An Herb That Makes My Tastes-buds Happy- Cilantro

Cilantro Seedlings @ The Farm On Holly’s Hill waiting for someone to take them home!

For years I always wondered what that flavor was in the Mexican restaurants that I could not replicate at home.  Then I became a Pampered Chef Lady back in the nineties and several of the recipes called for Cilantro.  I had to hunt this up in the grocery store as I had never heard of cilantro.  Once home, I cooked up the new recipe and how excited I was to find that flavor I had been missing!  I love it and so do lots of other people, but there are those who DO NOT like it.  So for those of you in the latter category, check back later and we will talk about an herb that you like.

Cilantro is the plant parts of the spice Coriander- which is the seed of the plant.  Cilantro is not hard to grow, but it does like the cooler temps so start it early inside or start with seedlings in the spring.  Moisture is important to this herb so keep the pot or bed watered once a week if the rain doesn’t fall for you.  Spring is not the only time to plant cilantro, fall is great, too.  I have plants in my garden right now (February) that have not been bothered by the light freezes we have been having this winter.  You should grow some, not only will your tastes-buds thank you, but so will your body.

Cilantro and Dill growing happily in February!

The Global Healing center has this to say about the medicinal benefits of cilantro:

“This herb isn’t just a commonly-used leaf and seed ingredient found in many tasty and exotic recipes, it’s also a powerful natural cleansing agent. Cilantro has been effectively used to help remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body.
The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to the heavy metals, loosening them from the tissues, blood and organs. Cilantro’s chemical compounds then aid to transport these harmful substances out of the body through elimination.
There is also a large amount of literature suggesting that cilantro could be one of nature’s best chelation agents, particularly for individuals who have been exposed to heightened levels of mercury. Mercury excess is a common problem that may be the result of metallic teeth fillings or over-consumption of predatory fish. Many people suffering from excess mercury report that the feeling of disorientation resulting from the poisoning can be greatly reduced through consuming large and regular amounts of cilantro over an extended period.
Also, the rich qualities of cilantro oil have a powerfully positive effect on our inner digestive tract. The oils aid our digestive system in its production of digestive enzymes, acids and juices. The oil also helps to stimulate digestion through peristaltic motion.
The known benefits of cilantro are extensive, and researchers are discovering more every day. Currently, there are several well-known, well-documented benefits of organic cilantro, including:
List of Cilantro Benefits:
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
  • Protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products
  • Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
  • Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
  • Wards off urinary tract infections
  • Helps reduce feelings of nausea
  • Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation
  • Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping.
  • Adds fiber to the digestive tract
  • A source of iron, magnesium, and is helpful in fighting anemia
  • Gives relief for diarrhea, especially if caused by microbial or fungal infections
  • Helps promote healthy liver function.
  • Reduces minor swelling
  • Strong general antioxidant properties
  • Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
  • Stimulates the endocrine glands
  • Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar
  • Acts as a natural anti-septic and anti-fungal agent for skin disorders like fungal infections and eczema
  • Contains immune-boosting properties
  • Acts as an expectorant
  • Helps ease conjunctivitis, as well as eye-aging, macular degeneration, and other stressors on the eyes.
James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, states that cilantro has been shown to settle the stomach. He recommends drinking a cup of the tea made from a handful of the leaves, when experiencing any form of stomach discomfort.4″
Just another great reason to have an herb garden!

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