Greek koriannon, a type of bed bug that apparently smells like coriander leaves. The characteristic scent of coriader foliage occurs in several unrelated species, including Eryngium foetidum (See, culantro) and Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum (See, poreleaf), which are often grown as a substitute in tropical regions where coriander does not do well as a leaf crop.

Pliny, the famous Roman scholar and encyclopedist, named this cousin of the parsley plant coriandrum, taken from coris, which means "bug", possibly because the coriander seed resembles a European bedbug. Coriander seed is used as an aromatic stimulant, a remedy for flatulence and poor appetite, and to improve digestion, while the seed oil is strongly antibacterial. In studies with laboratory animals, coriander lowered total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol, and blood fats, while increasing HDL "good" cholesterol.

Erect annual with pungently aromatic, pinnately divided, lobed leaves, becoming more finely divided higher up the flowering stem. White to mauve flowers are produced in umbels 3cm (1¼in) across in summer, followed by globular, ribbed, pale brown fruits that have a fruity scent when ripe.

Common Name:
Other Names:
Cilantro, Chinese parsley
Botanical Name:
Coriandrum sativum
Native Location:
Balkan States, Morocco, Rumania, Russia, United States, E. Mediterranean, naturalized in N America
Well-drained fertile soil in sun. Plants grown for leaves may be more productive in partial shade. Coriander tends to bolt if too dry or overcrowded at the seedling stage. Recommended in companion planting to improve germination in anise, and to repel aphids and carrot rust fly. An infusion may help reduce spider mint infestations. Coriander is thought to reduce seed yield in fennel if planted nearby.
By seed sown in situ in spring.
Leaves are gathered when young and used fresh. Seeds are harvested when ripe and are used whole or ground for culinary purposes. Medicinal preparations usually call for powdered seeds, liquid extracts or distilled oil.
Has lush, rich green leaves and is bolt resistant, standing well even in hot conditions.
Height: 60cm (2ft)

Is excellent for seed production, being quick to bolt, with minimal leaf production.

Is fast-growing but extremely slow to bold; good for leaf production in spring and summer.
Height: 38cm (15in)
15-70cm (6-28in)
10-30cm (4-12in)
Steam Distillation
Parts Used:
Roots, leaves, seeds, oil, fruit
Color and Odor:
The essential oil is colorless and has a sweet, spicy-woody aroma.
Known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who calle it "Koris" (which means "Bug"), and the fresh leaves smell of a squashed bug when crushed. Both the plant and the essential oil improve in odor when allowed to age. Coriander is also used in Indian curries.
Stimulant, carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, tonic.
Both leaves and seeds are rich in volatile oils that act mainly on the digestive system, stimulating the appetite, and relieving irritation. They are also expectorant. Oil is fungicidal and bactericidal.
Magickal Influences:
Memory, Love, Healing
Medicinal Uses:
Internally for minor digestive problems. Externally for hemorrhoids and painful joints (seeds). Seeds reduce griping in laxative preparations based on Rheum officinale and Senna alexandria (See, Alexandrian senna).
To treat digestive complaints, headaches, halitosis, and postpartum complications. Germany's Commission E has approved the use of coriander to treat loss of appetite and dyspeptic complaints, such as heartburn and bloating.
Typical Dose:
A typical daily dose of coriander is 3.0 gm of the crushed and powdered herb in divided doses.
Possible Side Effects:
Coriander's side effects include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and allergic reactions such as hay fever, dermatitis, or allergic asthma.
Drug Interactions:
Taking coriander with these drugs may increase skin sensitivity to sunlight:
Bumetanide, (Bumex, Burinex)
Celecoxib, (Celebrex)
Ciprofloxacin, (Ciloxan, Cipro)
Doxycycline, (Apo-Doxy, Vibramycin)
Enalapril, (Vasotec)
Etodolac, (Lodine, Utradol)
Fluphenazine, (Modecate, Prolixin)
Fosinopril, (Monopril)
Furosemide, (Apo-Furosemide, Lasix)
Gatifloxacin, (Tequin, Zymar)
Hydrochlorothiazide, (Apo-Hydro, Microzide)
Ibuprofen, (Advil, Motrin)
Indomethacin, (Indocin, Novo-Methacin)
Ketoprofen, (Orudis, Rhodis)
Ketorolac, (Acular, Toradol)
Lansoprazole, (Prevacid)
Levofloxacin, (Levaquin, Quixin)
Lisinopril, (Prinivil, Zestril)
Loratadine, (Alavert, Claritin)
Methotrexate, (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
Naproxen, (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Nortriptyline, (Aventyl HCl, Pamelor)
Ofloxacin, (Floxin, Ocuflox)
Omeprazole, (Losec, Prilosec)
Phenytoin, (Dilantin, Phenytek)
Piroxicam, (Feldene, Nu-Pirox)
Prochlorperazine, (Compazine, Compro)
Quinapril, (Accupril)
Risperidone, (Risperdal)
Rofecoxib, (Vioxx)
Tetracycline, (Novo-Tetra, Sumycin)
Taking coriander with these drugs may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar):
Acarbose, (Prandase, Precose)
Acetohexamide, (Acetohexamide)
Chlorpropamide, (Diabinese, Novo-Propamide)
Gliclazide, (Diamicron, Novo-Gliclazide)
Glimepiride, (Amaryl)
Glipizide, (Glucotrol)
Glipizide and Metformin, (Metaglip)
Gliquidone, (Beglynor, Glurenorm)
Glyburide, (DiaBeta, Micronase)
Glyburide and Metformin, (Glucovance)
Metformin, (Glucophage, Riomet)
Miglitol, (Glyset)
Nateglinide, (Starlix)
Pioglitizone, (Actos)
Repaglinide, (GlucoNorm, Prandin)
Rosiglitazone, (Avandia)
Rosiglitazone and Metformin, (Avandamet)
Tolazamide, (Tolinase)
Tolbutamide, (Apo-Tolbutamide, Tol-Tab)
  • Digestive System—Good for chronic digestive disturbances and a lack of vitality. Stimulates appetite and can be useful for anorexia.
  • Muscular System—Useful for muscular aches and tiredness.
  • Emotions—Coriander's warm, provocative scent gently encourages the tired mind into action. Good for mental fatigue and can help with memory.
Culinary Uses:
Roots are used in Thai cuisine. Leaves and leafstalks are used to flavor soups, salads, beans, and curries, especially in the Middle East, and SE Asia. Dried stems are used for smoking foods. Seeds are an ingredient of curries, curry powder, pickles, pickling spices, dishes à la grecque, baked foods, sausages, and sauces.
Economic Uses:
Oil flavors gin, vermouth, liqueurs, and tobacco, and is prized in perfumery.
Coriander 7 Coriander 7 Coriander 7
Lavender 3 Rosemary 4 Palmarosa 3
Ginger 3 Black Pepper 2 Bergamot 3
Aromatherapy Blends and recipes by Franzesca Watson Copyright © 1995 Thorsons, Harper Parker Publishing Inc. Pp 94-95
Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham Copyright © 1988 Llewellyn Publications, Inc. pp79
The Encyclopedia or Herbs by Deni Brown Copyright © 1995, 2001 pg. 180
The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interactions Guide by Geo. T. Grossberg,MD and Barry Fox,PhD Copyright©2007 Barry Fox,PhD Pp.164-165