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Herb works health wonders, but heed this warning

By Lee Euler / November 2, 2011

The Oil of This Herb
Slaughters Deadly Bacteria
But the Tasty Fresh Leaves Come with a Warning!

Discovered by archeologists in Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb… used for centuries by ancient Greeks and Romans to flavor food and wine… known in Asian countries for thousands of years… even mentioned in the Old Testament. Now we know this herb kills some of the most feared bacteria. But if you buy it in the wrong form, watch out!

Continued below…

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Treasured for its medicinal value, coriander was used by Hippocrates and other physicians. Herbalists use it as a digestive tonic, sleep aid, antibacterial ointment, and more.

It also made it into the best-selling book of all time. Exodus chapter 16, verse 31 says, “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”

Breaking research shows it even kills deadly bacteria…

New research just published in August of this year showed that coriander oil has the ability to combat serious bacteria such as E. coli, MRSA, salmonella and Bacillus cereus. Of the 12 tested strains, all the bacteria showed reduced growth, and most were killed — by solutions containing up to 1.6% coriander oil.

Coriander oil works by damaging the membrane of the bacterial cell, causing cell death — according to the Journal of Medical Microbiology study.1

Back in 2004, a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed the compound dodecenal was twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug, gentamicin, at killing salmonella.

This discovery clarified something that’s been known for a while: salsa has antibacterial properties. Scientists didn’t know precisely what ingredient in salsa was killing off microbes until they found that dodecenal — a component found in cilantro leaves — provides that benefit. And what does cilantro have to do with coriander? That’s easy. . .

It’s the same plant by two different names

Fresh coriander is both an herb and a spice — since both leaves and seeds are used. The leaves resemble parsley, and are known as cilantro in the U.S. (Elsewhere it’s all referred to as coriander.) It is used in the cuisine of many different cultures, including two of my favorites: Mexican and Indian food.

The fruit of the plant consists of two seeds, which smell of citrus and sage in their dried form. Seeds can be purchased whole and crushed with mortar and pestle, or in powdered form. Whole coriander seed is sometimes used in pickling.

The seeds and leaves taste completely different from one another. For some reason, the leaves arouse intense reactions. Some people (including me) love cilantro while others absolutely can’t stand it. It seems to yield a very different taste sensation for some folks, maybe even rooted in their genes.

If you’re one of the people who like it, coriander/cilantro can provide far-reaching benefits for your health and well-being. Rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids, it contains many micronutrients that benefit your health.

These phytonutrients have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties which confer many health benefits. A diet rich in plant foods provides essential vitamins and minerals, plus over 25,000 phytochemicals.2 This is why it’s so important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and not to rely solely on supplements. There are thousands of nutrients in plants we don’t even know about. You can’t get them in a pill. Not yet, anway.

Its benefits could fill a book

Coriander has so many redeeming qualities an entire book could be written about it. It’s believed to help control blood sugar levels, fight cancer, and combat signs of aging.

In Europe coriander is called the anti-diabetic plant. The people of India use it as a potent anti-inflammatory. And in the U.S., it’s been studied for its ability to lower cholesterol.

Studies support these claims. When coriander was added to the diet of diabetic mice, their insulin secretion was stimulated, and their blood sugar lowered. Rats fed coriander had reduced amounts of damaged fats in their cell membranes.

And rats given a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet — plus coriander — lowered both their total and LDL (bad) cholesterol numbers, while boosting HDL. Apparently coliander’s linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin-C) are effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels… and reducing cholesterol deposits along the inner walls of the arteries and veins.

Cilantro is rich in vitamin K, which plays a role in building bone. Vitamin K is synergistic with vitamin D. Most knowledgeable nutritionists now urge patients to supplement with vitamin K or make sure they get enough in their diets.

In addition, cilantro has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain.

Further, the seeds of coriander have been used:

1. As a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia

2. In traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic

3. To help improve GI-tract upsets such as indigestion, diarrhea and flatulence

4. For colic relief when used as a mild, safe tea for children under age 2

5. To promote gastric secretions and stimulate appetite

6. For relief of toothache and bad breath when made into a tea and gargled

For centuries, coriander has been considered a powerful natural aphrodisiac. Arabian tales speak of a man who cured his infertility with coriander. The ancient Chinese believed coriander could stimulate potency and even provide immortality. So you might also be able to spice up your sex life with this stimulating herb.

Contains an array of vitamins and nutrients

The leaves and seeds contain eleven components of essential oils… are rich in polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin and epigenin… and contain six types of acids, minerals and vitamins — each with its own beneficial properties.

It’s a great source of the minerals potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is needed to produce red blood cells. Manganese is a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.

What’s more, coriander contains the vitamins folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, beta carotene, and a generous dose of vitamin C — all essential for optimal health.

You’ll also get support for healthy mucus membranes, skin, and eyes — from the vitamin A, abundant in coriander. Natural foods rich in vitamin A (and flavonoids) also help guard against lung and oral cavity cancers.

Because phytonutrients act synergistically, and may interact with compounds science has yet to even define, it should be used as just one part of a diet rich with other fruits and veggies.

Warning!
Follow this rule when buying cilantro…

An annual study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) names the year’s “Dirty Dozen” — fruits and vegetables that are so contaminated with pesticide residue you should buy organic. They also name the conventionally grown ones that are safest to consume.

Their June 2011 study showed that conventional cilantro tested positive for not one, but a whopping 30 different pesticides.3,4

It was EWG’s first year ever testing an herb.

These findings are sobering enough to suggest sprinting to the organic part of your produce department. Then double check to be sure the code begins with a ‘9’, which is the number all organic produce begins with.

Here’s the bad news in brief…

Of 184 samples tested (81% U.S.-grown, 17% imported):

1. 94% had at least one pesticide residue

2. 44%had residues of at least one pesticide not approved for use on the crop—the highest level EWG pesticide analyst Chris Campbell said he’d ever seen in USDA testing. (The fungicide quintozene was detected at 0.3 ppm, well above the 0.1 ppm limit set for tomatoes.)

3. 37% had residues of the organophosphate (OP) chlorpyrifros—in at least one case, at three times the EPA’s limit.

Clearly these pesticides are environmental hazards that can negatively impact your health and boost your risk of cancer (detailed in past articles).

Don’t cancel out the benefits of coriander (cilantro) with damaging pesticide residues. I’m pretty sure the small cost difference is worth it when you weigh it against the potential health risks.

Once you’ve got your organically grown cilantro, have fun exploring recipes online for guacamole, salsa, cilantro salad dressings, soups containing cilantro, juicing, and more.

Cilantro and coriander pack a powerful nutritional punch. You might even discover some new favorite foods in your quest to make it part of your diet. After all, cilantro is one of the most popular herbs on earth — most likely for its combination of flavor and health benefits.

Best regards,

Lee Euler,
Publisher

References:
1 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823193857.htm
2 Rao B. Bioactive phytochemicals in Indian foods and their potential in health promotion and disease prevention. Asia Pac J Nutr 2003;12:9-22
3 http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/random-usda-testing-finds-34-unapproved-pesticides-on-cilantro.ph
4 http://news.agropages.com/Feature/FeatureDetail—1084.htm
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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