Allergen-Fighters: Cilantro and Coriander

Plants and pollen are sources of allergen reactions for many people. But some plants contain valuable chemicals and compounds that actually help the body deal with allergens, such as flavonoids and phenols. One such plant is cilantro or coriander. The leaves and tender stems of the plant are used as a fresh herb (referred to as cilantro), and the seeds, whole or ground, as a dry spice (coriander).

Cilantro and coriander are powerful aids to digestion. According to ayurveda, allergen reactions result from improper digestion and an accumulation of ama (toxins) in the physiology, which weakens the immune system and distorts the body's response mechanisms. Cilantro and coriander, by enhancing digestion, work to alleviate the root cause of allergen reactions.

Use fresh cilantro, finely chopped, as a garnish for bean soups, vegetable and bean stews, lentils, cooked vegetables and rice dishes. Add finely-chopped tender stems to soups and stews as they are cooking for even more potent flavor. Use freshly-ground coriander seed in combination with other spices to flavor vegetables and grain dishes.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Digestive Lassi with Fresh Cilantro

Basmati Rice with Corn and Coconut Milk Sauce

Spiced Garbanzo Beans

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.