Unexpected Health Benefits Of Cilantro

- Human cultures have used herbs as medicine since ancient times, possibly dating back to the Paleolithic Age. 

According to News Medical Life Sciences, cilantro and other herbs have been used in folk medicine as far back as 48,000 years ago.

According to FoodReference.com, cilantro is also called Chinese parsley, and its coriander seeds were thought to bestow immortality and used as an aphrodisiac in ancient Chinese culture. 

The ancient Egyptians also prized coriander, and it has been found in Egyptian tombs. 

Traditional medicine uses coriander, the seed from cilantro, as an antibiotic, pain reliever, and aphrodisiac, as well as to treat memory loss and gastrointestinal problems, per News Medical Life Sciences.

Currently, researchers are studying cilantro's antimicrobial, antioxidant, and neurological effects. 

Geoffrey Abbot, Ph.D., professor of physiology and biophysics at the UCI School of Medicine, conducted a 2019 study published in The FASEB Journal analyzing the effects of cilantro on the brain. 

The study revealed some unexpected health benefits of cilantro. 

Abbot tells Neuroscience News, "We discovered that cilantro, which has been used as a traditional anticonvulsant medicine, activates a class of potassium channels in the brain to reduce seizure activity."

Abbot supports traditional medicine's uses of the botanical herb, saying, "In addition to the anticonvulsant properties, cilantro also has reported anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, cardioprotective, gastric health and analgesic effects. And, the best part is it tastes good!"

Cilantro may help develop safer drugs for epilepsy

According to News Medical Life Sciences, studies show coriander contains high levels of antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene. 

These antioxidants can reduce the risk of eye disease, cancer, and other health conditions. 

And a 2015 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests cilantro can protect skin from photoaging by regulating collagen production.

Cilantro also contains antimicrobial properties that can protect against food poisoning and bacterial infections (per News Medical Life Sciences). 

According to WebMD, one study showed dodecenal, a cilantro component, worked better to combat salmonella than a popular antibiotic.

WebMD says cilantro may also be able to help protect memory. 

More research is needed, but early studies have shown a connection between eating cilantro and reduced risk for cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

But perhaps most importantly, Neuroscience News reports that researchers have discovered the molecular action of cilantro may postpone the onset of seizures. 

Dodecenal in cilantro binds to select potassium channels to reduce cellular excitability, which may be fundamental to discovering new anticonvulsant therapies for epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

As Geoffrey Abbot explains, "This specific discovery is important as it may lead to more effective use of cilantro as an anticonvulsant, or to modifications of dodecenal to develop safer and more effective anticonvulsant drugs."


S: healthdigest

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