Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Mmmmm, Cilantro

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs right along with Basil. I am a HUGE fan of Cilantro and Basil pesto’s, but there is nothing better in Mexican and Chinese (referred to as Chinese parsley) food than cilantro. You cannot make a good Salsa or Pico De Gillo without it.

Cilantro herb is native to Mediterranean and Asian regions. In Central Texas this is a cool season plant, so plant this in the Spring and Fall.  It grows 1 to 2 feet in height and features bright Green leaves, and the leaves and stem have slightly citrus/herby green flavor.

  • Cilantro herb contains no cholesterol; but is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fiber which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while increasing HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
  • The leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene.
  • The leaves and stem tips are also rich in numerous anti-oxidant polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and epigenin.
  • The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
  • It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin- A, beta carotene, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Cilantro leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.
  • It provides 6748 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 225% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin-A, an important fat soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; provides about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.
  • The coriander seeds oil have found application in many traditional medicines as analgesic, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic, deodorant, digestive, carminative, fungicidal, lipolytic (weight loss), stimulant and stomachic.
Flowering cilantro in the herb garden.

Flowering cilantro in the herb garden.

Cilantro leaves provide only 39 cal/100 g, but their phyto-nutrients profile is no less than any high calorie food source; be it nuts, cereals or meat group. How cool is that?

It produces small white or light pink flowers in late Spring, early Summer, followed by round-oval, feathery shaped aromatic seeds. Here in Texas the plant dies back in the heat of Summer and may return in the Fall, but will usually need to be re-planted. I was pleasantly surprised this Spring that mine returned from last year.

Coriander seeds, used as spice, are round to oval in shape, yellowish brown in color and have flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrus, but also slightly peppery.

Using cilantro greatly increases our ability to clear up recurring infections, both viral and bacterial especially when eaten with omega-3 enriched foods such as nuts.

1. Protects against the Salmonella bacteria

2. Reportedly works as a natural chelation treatment (see recipe below)

3. Aids in digestion and helps settle the stomach and prevent flatulence

4. Is an anti-inflammatory that may alleviate symptoms of arthritis

5. Protects against urinary tract infections

6. Prevents nausea

7. Relieves intestinal gas

8. Lowers blood sugar

9. Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL)

10. A good source of dietary fiber

There is considerable literature stating that cilantro may be an effective chelation therapy for people who have excess mercury in their systems. I have done this chelation therapy myself and I swear by it.  Not only did it help in reducing the metals in my system, but the instant boost of well-being that you experience from the treatment was worth it on its own. Some think that mercury poisoning could be the result of metallic teeth fillings. Every time a person with fillings chews, the fillings release minute amounts of mercury gas that may be breathed into the system (swallowing mercury is actually far less toxic than breathing it). Nevertheless, many people who have suffered from mercury poisoning and the “brain cloud” it causes have reported fairly rapid relief by the consistent consumption of cilantro over a period of just a few weeks. The chelation therapy requires that you eat 2 Tbs of the pesto each day for 2 weeks.  This Pesto is awesome on bread, crackers, fish, chicken, pasta and frankly it was good by the spoonful!!

Here is the recipe:

Cilantro Pesto (chelation)

1 clove garlic

1/2 c almonds, cashews, or other nuts ( Walnuts are excellent)

1 c packed fresh cilantro leaves (and smaller stems)

2 tbs lemon juice

6 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt to taste

My favorite home-made Salsa recipe is super simple too…

Lisa’s Salsa

1 lg can of diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

2-3 key limes (juiced)

1 small white onion

1 bunch of Cilantro (leaves only)

1-3 jalapeno’s to taste (some like it hot!!)

1 tsp Sea salt

cracked black pepper

1 tsp cumin

garlic salt (optional)

Mix in blender until well blended and serve with anything your heart desires.  Believe me, it will be a huge hit!!

We are coming up on Fall and now is a good time to plant Cilantro, so get busy and try a new recipe, your family will thank you for it!

Happy Gardening!!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”


1 Comment

  1. Wow I didn’t know cilantro had all those dietary benefits, but then you are the gardener. I posted a blog on cilantro this past week. I would love to learn how to grow it. I live a mile high above sea level and the sun is pretty intense in the summer.

    I saw a blog on a cilantro hater. I knew people disliked it but enough to name their blog after hating it.
    Patty

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