Coriander is a strongly aromatic annual herb that grows about 1 metre in height. It is native to Europe and Western Asia but is now grown all round the world. The Persians grew this herb over 3,000 years ago and used it to add fragrance to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Both seed and leaf are used for culinary purposes and in medicine.
What it does
The herb contains a variety of compounds including volatile oil, sterols and phenolic acids. It is a stimulant, carminative (wind relieving) and warming.
The leaves or seeds can be made into herbal tea, and the leaves may be added to salad to give a peppery flavour. Essential oil can be used in aromatherapy to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with coriander.