Coriander (Coriander sativum), commonly known as Dhanyak in sanskrit, Cilantro in English and Dhaniya in hindi, not only garnishes and adds taste to various delicacies but also has many medicinal properties. Coriander is not always effective as a single drug therapy but when wisely used with other drugs; works wonder. Coriander is a kind of herb which can be used in both fresh and dry form.
Coriander being sweet and astringent in taste, turns sweet after digestion and is hot in potency. It is tridoshaghna meaning pacifies all three doshas but is specifically beneficial in Pitta dominant ailments.
- Dhanyak Kindles digestive fire, accelerates digestion, thus destroying Aam dosha (toxins) and pacifies vata. In abdominal pain due to indigestion, taking warm decoction made of 1tsp coriander seeds + ½ tsp cumin seeds + small piece of dry ginger + 4 cups water boiled and reduced to 1 cup, with a pinch of rock salt , improves digestion and pacifies pain.
- In complaints like thirst, vomiting and burning sensation related with fever or sunstroke ,dehydration due to hot climate as in summer , Medicated water with coriander seeds (Dhanyak siddha jal) or Dhanyak faanta (Hot infusion)** with black currants and crystal sugar is a good cure .
(Hot infusion)** — 2 glasses of boiled water is added to 3tsp of coriander seeds, covered and is then left overnight and consumed in the morning.
- Sometimes in high grade fever the patient does not sweat or pass urine adequately, consuming medicated water with coriander seeds facilitates urine, stool and sweat formation and also gradually reduces the body temperature (fever).
- Dhanyak is avery good diuretic, it not only flushes out the toxins but also controls urinary tract infection. In complaints like Burning micturition, painful micturition, urinary calculi; Dhanyak faanta with crystal sugar is a good home remedy.
- Dhanyak siddha jal is also a good supportive medicine in cholelithiasis and cholecystitis i.e. gall stones, but it should be taken under guidance of a well experienced Ayurvedic Doctor alongwith the main medicines.
- In upper respiratory tract infection associated with fever, patients complain of sore throat with pain and burning sensation, coriander water with sugar serves the purpose; also gargling with fresh coriander juice is useful.
- Acidity or Pitta aggravation due to excessive consumption of tea or coffee can be relieved with Kadha (Decoction)** of 1/2 tsp coriander seeds with 1/2tsp of coarse Amla powder. You can add crystal sugar to the kadha. (Decoction)** – Add 4 cups of water to above mentioned proportion of coriander seeds and Amla and boil; reduce it to 1/2 cup and strain.
- In excessive menstrual bleeding or White discharge – 1tsp coriander powder can be taken with a glass of rice water.(Wash 2tbsp of rice grains properly n then soak them in glass of water for 2hrs, crush the grains with hand, strain it and your rice water is ready).
- Dysmennorhea – Kadha made of 1tsp dhaniya + 10-15 methi seeds relieves menstrual pain. You can add crystal sugar to the kadha.
Uses of Fresh Coriander –
- Eye Diseases – People working in hot conditions/ climate or near fire,or in summer complain of burning and pain in eyes. Eyepads soaked in fresh coriander juice and placed on eyes relieves this burning sensation.
- In Conjunctivitis eyewash with coriander water reduces the redness, burning, itching and swelling of eyes. It also decreases the formation of excessive sticky discharge.
- Burning of soles and palms is noticed in people with Pitta diseases or those living in hot climate, application of fresh coriander juices soothens this heat.
- Nasya(Instillation of drops in nose) of fresh juice is useful in nasal bleeding.
- Chewing of coriander leaves before meals not only reduces halitosis problem but also is a time tested remedy for mouth ulcers. This should be done 3-4 times a day.
- Skin Diseases – External application of coriander paste with honey and pinch of turmeric reduces pimples, acne and blackheads due to its antibacterial properties. Coriander paste can also be applied to cure rashes, itchy skin, inflammation, due to pitta (increased body heat) and skin ailments like eczema.
- In case of dark lips – prepare of mixture of 2 tsp coriander juice and 1 tsp lemon juice, apply it over lips and leave overnight, repeat this for few days. This will lighten your lip colour.
All these and many more are the health benefits of this commonly used kitchen herb. So next time when you see coriander, don’t only think of it as a garnishing herb.