Putting the spotlight on coriander seed oil
- Coriander seed is considered one of the earliest uses of spices in the world. It was used for culinary and medical purposes in Babylonian times
- Because of its strong, sweet aroma and fresh vibe, coriander oil is also a valued ingredient in perfumes and soaps
Coriander seeds are one of the spices that's been used since the beginning of time. You can find it in most kitchen cabinets today. However, coriander seed oil is not something you hear about often — even though it has a plethora of uses for your health. Here's what you need to know about this essential oil.
What is coriander seed oil?
Coriander seed oil is extracted from the fruit (seed) of coriander (Coriandum sativum L.), which is from the cilantro or Chinese parsley plant family. However, there might be some confusion between coriander and cilantro. Coriander and cilantro are from the same plant, but also have several differences.
The word "coriander" technically describes the whole plant, but depending on geography, coriander and cilantro have different descriptions. In the United Kingdom, the leaves of the plant are called coriander and the seeds are called coriander seeds. In the United States, the leaves are called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander. However, in India, it is called dhania.
Coriander seed is considered one of the earliest uses of spices in the world. It was used for culinary and medical purposes in Babylonian times. It was also mentioned in the Bible, and was found in tombs of pharaohs as a symbol of eternal love.1 Coriander seed oil's color is clear to a pale yellow and has a medium consistency. It emits a pungent yet sweet, woody fragrance.
Uses of coriander seed oil
Since coriander is a known spice, coriander seed oil is used to enhance the flavors of confectionary, seasonings and sodas.2 It's also used as a flavoring agent for tobaccos, gin and liquors.
Coriander seed oil is also making a name outside the kitchen. A clinical study from Germany's University of Hamburg Medical Center was made and confirmed that an ointment blended with 6 percent coriander seed oil helps treat athlete's foot.3 Because of its strong, sweet aroma and fresh vibe, coriander oil is also a valued ingredient in perfumes and soaps.4
Composition of coriander seed oil
The major component of coriander seed essential oil is linalool, constituting 40 to 87 percent of the oil, depending on which country it comes from. For example, Argentine coriander oil contains 68.9 percent to 87 percent linalool, while oil from Iran may contain anywhere from 40.9 percent to 79.9 percent. The other chemical components of coriander oil are γ-terpinene, neryl acetate, α-pinene, p-cymene, dodecanal and 2E-dodecanal.
7 benefits of coriander seed oil
Coriander seed oil has many health benefits attributed to its properties, such as:
- Aphrodisiac — Ancient Egyptians used it in love potions. Its aphrodisiac property was even mentioned in "Arabian Nights," or "One Thousand and One Nights," as it is called in Arabic. Today, some people believe its phytonutrients can potentially increase sexual drive, stimulate sexual passion or help with erectile dysfunction and temporary impotence.
- Antibacterial — Coriander seed oil acts against bacteria and can aid as body and mouth deodorant by helping eliminate bad breath as well as body odor. As an antifungal, it has been used as a household medicine to cure colds, nausea, vomiting and stomach disorders.
- Carminative and Digestive — This essential oil helps ease digestive issues such as indigestion, upset stomach and flatulence. A recent study also shows that coriander seed oil helps fight bacteria that cause food poisoning.
- Analgesic — Coriander seed oil also aids in reducing pain. It can be used to help treat toothache, muscle pain and menstrual pain.
- Stimulant — This essential oil can act as a stimulant for people who are feeling low. It also has a calming effect on those who suffer with shock or trauma.
- Anti-spasmodic — Coriander seed oil is widely used by athletes because it helps relieve muscle spasm and cramps.
- Hypolipidemic — Studies have shown that coriander decreases the uptake and enhances the breakdown of lipids, and can be used as a preventive and curative herbal against hyperlipidemia.5
How to make coriander seed oil
Coriander seed essential oil is obtained from the fruit of the plant through the process of steam distillation.
How does coriander seed oil work?
There are different ways to maximize the use of coriander seed oil. It can be used topically and aromatically, as well as through ingestion. I recommend the following applications of coriander seed oil:
- Mix the essential oil with water and use it as a mouthwash to aid in preventing bad breath.
- Use it as a massage oil to relieve stiffness as well as promote blood circulation. Massage the affected area with 10 drops of coriander seed oil and 5 milligrams of sesame oil. This mixture helps alleviate muscle pain, indigestion, digestive problems and flatulence.
- After using it as massage oil, add two drops of coriander seed oil in bathing water to help increase libido.
- Add two to three drops of coriander seed oil in a burner or a diffuser. Its aroma has a refreshing and calming effect.
- Apply directly on your back for digestive difficulties. It can also be taken internally by mixing a small amount with water and honey to alleviate digestive issues. Honey is optional as it is simply used to enhance the taste.
Is coriander seed oil safe?
Please be aware of the ingestion rate and quantity of this essential oil. Unless approved by your health care physician, I advise against using this essential oil orally. In addition, it would be best to avoid this essential oil while pregnant because it has mild muscle stimulating effects.
It's always best to do a skin patch allergy test when using coriander seed oil (or any essential oil), since it's highly concentrated and may have an adverse effect on the skin.
Side effects of coriander seed oil
Coriander seed essential oil is known to be non-irritating and nontoxic. However, if taken in excessive amounts, it could cause intestinal or dermatological problems. Always begin with moderate amounts until you are certain how much your body can tolerate without ill effects.
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