Have you ever caught up with gripping stomach pain? Drinking a few sips of extraction obtained from coriander seeds, dill, caraway, fennel, and aniseed from your granny's kitchen spice-box perhaps would be the most efficient carminative remedy for this ailment!
Coriander is a small, hollow-stemmed plant in the Apiaceae family, in the genus: Coriandrum. Its scientific name is Coriandrum sativum. Pleasant, aromatic and spicy, its seeds have been found utility since ancient times in cooking as well as in various traditional medicines.
|Coriander seeds (coriandrum sativum).
Note for light brown color dry seeds.
|Coriander plant with light green color immature seeds.|
Coriander is native to South-Eastern Europe and grown extensively all over the Europe, Middle East, China, India, and Turkey. It is recognized as cilantro in the west. This herbaceous plant grows up to 2 feet in height with branching stems, featuring deep-green soft, hairless bi-lobe or tri-lobed leaves. The mature plant bears small light pink color flowers that subsequently turn into globular or oval-shaped fruits (seeds). The seeds measure about 4-6 mm in diameter with a central hollow cavity containing two vertical vittae containing some important essential oils.
Coriander seeds can be ready for harvest when the plant turn brown, and its leaves begin to dry and fall. Immature seeds are light green and taste bitter. To harvest; cut the crop, tie in small bundles, and sun-dry for several days. Traditionally, to separate the seeds, either the sheaves beaten with a stick or a lightweight roller employed to wear off the pods.
Coriander seeds possess many plant-derived chemical compounds that known to have been antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
The unique aromatic flavor of coriander seeds comes from their essential volatile oils and fatty acids. Some important fatty acids in the dried seeds include petroselinic acid, linoleic acid (omega 6), oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Also, the seeds contain essential oils such as linalool (68%), a-pinene (10%), geraniol, camphene, terpene, etc. Together; these active principles are responsible for digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties of the seeds.
As in other spices, coriander is also rich in dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 41.9 g of fiber, much of this is metabolically inert insoluble content. Dietary fiber increases the bulk of the food by absorbing water throughout the digestive system and thus aids in smooth bowel movements.
Moreover, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in the colon, thus help lower serum LDL-cholesterol levels. Together with flavonoid antioxidants, fiber composition of coriander helps protect colon mucosa from cancers.
Its seeds are an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Copper is essential for the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for cell metabolism and red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. The human body utilizes manganese as a cofactor for the important antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
Unlike other dry spice seeds that lack in vitamin-C, coriander seeds contain an ample amount of this antioxidant vitamin. 100 g of dry seeds provide 21 mg or 35% of RDI of vitamin-C.
Furthermore, the seeds are the storehouse of many vital B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
Coriander seeds as well as its oil can be readily available in the markets year around. The seeds used as a spice. Good-quality coriander seeds should release pleasant, slightly peppery flavor when squeezed between index and thumb fingers. In the store, buy whole seeds instead of coriander powder since oftentimes it may contain an adulterated spicy mix.
At home, store seeds in cool, dry, dark place, in airtight containers. This way, they keep well for many months and can be milled using a hand mill whenever required. Ground or powdered coriander should be stored in airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator. Use this spice powder as early as possible since it loses its flavor rather quickly due to evaporation of essential oils.
Dried coriander seeds are one of the common spice ingredients used worldwide. In general, completely dried seeds gently roasted under low flame just before milling to get a fine powder. Roasting brings out specific aromatic compounds and essential oils in the seeds.
Here are some serving methods:
Coriander seeds used as flavoring agent in confectionery, stews, sausages, sweetbreads, and cakes.
Coriander leaves, as well as seeds, are being used as an aromatic spice in Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Middle-eastern and European cooking.
Russian dark rye bread, "Borodinsky bread" uses coriander seeds.
In India, ground powder of coriander seeds is a common household spice powder that is used in pickling, chutneys, stews, curries, marinades as well as in sausages.
The seeds are chewed as a remedy to prevent halitosis (unpleasant breath). (Medical Disclaimer).
In smaller doses, coriander seeds have no known adverse effects on health. They can be safely used by pregnant as well as nursing mothers.
(Medical disclaimer: The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.)
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