recipes and tips for better living

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not Just For Tacos: An interview with Cilantro

Most of you are familiar with Cilantro, a flat leafed green herb that you often find in mexican fare. For most of us you know how you feel about it, you either love it or you hate it....there never seems to be an in between. So for all of you lovers...here's even more reason to fall in love with this amazing herb; and for all of you haters, maybe this interview with my close buddy Cilantro will open your eyes and allow you give it another try.

'Cilantro' or 'Coriander'? what's your real name?

To get technical my full name is Coriandrum Sativum, but i go by either coriander or cilantro. Generally here in US coriander is my seed or dried herb; cilantro denotes my leaf. On a rare occasion you'll see me labeled as 'chinese parsley'.

What's the best way to clean you?

Before using, swish me in a bowl of cool water, just to get any dirt off my leaves, then do what you will with me.

Please share some of your amazing health and detoxification benefits.

I'm known as a blood cleanser. I help pull heavy metals out of the body, like mercury, lead, and aluminum. One of my antibacterial compounds, dodecenal, is twice as effective as antibacterial drugs at fighting Salmonella! Other research showed that i helped stimulate production of insulin therefore dropping blood sugar levels and lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. In India, i've been traditionally used as a anti-inflammatory.

Talk more about your seed: coriander.

Coriander can help relieve indigestion, gas, and even diarrhea. You can use me externally in a salve for muscle and joint pain or even to disinfect a little cut or scrape since i have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

How can we start adding you into our diet more?

You can mince my leaves and toss them into green salads, salsas, avocado dip, or with corn and black beans. You can use me in pesto instead of basil, or garnish your entrees with a few leaves. There are so many uses. Coriander is actually the key component in curry powder! I also do amazingly well in green smoothies.

Are you generally easy to grow at home?

You can easily find me at your local nursery. Plant me outdoors and make sure i only get early morning or late afternoon sun. While i like the sun, i really don't to so well when the temp gets higher than 75 degrees. Prune me often so i don't go to seed. However, i do tend to go to seed fairly quickly, so plant me often and use me quick. :)
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