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Most people are mistaken in thinking that cilantro and coriander are different spices. This plant is also called Chinese parsley because of the similarity of the leaves and simply because cilantro is native to Asia.
- What are cilantro and coriander valued for?
- How are cilantro and coriander used by culinary experts
- Healing properties
- How to use cilantro
- Is there any harm in this plant?
What are cilantro and coriander valued for?
For a long time, cilantro has been grown in almost every corner of our planet and is appreciated for its fragrance and healing properties. All over the world, this plant is a special seasoning in cooking. But not only culinary experts were able to appreciate all the qualities of the plant. Perfumers, turning their attention to the extraordinary aroma of this representative of the flora, hastened to find its application in their industry, adding cilantro to cosmetics.
Only those seeds that have reached sufficient ripeness have their unique smell. And those that are completely immature smell absolutely different: their smell is even somewhat unpleasant.
The cilantro in the photo to the right is the greenery of an annual herb of the Umbelliferae family, with bare branchy stems. The smell of this plant, as we said above, is one of the most fragrant smells on the planet.
How are cilantro and coriander used by culinary experts
Fresh cilantro is a great addition to summer vegetable salads. Although it should be noted that it is also dried and used as a spice. But coriander is still much more often used by culinary specialists as an additive to food. After all, greens can only be added fresh or dried, and seeds harvested for future use can be stored for a certain time and added to food if necessary.
Spicy fragrant sprigs of cilantro added to a meat or fish dish can completely transform the taste and smell of the dish. A wide variety of sauces, snacks and even marinades acquire a unique flavor when added with dried cilantro.
But coriander - the seeds of the plant are most often used to keep meat fresh longer. For this purpose, a special marinade is prepared with chopped coriander seeds.
The chefs have not forgotten about baking either: buns, muffins and other confectionery products become more aromatic when coriander is added while kneading the dough.
Even sausages, canned food, cheeses, or rather, some of their types, contain coriander seeds.
But the Germans went even further: they learned to include this spice in the composition of the foamy drink - beer.
This plant with two names contains just a huge amount of the most useful substances. The fruits of the plant are especially rich in such substances. The seeds are rich in essential oils and this alone is enough to be considered a medicinal plant.
But essential oils are not the only ingredient in coriander. Tannins and alkaloids, which are no less important for humans than oils, are included in the composition of the seeds. But vitamins and a variety of trace elements are concentrated in the green shoots of cilantro, or rather, in its twigs and leaves. These are the most valuable for us vitamins of group B, vitamins K, A, and even PP and E. But minerals are represented by sodium, iodine, calcium and phosphorus. The highest content of potassium in cilantro is an essential trace element involved in the work of the heart muscle.
Decaldehyl, starch, dietary fiber, pectins and proteins are all found in cilantro. Therefore, the benefits of cilantro are difficult to overestimate. And the calorie content of the plant is very low, so it cannot harm the figure in any way.
Traditional medicine has long paid attention to both cilantro, the fresh greens of a plant, and coriander, its seeds. Therefore, all parts of the fragrant spice are used in the fight against many ailments: heart diseases, and diseases of the digestive system, and diabetes mellitus, and a variety of colds such as ARVI and bronchitis.
Even doctors noticed the peculiarity of cilantro to have a beneficial effect on the skin of a person and on vision.
How to use cilantro
You can eat cilantro both fresh, simply chewing on its shoots, or make a variety of decoctions from it. Decoctions are used both internally and externally. Outwardly, such a decoction is used to get rid of freckles and pigmentation on the face.
Essential oils, of which this plant has a huge number, are successfully used in dentistry and in the treatment of youthful acne.
An interesting fact is that the spice helps those who overdo it with drinking: at the end of the meal with a drink, you can consume dry cilantro, mixing it with 1 tablespoon of alcohol. The next day, the hangover won't be so cruel. And the seeds themselves may well repel the smell of alcohol if you just chew them.
Is there any harm in this plant?
However, it should be noted that you should not abuse cilantro, like other spices. Therefore, you should not eat more than 4 g of coriander or 35 g of cilantro at a time. And yet you should not eat cilantro for those who are sick with hypertension or coronary heart disease.
Side effects of this plant when overeating: failure in the menstrual cycle and insomnia. Essential oils, on the other hand, can cause allergies.