Coriander,also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and northern Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft plant growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall. Its leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base,slender and feathery on the flowering stems.Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670, and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers .Not many know this but coriander can be used as a very effective natural water purifier.Coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since second millennium BC. Coriander was apparently was used in two forms:
- As a spice for its seeds
- As a herb for the flavor of its leaves.
This is confirmed by archaeological evidence from the same period.
Coriander is often referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, dhania, Chinese parsley, or cilantro.The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. Some people may be genetically predisposed to find an unpleasant soapy taste or a rank smell in coriander leaves.The fresh coriander leaves are a major ingredient :
- In South Asian foods (such as rasams, chutneys, and salads)
- In Chinese and Thai dishes
- In Mexican cooking
- In Salsa and guacamole
- As a garnish
- As Salads in Russia and other CIS countries.
- Chopped coriander is used in bread soup Açorda,in Portugal.
- In India, chopped coriander is a garnish on major Indian dishes such as dal.
As heat diminishes their flavor, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until their flavor diminishes.
Natural Water Purifier Properties
It is now considered COOL, not cheap, to provide jugs of water for refreshments at a social function. The trick to making water a WOW factor on the table :
- A Stylish Jug,
- A Generous Amount of Ice,
- and A little greenery.
The good news is that, if the greenery is strategically chosen, it will do more than just satisfy our urge to SEE GREEN, it will also make that water a lot cleaner.The humble coriander herb or cilantro has proven to be a potential biosorbent and a natural water purifier that can remove lead and other toxic heavy metals from water. It has been found that the coriander leaves have the ability to drink up heavy metals like lead and nickel that have leaked into groundwater. According to Prof. Schauer, a handful of cilantro would neatly filter away lead from a pot full of highly contaminated water. The secret of cilantro’s natural water purifier power lies in the structure of the outer walls of its microscopic cells that make up coriander leaves. The architecture of these walls makes them ideal for absorbing heavy metals. He also believes that dried cilantro could someday be packaged like teabags, or as reusable water-filter cartridges to remove heavy metals from impure water.Though activated carbon is the most popular material used in water purifiers, it is too expensive for most developing countries. Coriander is an inexpensive natural water purifier.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||95 kJ (23 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.8 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
We’re living in a chemical world – where all sort of pollutants, both man made and natural, contaminate our water. Among the most problematic pollutants, are heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury – all of which in excess, have been shown to be harmful to human health.But getting these heavy metals out of the water we drink, is both costly and difficult, so it is often not done.
But, Mother Nature has a cheap and easy FIX.
A research team, lead by Douglas Schauer of Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, IN, along with colleagues from the Universidad Politécnica de Francisco I. Madero in Hidalgo,
Mexico, have been studying the region of Tule Valley near Mexico City to identify cheaper ways to filter water. Mexico City has long dumped its waste water in the valley, and the contaminated water is then used by regional farmers to irrigate crops. Once in the edible foods, heavy metals such as lead and nickel can make their way to consumers, where they can contribute to neurological and other health problems.After testing various samples of plants from cacti to flowers, the researchers determined that cilantro is the most prevalent and powerful so-called bio-absorbant material in the area. Bio-absorption is the scientific term for using organic materials often found in plants, that when dried, could replace the charcoal currently used in filters. Ground-up cilantro can be inserted into a tube into which water is passed through.Cilantro allows the water to trickle out but absorbs metals, leaving cleaner drinking water. Dried cilantro can also be placed into tea bags that are placed in a pitcher of water for a few minutes to suck out the heavy metals.So far, the researchers reported success in removing lead and nickel with their cilantro filters, and are studying how well the herb can removed other heavy metals found in the Tule Valley water such as arsenic and mercury.