Coriander is believed to be indigenous to Asia and southern Europe but is now grown extensively throughout Europe and North America. The oil is produced in various countries, including Russia and Romania. (Coriander Oil)
Coriander, a member of the plant family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), is an annual herb, approximately 3 feet (0.9 meters) high with delicate, fragrant leaves, resembling those of parsley, and green, spherical, highly aromatic seeds produced in abundance. The leaves are used extensively in cookery and have a pleasantly fresh taste, almost orange-like. The seeds, either fresh or dried, are also popular in cooking and are an ingredient in many curry dishes.
Coriander has been used since ancient times. The tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II was found to contain coriander seeds. Coriander has been used in herbal medicine for the treatment of digestive complaints both in China and in Western countries.
Essential oil of coriander is obtained from the seeds, when ripe, by steam distillation. The oil is colorless or very pale yellow and has a fresh, sweet, spicy odour. Coriander oil is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a flavoring ingredient. It is also used in the manufacture of cosmetics, soaps and some perfumes. The food industry utilizes coriander oil as a flavoring agent.
Therapeutically, coriander is warming and stimulating on the nervous and circulatory systems. It is comforting and revitalizing and will help to boost confidence and combat debility when spirits are low. It is also beneficial in the treatment of muscular stiffness and aches and pains associated with rheumatism and arthritis. It has analgesic properties and will warm and soothe areas of pain and discomfort.
Coriander oil can be used to alleviate some of the symptoms of digestive problems, particularly when used in massage. It has antispasmodic properties and will relieve flatulence, colic and dyspepsia. It can help to stimulate a poor appetite, especially after illness. It can also help in the treatment of diarrhoea.
Coriander is useful in the treatment of post-illness weakness and ‘blues’. It also has aphrodisiac properties and can stimulate a jaded sexual appetite when used in massage or in bathing.
The fragrance blends well with spice oils for use in a vaporizer.
Suitable methods of use
Coriander is nontoxic and non-sensitizing, and when used in dilution it will not irritate the skin. It can, however, have a stupefying effect if used in very large doses -moderation is therefore advised. Warning: Avoid using coriander during pregnancy.