Saturday, October 24, 2009


Coriander also known as Cilantro, is an annual herb considered native to Middle East and the Southern Europe but is also indigenous to Western Asia. The bright green plant, belonging to the Apiaceae family, has delicate stems and a thin taproot. It grows up to (40 - 60 cm). The compound lower leaves are round in appearance and lobed, while the upper leaves are finely divided into very narrow, lacy segments. The plant bears small white or pink flowers and the fruits are nearly globular and consist of two, single-seeded mericarp. Coriander seeds have a mild burning taste and a spicy aroma.

All parts of the Coriander plant are edible and are used extensively in Middle Eastern, South East Asian, Indian, Mexican, and Central American cuisines. It is a highly fragrant herb and is added to various salads, soups, sauces, chutneys, curries, stir fried vegetables, and other savory recipes to add flavor and aroma. Fresh Coriander is usually chopped and added to dishes just before serving to preserve its flavor and properties.

It acts as a carminative and is said to improve most troubles of the gastrointestinal tract including indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. A poultice of coriander seeds, when applied to affected areas can relieve painful joints and rheumatism. Essential oil derived from coriander seeds possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used as a fungicide. One pharmaceutical use of coriander is in masking the

Coriander is largely considered safe to use and has no known side effects. Some people are, however, put off by the pungent aroma and the distinct flavor imparted by coriander leaves in various recipes.

Coriander is an easy herb to grow, preferring a well-drained, fertile soil. The soil should not be over-fertilized as a high level of nitrogen can delay ripening and destroy the flavor of the plant. The pH level of the soil should be from 4.9 to 8.2. Coriander plant can tolerate spells of cold and heat but need adequate sunlight, proper watering in dry periods and weeding. The delicate herb needs to be protected from harsh winds. Coriander plant does not respond well to transplantation. Coriander can also be grown indoors in a pot.
It is vulnerable to fungal infections and the roots succumb to decay if the soil is poorly drained and has a high nitrogen content

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