Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, is a green parsley like herb that is used frequently in Mexican, Latin American, Mediterranean and Asian cooking. It is also called Chinese parsley and Coriander. Coriander is mentioned in the Bible and is a herb used by ancient Peoples. Beginning cooks often mistake coriander for flat leaf parsley. Cilantro works well as an accent to spicy foods.
Cilantro has many constituents that have preventive and health promoting properties. In some ways it is similar to dill because both the leaves and seeds are used. Coriander has dark green leaves and stems that are slightly citrus in flavor.
Cilantro is low in calories and possesses antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins and fiber. The vitamins include Vitamins B, C, A and K. Cilantro has minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium.
Medicinal uses include antiseptic and carminative properties. Cilantro has phytochemicals like quercitin, and essential oils. These substances are traditionally used as analgesic, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic, deodorant, digestive, and stomachic remedies.
Cilantro is known for being a toxic metal cleanser. Chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and escort them out of the body. Cilantro has been shown to improve sleep, cleanse fungal conditions, and have anti-anxiety properties.
Personally I love the smell of cilantro and use it in my Mexican food recipes. Here is a recipe you may enjoy.
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Clove garlic
3/4 t minced ginger root
1/4 c lime juice
1/3 c honey
2 t balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro leaves
1/2 c olive oil
Place jalapeno pepper, garlic and ginger in a blender and blend until jalapeno and garlic are finely chopped. Add lime juice, honey, vinegar and salt. Turn on the blender and drizzle olive oil into dressing. Season to taste with salt. Serve over your favorite salad.
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