Coriandrum sativum L.

Last updated: 13 March 2017

Scientific Name

Coriandrum sativum L.


Bifora loureiroi Kostel., Coriandropsis syriaca H.Wolff, Coriandrum diversifolium Gilib. [Invalid], Coriandrum globosum Salisb., Coriandrum majus Gouan, Coriandrum majus Garsault [Invalid], Selinum coriandrum Krause. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Jintan, ketumar, ketumbar, penjilang, wansui [2]
English Chinese parsley, coriander, parsley [2]
China Hu sui, hsiang sui, yuan sui, yuan sui shu [2]
India Ababika, allaka, aritaravanchi, chhatra, cottamillie, daniyalu, dhani, dhanya beeja, dhanyakam, haveeja, janapriya, kacukatimalli, kishm iz khushk, kishmiz khusk, kotambari, kotta-malli, kottamari-bija, kottmir, kouthmir, kunati, kusbarah, nau, phadigom, shakayogya, takkaniyam, tenukam, tumpuru, uraiyiculi, urini, vacantiram, veshana, vitunnaka [2]
Indonesia Katuncar, ketumbar, tumbar [2]
Thailand Phakchi, phakhom, phakhom-noi [2]
Laos Miye [2]
Philippines Culantro, kulantra, kulantro,ongsoi, uan-soi [2]
Cambodia Vannsuy [3]
Vietnam Ng[of]ta, rau m[uf]i, rau ng[of] [2]
Japan Koendoro, kûshibâ [2]
Saudi Arabia Kesbour, kusbara, table [2]
Nepal Dhaniya [2]
France Coriandre [2]
Central America Cilantro, culantro, culantro de Castilla, nocuana gueza toti castilla, saquil [2].

Geographical Distributions

Coriandrum sativum has its origin in the Near East. It is only known in cultivation; escapes from cultivation may become weeds. The oldest archaeological remains of coriander, dated at 6000 BC, have been found in Israel. The crop has since spread throughout the world, and different morphotypes have developed. Coriander reached South-East Asia from two directions: forms with ovoid fruits were introduced from India, while forms with small, globular fruits arrived later (after 400 AD) from China. [3]

Botanical Description

C. sativum is a member of the family Apiaceae. It is an erect, annual, glabrous usually profusely branching herb that can grow up to 1.30 m tall. [3]

The stem is solid, subterete and can expand up to 2 cm in diameter, older internodes sometimes becoming hollow, sulcate, mostly with a white bloom, light green with darker green ribs. [3]

The leaves are alternate, rather variable in shape, size and number with a yellow-green scariously margined sheath surrounding the supporting stem, basal 1-3 leaves usually simple, withering early, often in a rosette, blade ovate in outline, deeply cleft or parted into usually 3 incised-dentate lobes; next leaves decompound, petiole 0-15 cm long, blade ovate or elliptical in outline, up to 30 cm x 15 cm, usually pinnately divided into 3-11 leaflets, each like the blade of the simple lower leaves or again pinnately divided into 3-7 simple leaf-like lobes; all higher leaves compound, petiole restricted to the sheath, blade divided into 3 leaflets of which the central one is largest, each often variously divided into ultimately sublinear, entire, acute lobes. [3]

The inflorescence an indeterminate, compound umbel; peduncle up to 15 cm long; bracts sublinear, 0-2, up to 11 mm long; primary rays 2-8, up to 4.5 cm long; bracteoles 0-6, linear, up to 1 cm long; secondary rays up to 20, up to 5 mm long; usually each umbellet has bisexual peripheral flowers, and the central flowers are sometimes male; calyx in all flowers represented by 5 small lobes. [3]

The fruit is in ovoid to globose schizocarp can be as big up to 5 mm in diameter, often crowned by the dry persistent calyx. [3]

The seed contains 1 per mericarp, with testa attached to the fruit wall. Seedling with epigeal germination. [3]

The taproot is thin with many lateral roots. [3]


C. sativum seeds reach physiological maturity 6-7 weeks after anthesis. The time from sowing to harvesting depends very much on the genotype, and is usually between 90 and 140 days. The worldwide annual area of coriander is estimated at 550 000 ha, yielding about 600 000 t of coriander fruits. Most of the crop is used as a spice, but about 10% is raw material for the distillation of essential oil, 100 t of which is traded every year. [3]

Chemical Constituent

C. sativum seeds been reported to contain essential oil and the fatty oil [4]. Dried coriander seeds contain an essential oil (0.03-2.6%) with linalool as the main component. [4][5] Other components of the essential oil are: α-thujene, sabinene, β-pinene, myrcene, p-vymene, limonane, Z-β-ocimene, γ-terpenine, terpinolene, camphor, citronellal, trpinene-4-ol, decanal, cumin aldehyde, terpenene-7-al (α), terpinene-7-al (γ) and geranyl acetate. [4][5]

Methanolic extract of whole C. sativum been reported to contain coriandrones A–E, coriandrin, p-hydroxyphenethyl ferulate, (R)-(-)-4, β-dihydroxyphenethyl ferulate, umbelliferone, isoscopoletin, escletin dimethyl ether, daphnetin-8-O-glucoside, syringaldehyde, ferulic acid, veratric acid, p-hydroxycinnamic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-ethanol, 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-methoxyethanol, 1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,2-ethanediol, kaempferol 3-O-α-L-[2,3-di-(E)-p-coumaroylrhamnopyranoside] and kaempferol 3-O-α-L-[3,-(E)-p-coumaroylrhamnopyranoside]. [6][7]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, fruits, root, entire young plant. [3]

Traditional Use

C. sativum seed is a popular spice and is finely grounded to be a major ingredient of curry powder [8]. The fruits are used in the preparation of fish, meat and also for baking [5].

The seed has also been used to treat indigestion, worm infections, rheumatism, loss of appetite, convulsion, insomnia, anxiety and pain in the joints. [5][8][9] C. sativum is used traditionally in Morocco as a diuretic plant [10]. In Iranian folk medicine, it has been recommended for relief of anxiety and insomnia [11].

C. sativum is used in folk medicine. It has been well known since antiquity. Green plants are applied in East Asia as a cure for measles. The fruits are reported to have carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, antibilious, refrigerant, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, galactagogue, emmenagogue and aphrodisiac effects. The essential oil from the fruits is used in the flavour industry, for various basic and luxury foods, to some extent in medicine too, and in cosmetic perfumery. [3]

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

The ethanol extract of C. sativum leaves is an excellent antioxidant which is stable at high temperature and can serve as a substitute for synthetic antioxidants. [12]

The aqueous extract of coriander seed inhibited peroxidised lipid-induced lysis (induced by FeSO4-ascorbate, 10:100 μmol/system) by 72% in human erythrocyte membranes. [13]

Extracts of coriander seeds obtained with supercritical carbon dioxide in semicontinuous lab-scale equipment with low density (0.60 g/mL) CO2 and high density (0.73-0.83 g/mL) CO2 (pressures from 116 to 280 bar and temperatures from 311 to 331 K for the latter) exhibited significant activity in removing free radicals present in a methanol solution of DPPH in a manner which was comparable to those of commercial antioxidants. [14]

The antioxidant capacity of phenolic compounds in coriander leaves was higher than that of the seeds in three different bioassays, namely scavenging of free radical by DPPH, inhibition of 15-lipoxygenase (15-LO) and inhibition of Fe2+ induced phospholipid peroxidation in brain. The seed lipid content which was extracted with dichloromethane gave low activities in radical scavenging and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. The ethyl acetate extract of the leaves exhibited the most potent activity (IC50 value 147 ± 3 μg/mL). [8]

Further studies by Melo et al. indicated that the four coriander extract fractions obtained from the crude extract using chromatography in silica gel possessed similar antioxidant activities that can be measured by the β-carotene/linoleic acid system. The antioxidant activity was due to several phenolic acids and caffeic acid which were contained in all four fractions. [15]

Evaluation of antioxidant potencies of polyphenolic compounds in C. sativum against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human lymphocytes showed that the polyphenolic fractions (50 μg/mL) increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the glutathione content and reduced the levels of thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances significantly. Peroxidative damage was decreased as there was a reduction of in the level of lipid peroxides [16]. The principal component in coriander anti-oxidant action was β-carotene as it represented 61.14% of the carotenoids detected in the ether extracts. The greater antioxidant effect of the crude extract compared to its component fractions suggested a synergistic action between the carotenoids. [17]

Assessment of the total antioxidant activity of methanol and water extracts of coriander leaves and stems using an iron-induced linoleic acid oxidation model system showed that the methanol-derived leaf extracts exhibited significantly greater radical-scavenging activity towards both lipid- and water-soluble radicals, which was attributed to the total phenolic content. [18]

Antimicrobial activity

In 2002, a study by Delaquis et al., reported that cilantro oil strongly inhibited gram-positive bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus) and S. cerevisiae, but had little effect against gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas fragi, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium). [19]

Methanol and water extracts of coriander leaves and stems were tested for antimicrobial activity towards Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli by determining cell damage. The greater bacterial cell damage caused by the methanol stem extracts resulted in a greater growth inhibition of the bacteria, which corresponded to the ferrous sequestering activity of the methanol-derived stem extracts. [18]

Antimutagenicity activity

Coriander played a protective role against the deleterious effects in lipid metabolism in experimental colon cancer induced by 1,2-dimethyl hydrazine in rats.[20]

The antimutagenicity of coriander juice against the mutagenic activity of 4-nitro-o-phenylenediamine, m-phenylenediamine and 2-aminofluorene was investigated using the Ames reversion mutagenesis assay (his- to his+) with the S. typhimurium TA98 strain as the indicator organism. It was found that aqueous crude coriander juice significantly decreased the mutagenicity of metabolised amines. [21]

The capacity of coriander essential oil to induce nuclear DNA damage-responsive genes was tested using suitable Lac-Z ­fusion strains for RNR3 and RAD51, which are genes involved in DNA metabolism and repair, respectively. At equitoxic dose, the essential oil demonstrated significant gene induction, aprroximately the same as that caused by hydrogen peroxide, but much lower than that caused by methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). It affected the mitochondrial structure and function and can stimulate the transcriptional expression of DNA damage-responsive genes. It appeared that the induction of microbial damage was closely linked to overall cellular cytotoxicity by the essential oil which also appeared to mask the occurence of nuclear genetic events. [22]

Anthelmintic activity

Crude aqueous and hydro-alcoholic extracts of the seeds of C. sativum completely inhibited hatching of nematode eggs at concentrations lower than 0.5 mg/mL with no statistically significant difference between both extracts. However, the hydro-alcoholic extract showed better in vitro activity against adult parasites than the aqueous one. [23]

Efficacy of anthelmintic activity in vivo was tested by faecal egg count reduction (FECR) and total worm count reduction (TWCR) in sheeps artificially infected with Haemonchus contortus. Significant FECR was detected on day 2 after treatment with 0.9 g/kg of crude aqueous extract of C. sativum. On days 7 and 14, FECR was also detected at 0.45 g/kg dose of crude aqueous extract. A significant TWCR was only detected with 0.9 g/kg dose of crude aqueous extract. [23]

Antidiabetic activity

C. sativum showed significant hypoglycemic action in rats fed with high cholesterol diet. The activity of glycogen synthase was increased which showed an increase in the concentration of hepatic glycogen, while the activity of glycogen phosphorylase and gluconeogenic enzymes revealed a decrease in the rate of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. There was also increased in activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glycolytic enzymes used glucose by the pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis respectively. [24]

In an in vitro study to assess the possible effects of aqueous coriander plant extract (50 g plant extract/L) on glucose diffusion across the gastrointestinal tract, it was found that the extract significantly decreased glucose diffusion compared to control with mean external glucose concentration of 6.4 ± 0.2 mmol/L at 26 h. Part of the antihyperglycemic actions of C. sativum may be due to decreased glucose absorption in vivo. [25]

Pretreatment with C. sativum protected Wistar albino rats against gastric mucosal damage induced by ethanol. The protective effect might be related to the free-radical scavenging property of the different antioxidant constituents present in C. sativum. [26]

Immunomodulatory activity

The aqueous crude extracts of C. sativum stimulated the proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the secretion of IFN-γ at concentrations between 50 and 200 μg/mL. Further studies on several bioactive compounds known to be of the extract, showed that the flavonoid quercetin stimulated the proliferation of human PBMC and the secretion of IFN-γ. However, the flavonoid rutin, coumarins bergapten and xanthotoxin modulate the secretion of of IFN-γ but did not enhance the proliferation of human PBMC while the coumarin isopimpinellin, promoted the proliferation of PBMC but did not modulate the secretion of IFN-γ. [27]

Anti-fungal activity

Coriander oil did not have an effect on mycelia growth (A. parasiticus) and did not affect the aflatoxin content of the fungus. [28]

Antidiuretic effect

The aqueous extract of coriander increased diuresis and the urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, chloride and the glomerular filtration rate at doses of 40 and 100 mg/kg administered by intravenous infusion (120 min) in anesthetised Wistar rats. The mechanism of diuretic action of coriander appeared to be similar to that of furosemide. [10]

Anxiolytic effect

The aqueous extract of C. sativum seed has anxiolytic effect and may have potential sedative and muscle relaxation effect. The aqueous extract (100 mg/kg, i.p.) showed an anxiolytic effect in male albino mice using the elevated plus-maze model by increasing the time spent on open arms and the percentage of open arm coordination. Furthermore, the aqueous extract (50, 100 and 500 mg/kg) significantly reduced spontaneous activity and neuromuscular coordination compared to the control group. [11]

Other studies and effects

A polyherbal ayurvedic formulation which contained ripe fruits of coriander as one of its major ingredients was tested on two different experimental animal models of inflammatory bowel disease (acetic acid-induced colitis in mice and indomethacin-induced enterocolitis in rats). The results obtained showed that the formulation was efficacious against inflammatory bowel disease. [29]

C. sativum was suggested to have a preventive effect on localised lead deposition in ICR mice. The administration of C. sativum significantly decreased lead deposition in the femur and reduced the severe lead-induced injury in the kidney of ICR mice which were given lead (1000 ppm) as lead acetate trihydrate in drinking water for 32 days. [30]

The effect of the aqueous extract of fresh coriander seeds on female fertility in rats was studied. The extract (250 and 500 mg/kg orally) produced a dose-dependent significant anti-implantation effect, but failed to produce complete infertility. [31]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

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Poisonous Management

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