It is interesting to know that coriander leaves have received a “free” status in many Indian kitchens. Right? Obviously, if you are an Indian, then you know what I mean. Many of us especially those who shop from the local market (not the fancy supermarket) take it as a birthright to claim the dhaniya patta for free at the vegetable billing counter. Coriander leaves or Dhaniya patta is used in almost every Indian Cuisine to enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish. Apart from the culinary uses, this herb Coriander holds many health benefits for us. Both fresh leaves and seeds of coriander are used in different cuisines around the globe. Both have immense health benefits upon consumption. In this article, Coriander refers to fresh coriander leaves and their health benefits.
Introduction to Coriander Leaves/Dhaniya Patta
Coriander leaves (Coriandrum sativum) are tender annual herbs from the family Apiaceae. It is often referred to as Coriander, Cilantro, and Chinese Parsley. This is used in cuisines around the globe. coriander’s gentle leaves are either added raw or near the end of cooking to maintain their delicate flavor and texture. (1)
Are Cilantro and Coriander leaves the same?
Both cilantro and coriander come from the Coriandrum sativum plant. In the US, the plant’s leaves and stem are called cilantro whereas the dried seeds are referred to as coriander. Otherwise, internationally the leaves and stems are called coriander while the dried seeds are called coriander seeds.
It is very interesting to see that even after being part of the same plant, the coriander seeds and leaves have very different tastes and flavors.
Different Indian names of Coriander leaves
- Hindi Name : Dhaniya Patta
- Telugu Name : Kothimeera
- Bengali Name: Dhane Patta
- Tamil Name : Kottumalai
- Kannada Name : Kottambari
- Malayalam Name: malli ila
- Gujarati Name: Kothamir
- Marathi Name: Kothambirchi
Nutritive value of coriander leaves (per 100 gm)
|Dietary fiber||1.2 g|
|Vitamin A||6748 IU|
|Vitamin C||135 mg|
|Vitamin K||300 mcg|
Reference: Nutritive Value Of Indian Foods, National Institute Of Nutrition (NIN), ICMR, Hyderabad.
Do you know your regular “coriander” is a health healer?? Let’s dig deep to know Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta health benefits.
HEALTH BENEFITS CORIANDER LEAVES/DHANIYA PATTA
1) Coriander leaves /Dhaniya patta for kidneys: Cleanse and detox kidneys naturally
Every 30 minutes our kidneys filter all of the blood in our body, removing toxins from the blood, excreting them in urine, and preventing damage to all other organs. Kidneys also regulate alkaline/acid balance in our body, preventing our body from becoming dangerously acidic. Regulating acids and toxins is dangerous work. Kidneys are vulnerable to toxic overload if we don’t protect them. Coriander is a kidney-friendly herb. It aids in detoxification.
Coriander leaves have a great diuretic property.
What are diuretics?
Diuretics (also known as water pills) help the body get rid of excess fluid, mainly sodium and water from the body. They stimulate kidneys to excrete more sodium into the urine. When diuretics flush away sodium, the body also flushes away water. Doctors prescribe diuretics when the body is retaining too much fluid. This problem is more common in a few conditions like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney stones, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, etc. These conditions require the regulation of fluid in the body or will result in fluid retention in the body.
Prescribed diuretics may cause side effects like headache, thirst, dizziness, muscle cramps, and diarrhea. Considering a natural diuretic is always safe. Consuming coriander leaves on daily basis protects our kidney health and helps the kidney to function smoothly. (2) (3)
2) Coriander leaves/ Dhaniya Patta for Diabetes: Regulate blood sugar levels and treat diabetes
The article published in the Journal of food sciences shows coriander leaves helps to balance blood sugar. They are thought to do this by increasing the activity levels of enzymes that help remove sugar from the blood. It effectively controls the insulin release from pancreatic beta cells which reduces serum glucose.
Diabetics are recommended to include low glycemic index (GI) value foods in their diet. Coriander has a GI value of 33, which is quite low and can be added to a diabetic diet.
What is a glycemic index?
It is the relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed, and metabolized slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose.
Also, Coriander is rich in fibre and takes a long to digest keeping us full for a longer time. This slows down the rise of blood sugar levels. Thus, Coriander is useful in combating diabetes. (4) (5) (6)
3) Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta are a rich source of Antioxidant
The daily reactions inside our body naturally produce free radicals, also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The free radicals are unstable and react with many internal molecules such as proteins, DNA, and compounds within cells. The body keeps a balanced supply of ROS for the immune response against foreign invaders. Physiological and environmental factors like food, air quality, extreme exercise, or other life stresses increase our internal ROS production, increasing oxidative stress.
Antioxidants are the counteractive molecules that react with ROS and neutralize their effect, protecting the body system against cell damage. A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases (including heart disease and certain cancers)
Coriander has powerful antioxidants which include flavonoids, linalool, terpenes, Vitamins-A, C &B2, Calcium, phosphorous, iron. Together these terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients improve antioxidant defense mechanisms by stimulating enzymes like superoxide dismutase(SOD) and catalase(CAT) which decrease oxidative stress. (7)
4) Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta as an Anti Cancer agent
The powerful antioxidant compounds in coriander leaves have produced numerous health benefits throughout the body. It also possesses cancer-fighting abilities. Coriander makes part of phytotherapy a recognized complementary and alternative medicinal (CAM) therapy often used by healthcare in combination with standard medical treatment. The phytonutrients present in coriander leaves react with damage-causing free radicals, improving the function of healthy tissues while inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Coriander’s antioxidants have a scavenging ability, which directly reacts with ROS protecting tissue integrity and reducing tumor growth. Recent investigations have shown that Coriander fights tumors by increasing H2O2 and Caspase enzymes 3,8 &9 (protease enzymes) which play a vital role in programmed cell death ( Apoptosis).(8) (9)
5) Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta for Heart Health
A study published in the journal of dietary supplements found that Coriander leaves can regulate blood pressure by inducing contractions (in a mechanism involving acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter) and relaxing blood vessels by blocking calcium from entering the heart and blood vessels. The high phenolic content in coriander leaves has a high antioxidant capacity and protects the heart from oxidative damage. It lowers blood pressure and prevents atherosclerosis by balancing lipid levels and fighting free oxygen radicals. Indirectly it controls blood pressure by increasing urine output which regulates salt levels in the blood. Coriander leaves thus offer protective effects on the heart. (10) (11)
6) Coriander leaves/ Dhaniya Patta For liver health
The Detoxifying property of the coriander removes the heavy metal from the human body. Both Kidney and Liver are exposed to various toxins, which they break down or modify and eliminate from the body through urine and stool. We have already discussed how coriander leaves help to protect kidney health. Let us see, how coriander liver boost liver health.
In our current lifestyle, we are exposed to heavy metal in a little or significant amount. Getting vaccinated, Using deodorants, Dental fittings, Using aluminum foil, taking antacids and other medications regularly and other common habits build up heavy metal toxicity in our body. Heavy metal toxicity in our body will lead to major organs dysfunction, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Though the liver is a natural detoxifier, including certain foods can boost its function and one can protect liver health for ages.
Coriander leaves are a wonder herb for liver health. Coriander leaves are rich in a powerful anti-oxidant called Linalool. It not only helps detoxify the liver but also promotes bile production for better digestion and absorption of food. (12)
7. Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta for Skin and Hair
Coriander is full of the goodness of the anti-oxidants, minerals, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. All this goodness innate in the coriander leaves works Synergistically to produce beneficial effects to obtain beautiful gorgeous skin and shining hair.
The anti-inflammatory effect of coriander leaves soothes acne, which is caused by inflammation of the sebaceous gland leading to the occurrence of the symptoms such as pimples in the skin. The antioxidants help in keeping the skin wrinkle-free & controls dandruff on the scalp and slow down greying of the hair. (13)
How to Include Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta for health Benefits
1. Just chop and sprinkle Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta on regular Rice, dals, curries, Parathas, Raita, Rasam, and everyday dishes. It will taste heavenly.
2.Try this coriander leaves based recipes once a week to satisfy your taste buds and boost health
- Coriander leaves Rice
- Coriander leaves Chutney
- Coriander leaves and spinach paratha
- Coriander leaves and Buttermilk drink.
- Mint coriander soup
- Carrot and coriander fritters
- Kothimbir wadi.
3. Coriander Leaves Juice or Dhaniya patta Ka Pani
This Juice is also known as healing juice. A glass of coriander Juice (50ml) helps in weight loss, better digestion, sugar control, detox, etc.
Recipe – Wash and clean a bunch of fresh coriander leaves thoroughly in water to remove dirt and any residual harmful pesticides that might be sticking on them. Chop the leaves as small as possible. Put the chopped leaves in a vessel. Pour filtered water and boil for 10 minutes. Filter after cooling using a sieve. Pour the filtered liquid into a sterilized glass bottle and store it in the refrigerator. Drink one glass (50-60ml) twice a week. This juice can be stored for 2 days in the refrigerator. But it will be good to make this drink fresh and consume. While making it fresh, you can add lemon juice (1 teaspoon) and relish it.
4. Special Coriander Juice
The health benefits of coriander juice include its use in the treatment of stomach problems, preventing flatulence, alleviating symptoms of arthritis, protecting against urinary tract infections, relieving intestinal gas, and lowering bad cholesterol levels. It is also helpful for treating menstrual pain in women.
Ingredients – a) Coriander leaves chopped (1cup), Curry leaves – 2 leaves, Tomato (chopped) – 1/2 Katori, Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp, Garlic Clove- 1 (Chopped) – 1, Ginger (Chopped) – 1/2 inch, Black salt – as per taste, Water – 1 glass.
Recipe – Just chop the coriander leaves, cut one tomato and put all the ingredients in the mixer then add the water and blend it in a grinder till they mix properly. Have 50- 60 ml of this juice once or twice a week.
How much coriander leaves/Dhaniya patta are safe to use?
There is no precise recommended dosage for the coriander.10-15 grams of coriander leaves can be safely included in our daily diet.
Please consult a certified nutritionist or physician if you are suffering from any chronic ailment.
Side Effects of Coriander Leaves/Dhaniya Patta
1. Excessive coriander leaves usage may reduce blood sugar levels drastically. Excessive consumption will cause indigestion and burping.
2. Coriander leaves may alleviate some allergic reactions such as itching, rash, swelling, breathing trouble, etc to those who are sensitive to the Apiaceae family.
3. Coriander leaves are not recommended for individuals suffering from chronic kidney disease(CKD) due to their high levels of potassium.
How to buy the best Coriander leaves?
- Always prefer fresh and bright green-colored coriander leaves from the market. Do not buy from the roadside as the leaves may absorb pollution and dust from the vehicles.
- Buy organically grown Coriander leaves if possible.
- Grow Coriander at home –
Coriander leaves not only add aroma and color to food but give us many health benefits. Homegrown coriander leaves have the following advantages –
a) Devoid of pesticides and harmful chemicals.
b) No scope for water contamination.
c) Higher Nutritional Value and improved tase.
d) Your home garden will look more beautiful with the vibrant color of coriander leaves and their flowers.
e) Always available irrespective of season or weather.
How to grow Coriander leaves at home?
Coriander is a quick-growing annual plant that goes up to 12- 22 inches in height. The seed is often used to propagate coriander. The numerous seeds innate in the coriander have enough germination capacity. After around four weeks of sowing of the seed, it is ready to harvest. In around four months the life cycle of the coriander completes.
Coriander leaves are a treasure in your kitchen. Even after having a “free” status, start giving much-needed “value” to these wonderful herbs. It is affordable and easily available all over the world throughout the year. It has great medicinal values apart from taste enhancing the property in the cuisines. Have it as a dip or garnish on your food generously to get your daily fix. Do try coriander leaves healing juice and other recipes to reap the health benefits of Coriander leaves/Dhaniya Patta. Include the leaves in moderation (10-15 grams/day) to avoid the side effects associated with them.