Jo Francks, M.H.

The International HerbAssociation has chosen Cilantro as the herb of the year for 2017. Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a plant of many uses. We first think of it as that wonderful ingredient in salsa that gives it a distinct flavor. To some the taste of the plant is disgusting, described as tasting like dirt or even bug like or moldy. To others the taste is pleasant and enjoyable. The plant is also known as Chinese parsley and is an acquired taste. Cilantro is used in cooking in many ethnical groups including: Chinese, Turkish, Mexican, Vietnamese, Spanish and Indian cuisines to enhance the flavor of food. It is common to find it fresh at most grocery stores.

The fresh leaves are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It helps boost the immune system, is anti-viral and anti-bacterial and studies have found it to be effective against E. coli. The seeds, fruits and the leaves of this plant are beneficial in many ailments.

Cilantro is used as an aid to remove heavy metals from the body. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s may have significant amounts of mercury and other metals in the brain and other parts of the body. Cilantro is also known to help detoxify the liver. It has long been used to treat flatulence and poor digestion. It is also beneficial in lowering insulin levels in the blood.

Adding cilantro to your diet is very beneficial in many ways. Just a sprig is probably only going to taste good. If you want the health benefits of the plant then add it fresh to smoothies, salads and soups in large amounts. Some sources recommend consuming up to a cup of fresh cilantro per day for a couple of months to reduce inflammation in people suffering from arthritis. People suffering from gout may also see benefits of consuming this amount of cilantro. It has been shown to cut uric acid levels as well. Try including cilantro into your daily diet. There is no indication of any harmful side effects.

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch Practitioner.