Ok so I realise I just did a blog on ginger, but I thought I’d even it out by doing a herb as well as a spice. In this blog I’m going to focus on another wonder from nature’s pharmacy – coriander. Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley, or cilantro if you are American. This incredible herb is known for its high nutrient content, especially good for those who need a boost of iron, calcium, vitamin C and B vitamins. But as with all herbs, it goes way beyond this.
Now I don’t want to bore you with science, and usually steer clear of giving too many references to journals, but I also think that sometimes it helps people to see in black and white that research does support herbs for medicinal purposes – it doesn’t get much attention, because no one can make too much money out of a herb, as oppose to drugs that are chemically constructed to mimic natural remedies. So I’ve added a few references at the end for anyone who is interested.
The seeds of this plant have long been used to treat parasitic diseases, indigestion, rheumatic pain and even diabetes (1). Coriander has antispasmodic and carminative properties, which make it ideal for gut related problems. Studies show that when used in combination with other herbs, coriander can help those with IBS (2). Animal studies on inflammatory bowel diseases have shown that when coriander is used in conjunction with other herbs, it shows equal effectiveness to the anti-inflammatory steroid drug prednisolone (3). The flavonoid compounds in coriander are known for their ability to protect the cell from DNA damage and cell death, as well as increasing the antioxidant capacity, again protecting against cellular damage. This has even been studied in relation to protective effects against radiation (4). So we are talking powerful stuff here.
One area I’m particularly interested in is how heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminium can have a detrimental effect on our health. They are toxic to the human body, and accumulate over time due to exposure in the environment, the foods we eat and dental fillings. Coriander is a simple, but powerful, natural way to remove these toxic substances from tissues, including the brain and central nervous system.
This has actually been well known for decades. Two studies carried out in the 90s by Dr Yoshiaki Omura, showed that the leaves of the coriander plant accelerated the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminium from the body. He had been treating several patients for an eye infection caused by different micro-organisms, including chlamydia trachomatis, as well as viral infections. Following the standard treatment with antibiotics, Dr. Omura found that the patients' symptoms would clear up initially, then recur within a few months. He found that these organisms seemed to hide and flourish in area of the body where there were concentrations of heavy metals like mercury, lead and aluminium. Somehow the organisms were able to use the toxic metals to stimulate their growth and protect themselves from the antibiotics. While he was testing for those metals, Dr. Omura noticed the mercury level in the urine increased after patients consumed a serving of Vietnamese soup which contained a healthy amount of coriander. Further testing revealed that eating coriander increased urinary excretion of lead and aluminium, and when used synergistically with antibiotics, the infection was eliminated for good (5).
The second study focused on amalgam fillings, which as we all know contain mercury. In the study, 3 fillings were removed using all precautions available to prevent absorption of the mercury from the amalgam, but despite the precautions, significant amounts of mercury were later found in the individual's lungs, kidneys, endocrine organs, liver and heart. There was no mercury in these tissues prior to the amalgam removal. Coriander was able to remove the mercury in two to three weeks (6).
So hopefully I’ve convinced you beyond a shadow of a doubt that coriander is a force to be reckoned with. However, so far I’ve focussed on the more conventional uses of coriander. But for anyone who is interested in more “outside the box” type of thinking, then coriander is also known for its ability to clear out, or decalcify, the pineal gland aka the third eye. This information has come through several sources, although admittedly these aren’t things you’ll find any time soon in the American Journal of Nutrition. I came across this information first through Anthony Williams and this was later backed up by other even more unlikely sources - check out www.channelingerik.com if you are really open minded ?. The pineal gland is a tiny little endocrine gland in the brain, that produces the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. But as I said before, it’s also known as the third eye and is central to spiritual growth and intuition. It’s thought that heavy metals and other compounds can negatively affect the third eye. So whether you want to look at this from a scientific perspective or a spiritual perspective, a healthy pineal gland is a good thing.
To increase your coriander intake you can use the seeds and the leaves – I personally love the leaves and add them to soups and salads – they are quite strong though, so you might want to start small and build up. I also juice coriander with celery and lemon as a completely invigorating tonic that has worked wonders on my health.
The two recipes below can also be a helpful way of making sure you have coriander in some form on a daily basis:
Blitz the following in a spice grinder or small blender:
• 1 bunch of fresh coriander
• 1 small handful of walnuts or pine nuts
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled
• Juice of 1 small lemon
• Splash or two of extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil
• Plenty of black pepper and mineral salt (use Maldon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt)
You can use this pesto with a salad, jacket potato or pasta (try going for gluten free ones). I also like it on its own or with some stalks of celery.
• 1-2 ripe avocados – mashed
• 1-2 celery stalks – finely chopped
• 1 tomato – chopped
• 1 bunch of coriander – chopped
• 2-3 spring onions – finely chopped
• 1 lemon or lime – squeezed
• 1 clove of garlic – minced
• Plenty of black pepper and salt
Mix all the ingredients, except the tomato, in a bowl. Add the chopped tomato at the very end and fold through gently. Serve as a dip with crudités or serve on romaine lettuce leaves.
Ok guys, hope you feel inspired to go on a coriander hunt!
5. Omura Y, Beckman SL. Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995 Aug-Dec;20(3-4):195-229.
6. Omura Y, Shimotsuura Y, Fukuoka A, Fukuoka H, Nomoto T. Significant mercury deposits in internal organs following the removal of dental amalgam, & development of pre-cancer on the gingiva and the sides of the tongue and their represented organs as a result of inadvertent exposure to strong curing light (used to solidify synthetic dental filling material) & effective treatment: a clinical case report, along with organ representation areas for each tooth. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1996 Apr-Jun;21(2):133-60.