Common name: 
4 - frequently foraged

Coriander is a commonly used domestic remedy, valued especially for its effect on the digestive system, treating flatulence, diarrhoea and colic[9, 244]. It settles spasms in the gut and counters the effects of nervous tension[254]. The seed is aromatic, carminative, expectorant, narcotic, stimulant and stomachic[4, 9, 21, 46, 147, 178, 201, 238]. It is most often used with active purgatives in order to disguise their flavour and combat their tendency to cause gripe[4, 244]. The raw seed is chewed to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and to cure foul breath[240, 268] and will sweeten the breath after garlic has been eaten[254]. Some caution is advised, however, because if used too freely the seeds become narcotic[4]. Externally the seeds have been used as a lotion or have been bruised and used as a poultice to treat rheumatic pains[254, 268]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Appetite stimulant'[210].

There are reports the herb mobilizes heavy metals from the central nervous system, excreting them from the body or moving them to peripheral tissue where they can more easily be removed with chelating agents. 


Coriandrum sativum

Drought tolerant: No

Habitats: full sun

Edible Uses: leaves, seeds, spice

Flood tolerant: No

Zone hardiness: 10

Family: Apiaceae

Genus: Coriandrum

Physical characteristics: flower, herb

Prefers a warm dry light soil[4, 27, 37]. Plants grown mainly for their seeds do well in partial shade, but when growing for the seed or essential oil a sunny position is preferred[238]. The plants dislike constant moisture[14] or too much nitrogen[200]. Another report says that coriander grows best when a cool damp spring is followed by a hot dry summer[238]. Coriander tends to run quickly to seed if the plants are too dry at the seedling stage[238]. Plants tolerate a pH in the range 4.9 to 8.3. Coriander is often cultivated, both on a garden scale and commercially, for its edible seed[4, 142], there are some named varieties[183]. The plant is fast-growing, ripening its seed without difficulty in Britain and it seems to be free of pests and diseases[234]. The seeds have been used medicinally and as a food flavouring since ancient times, and were introduced into Britain by the Romans[244]. In the Middle Ages they were added to love potions because of their reputation as aphrodisiacs[244]. The plants flowers are very attractive to pollinating insects[14, 18, 201]. Coriander is in general a good companion plant in the garden, helping to repel aphis and carrot root fly[238]. It grows well with anise, improving the germination rate when the two species are sown together[14, 18, 20, 238], but it grows badly with fennel, where it acts to reduce the seed yield of the fennel[14, 18, 20, 201, 238]. Coriander also grows particularly well with dill and chervil[201].

sow from seed after frost