Botanist's Glossary

Coriander - Coriandrum sativum

  • Description
    • Coriander (Apiaceae family) is an annual herbaceous plant from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. Its highly aromatic, serrated leaves, also called "Cilantro" or "Chinese parsley", are widely used in Oriental cuisine. While the unripe seeds have a rather unpleasant "buggy" smell, ripe coriander seeds are one of the most commonly used spices in the world. Coriander is easy to grow, as long as it has sufficient moisture and warmth.
  • Traditions
    • According to the Greeks and Latins, coriander had many properties. It was believed to be an anti-venom, a powerful wound-healer and a digestive aid. It reduced fever, sometimes with the help of magic. The essential oil obtained by distilling the seeds has antibacterial properties. It is also used in massage oils to relieve rheumatism and arthritis.
  • Properties
    • Coriander essential oil is valued as a stimulant. As part of an active compound containing silicium and almond proteins, it has been tested for its anti-elastase properties, which help to firm the skin.