Coriander Oil : A Natural Antibiotic

Infection-Fighting Properties from a Common Herb

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
May 18, 2014

coriander seeds

Coriander seeds

The herb, coriander (or cilantro, as the leaves are sometimes known), may do a lot more than just season your salsa. Scientists in Portugal, testing oil from coriander seeds found the herb effective against such dangerous bacteria as E.coli and staphylococcus.

Culinary and Medicinal Uses

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), an annual herb, seasons food in many cuisines, from Mexican salsa to Indian chutney. Eaten fresh, the plant’s bright green cilantro leaves have a distinct flavour with hints of citrus. Its longer lasting, small round seeds, known as coriander, produce a nutty spice and a valuable oil.

Humans have grown and used coriander for millennia. In fact, archaeologists discovered the dried plant in the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb. Coriander has a long history of folk medicinal uses. In India, coriander juice mixed with turmeric is a treatment for acne. Herbalists prize it as a digestive tonic, a sleep aid, and an effective antibacterial ointment.

Coriander vs. Bacteria


Coriander leaves are often called cilantro.

Researchers from the University of Beria Interior in Portugal systemically investigated coriander oil to discover exactly how it killed bacteria. In a study published in The Journal of Medical Microbiology, scientists tested coriander oil on twelve bacterial strains, including salmonella, E.coli, and deadly MRSA, an antibiotic resistant staphylococcus.

The researchers found that a dilute 2 per cent solution of coriander oil damaged the bacterial cell wall, then killed the bacteria. The scientists concluded their paper saying, “The results . . . are noteworthy and justify the use of this plant, not only as a food flavouring agent, but also as a food preservative in order to prevent bacterial spoilage of foods.”

So coriander, like cinnamon and turmeric, not only seasons our food but in the future may protect it and our health.

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