Today’s late-winter Farmacy Friday herb is cilantro! This versatile herb is used in many
dishes, from guacamole and salsa to curries, and noodle dishes. Once cilantro
produces seed, the flavor of the leaves intensifies. At this point, the seeds themselves
(coriander) can be used as a spice for pickling, sausages, breads, and is asignature
ingredient in “Garam Masala,” a popular Indian spice blend.
While it’s culinary uses are extensive, cilantro is also considered a powerful cleansing
herb, best-known for it’s ability to bind to and facilitate elimination of heavy metals such
as arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury from the body. Without regular
cleansing, these heavy metals can become resident in the body’s tissues, potentially
causing issues such as infertility, hormonal imbalances, neurological conditions, or
heart disease. Cilantro’s strong antioxidant properties also help protect against damage
caused by free radicals, further protecting the body from disease. Additionally, the
stems and leaves of cilantro have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in
animals, and its antibacterial compounds can be useful against urinary tract infections.
When used as remedy for an upset stomach, cilantro can prevent gas and bloating,
relieve indigestion and heartburn, and ease stomach cramps.
When it comes to un-restful sleep, cilantro is a true hero, as its natural sedative
properties can improve sleep and lower anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that high
levels of cilantro produce the same anti-anxiety affects as the anti-anxiety drug,
Valium—but without Valium’s annoying side-affects!
As a skin soother, fresh cilantro and coconut oil can be blended together and applied
topically to soothe sunburns, dry skin, poison ivy, or hives. The next time you or one of
your loved ones is suffering from one of these skin ailments, blend cilantro with water
and strain. Drink the strained juice, then add coconut oil to the cilantro mixture before
applying to the skin. This internal+external approach is particularly helpful when seeking
relief from an allergic reaction.