Friday, September 14, 2018

Curing with Coriander (aka Cilantro)


Image via Angelia Phillips
Coriander, still green after an autumn frost, lines a walkway in our front lawn.

Coriander’s beautiful, fragrant leaves provide a huge swath of ground-cover in our front yard. It lasts through most of the warm months, but it doesn’t stay green. It will cycle through its seeding process several times during the season.

While it’s green, it’s easy to harvest. Just cut it at the stems, to make as large of a bunch as you want, then cut it into fine pieces to add to soups, salads or any dish of your choice.

Image via Angelia Phillips
Freshly picked coriander, ready to go into a breakfast omelet

When it dries up we harvest the seed, when we’re needing to bump up our stock. The seeds are small, round, fragrant and super-easy to gather and store. Once the cilantro gets to the seed-stage, you can just clip away some of the stems from the main plant. They'll be loaded with little brown beads (seeds). You can shake and pull away the seeds from the stems with little effort. They’re abundant so one plant will give you lots of them. 

Image via Angelia Phillips
Dried coriander stems, ready for seed harvesting

Image via Angelia Phillips
Gently tapping and shaking the stems to harvest the seeds

They store well in glass jars. You can grind them up and store the powder, or pour out the seeds as needed, and grind them just before adding them to your recipe.

The taste of coriander is difficult for me to describe. Closest I can come to is bright with a hint of citrus. I love the stuff and have a penchant for putting it into any recipe I can!

Some folks have told me they dislike coriander because to them it tastes like soap. I can understand why they say that because it does to me too, in a sense, but without the gak-factor they experience when eating it.

As for its medicinal benefits, get ready ‘cause there are LOTS of them! Iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium are all snugged up inside those tiny coriander balls. Also, unlike most other dry spice seeds, coriander has large amounts of vitamin C (which explains the citrusy taste).

The cherry on this awesome little seed-cake is that it’s a super-source of energy and good spirits via its micro-storehouse of B-complex vitamins.

Coriander seeds are light and hollow so they’re easy to work with and don’t need to be ground when introduced to an infusion of alcohol (bourbon or vodka) or extra virgin olive oil. However, for cooking, crushing or grinding them is best because they’re very fibrous (there’s yet another benefit).

As a natural medicine...

Both the fresh leaves of coriander can be used, as well as the seeds. Infusing it with a carrier oil, such as olive or whatever you prefer, is easily done. And it can also be used in alcohol (vodka based) tinctures. 

Coriander offers exceptional relief for intestinal and digestive trouble. It’s gentle enough to have been used in Gripe Water mixes, helping relieve colic in infants, for centuries. For use with older children to adults, an oil infusion blended with dill, and/or fennel seed works well and is easy to tolerate.

It only takes a few drops of an infusion to make a quality medicinal dose. This stuff is also great for folks who suffer from acne and other types of acute or recurring skin infections. 

Note: Always research contraindications before using any natural medicine.

"For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good." Psalm 107:9 WMB

Thank you for your visit today. I hope you've found the info helpful and will consider complimenting your organic medicine supply with this wonderful plant! 


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