Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herbaceous plant from the Umbelliferae family. Coriandrum sativum is one of the most important useful plants as a spice or essential oil. The name of the aromatic spice, which was first used by the Greek author Pliny, is not derived from its therapeutic, aromatic, or culinary properties, but ironically from the strong smell of the unripe fruit which is rather unpleasant, which resembles that of the bedbugs. The name coriander means something like "bed bug" in Greek. Because of this smell, coriander seeds are not used in their immature state. Towards the end of summer, its fruits turn light brown and acquire a pleasantly sweet and spicy aroma.
Coriander is native to Asia, although some researchers suggest that the Еastern Mediterranean could also be considered the birthplace of the plant. It is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit written sources that speak of coriander in the gardens of ancient India about 7 000 years ago. Coriander seeds were found about 3 000 years ago in one of the tombs of the 21st Egyptian dynasty and later in caves from the time of Аncient Israel.
According to historical sources, coriander was used as an aphrodisiac by the ancient Greeks. The Greek doctor Dioscurides believed that consuming the spice increased male potency. The founder of scientific medicine, Hippocrates, prescribed it as medicine, but also recommended using it to flavor wines to greatly increase their beneficial effects.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, coriander was added to love potions because it was believed to have aphrodisiac properties and stimulate passion, especially when consumed with wine.
In Chinese mythology, it was believed that the seeds of the coriander plant had the ability to confer immortality. In “1001 Nights,” a book written more than 1 000 years ago, coriander seeds are mentioned as part of a mixture intended to help a childless man have children.
In the Old Testament Bible (Exodus 17:31), the heavenly manna that Moses and his tribe ate for 40 years while wandering the desert is very reminiscent of coriander seeds and tasted like a cake sweetened with honey.
The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda relies on the valuable properties of the aromatic spice to maintain liver function, to combat bacterial and respiratory infections, to support the digestive process, and cleanse the liver and kidneys.
Many people find the taste of fresh coriander leaves repulsive and describe it as having a bitter and unpleasant smell of soap. Coriander seeds are good for everyone, however, and are also very effective in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing insulin resistance. They really are a superfood for people with diabetes.
Coriander is a honey plant. Coriander honey is called "male honey" because it increases male potency, contains a large number of essential oils that have a pungent aroma, characteristic amber color and exceptional healing properties that also support respiratory, heart and liver functions.