Coriander, also known as “Dhanya” or “Dhanyaka,” is a humble herb with aromatic leaves and seeds. It is not just a flavorful herb used in culinary dishes around the world; it also plays a significant role in Ayurvedic medicine due to its therapeutic properties. Be it in the form of leaves, seeds, or powder, it offers a treasure trove of holistic healing practices that focus on balancing mind, body, and spirit to achieve overall well-being. The word coriander describes the whole plant, like leaves, stems, and seeds, but few consider seeds to be coriander.
It is scientifically known as Coriandrum sativum, and in Sanskrit, it is called Dhanya. In Ayurveda, it is considered a “Tridoshic” herb, meaning it can balance all three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This unique quality makes coriander an essential component of Ayurvedic treatments and dietary recommendations. It has a sweet, bitter, and slightly pungent taste. It has cooling properties, so it is ideal for balancing excess heat or pitta in the body, especially during hot summer months.
Let’s explore the various ways these seeds are utilized in Ayurveda and the numerous health benefits it offers:
Health benefits of coriander:
- Digestive Aid: This herb is renowned for its potent digestive properties. It aids in the proper breakdown of food by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. This herb is particularly beneficial for people who have a high vata-dosha balance, which is associated with digestive problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion, and constipation.
- Detoxification: Ayurveda places great emphasis on detoxification, and it plays a pivotal role in this procedure. It helps eliminate toxins from the body, purifies the blood, and promotes overall health. The detoxifying effects of these seeds are particularly advantageous for people who have Pitta imbalances, which can result in skin disorders, inflammation, and liver troubles.
- Cooling Effect: Coriander is considered a cooling herb, making it an excellent choice for Pitta-dominant people. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which are useful for managing gastritis and acidity by reducing heat and irritation in the digestive tract.
- Stress Reduction: Ayurveda recognizes the mind-body connection in health. Coriander is known for its soothing and calming effect on the mind and nervous system. Consuming coriander can help manage stress and anxiety.
- Skin Health: These seeds can help to maintain a healthy complexion. It has antibacterial qualities that can help fight acne and skin problems. Additionally, its detoxifying properties support skin that is clear and radiant.
- Respiratory Health: It is also beneficial for Pitta dominants, as it balances Kapha. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also beneficial for people with asthma and bronchitis.
- Weight Management: It’s crucial to maintain a healthy weight for overall well-being. It is a beneficial supplement for weight loss management as it can regulate appetite and increase metabolism.
Ways to incorporate herbs into your daily routine
- Coriander Tea: Boil a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water. Strain and drink this tea before meals to improve digestion and reduce inflammation, stress, and anxiety.
- Coriander Powder: You can use its powder in curries, soup, and stews to add extra flavor and reap its benefits.
- Coriander Leaves: Fresh leaves can be used to garnish salads, soups, and various dishes. They not only enhance the flavor but also offer health benefits.
- Coriander Oil: Its oil is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
- Coriander Paste: Make a paste of coriander leaves and apply it to the forehead to get rid of headaches.
It is a revered herb with a wide range of therapeutic properties that align perfectly with Ayurvedic principles. Whether you’re looking to improve your digestive health, manage stress, or enhance your overall well-being, taking these seeds on a regular basis will enhance your well-being. However, always consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before using coriander for medicinal purposes, especially if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.