Nutritional and medicinal aspects
(Coriandrum sativum L.)
Muhammad Nadeem, Faqir Muhammad Anjum,
Muhammad Issa Khan and Saima Tehseen
National Institute of Food Science and Technology,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Food Industry & Nutrition Division, National Research Center,
Cairo, Egypt, and
Javed Iqbal Sultan
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of multiple functions of
Design/methodology/approach – The authors undertake a literaturereviewof the coriander plant’s
history, chemical composition of coriander parts and its oil, and their nutraceutical potential. Various
phytopharmacological appraisals have been discussed at length to investigate their important potential.
Findings – Coriander is an annual, herbaceous plant which originated from the Mediterranean and
Middle Eastern regions and known as medicinal plants. Coriander contains an essential oil (0.03-2.6%).
The different parts of this plant contain monoterpenes, limpnene, a-pinene, g-terpinene, p-cymene,
citronellol, borneol, camphor, coriandrin, geraniol, dihydrocoriandrin, coriandronsA-E, flavonoids and
essential oils. It is used as a stomachic, spasmolytic and carminative which have a greater bioactive
property. Various parts of this plant, such as seeds, leaves, flower and fruit, possess antioxidant
activity, diuretic, anti-convulsant anti-diabetic activity, sedative hypnotic activity, anti-mutagenic,
anti-microbial activity, anthelmintic activity. The physical properties, chemical composition and
bioactivity affect the coriander’s commercial value.
Research limitations/implications – Currently available information on coriander seeds and
leaves is insufficient. These observations have led to continuing research aimed at identifying specific
bioactive components in foods, such as antioxidants, which may be responsible for improving and
maintaining health. Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and
polyphenols. Coriander is also rich in such compounds. Research supports that some of these foods, as
part of an overall healthful diet, have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases, so
there is urgent need to explore the role of these compounds.
Originality/value – This review is unique in its comprehensive nature and reflects the importance
of coriander as a medicinal food.
Linalool, Antioxidants, Nutraceutical
Paper type Literature review
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
British Food Journal
Vol. 115 No. 5, 2013
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) belongs to carrot ancestors (Umbelliferae) and
genus Coriandrum embrace cultivated plant (Coriandrum sativum) and wild species
(Coriandrum tordylium). Coriander has poles apart names in different languages,
i.e. English (coriander), Urdu (Dhania), Arabic (Kuzbara), Hindi (Dhania), Chinese
(Yuan sui), Greek (korion). The “coriander”, is consequential from Greek word for
“bed-bug”, as smell of spanking new foliage is said to resemble that of bug
plague-ridden bed line. It is mentioned in Sanskrit prose as far flipside as 5000 BC and
in Greek Eber Papyrus as early as 1550 BC (Uhl, 2000). Coriander is referred to as
“kusthumbari” or “dhanayaka” in the Sanscrit literature (Prakash, 1990).
Coriander was used in time-honored Greek medicines by Hippocrates (460-377 BC).
The Egyptians called this herb as “spice of happiness”, perhaps for the reason that it
was well thought-out to be an aphrodisiac. It was used for cooking and for children’s
digestive sadden and diarrhea. The Romans and Greeks also used coriander to flavor
wine and also as a medication. Afterward, it was introduced into Great Britain by the
Romans (Livarda and van der Veen, 2008). The etymology of coriander begins with
Greek word korannon, a combination of koris and annon (a fragrant anise) and referred
to mature fruit (Uchibayashi, 2001). The Roman naturalist, first used the genus name
Coriandrum, derived from koris (a stinking bug), in reference to fetid smell of the leaves
and immature fruit (Blumenthal, 2000).
the countries like the USA, Middle East, EU, and South East Asia. World production of
coriander fruit is tricky to estimate, since official statistics infrequently restrain figures
or on a diminutive scale, and is not recorded in any statistics. Captivating the different
annotations on this subject matter into account, the worldwide production of coriander
and Romania. Other countries that produce at least some coriander by geographical
region, are: the Near East (Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria and Turkey), the Middle
East (Kasachstan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Kirgysia and Tadjikistan), the Far East (China,
Burma and Thailand), the Americas (Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, the USA,
Paraguay and Canada), Africa (Algeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia and Somalia), Europe
(Bulgaria, England, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, France, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands
is merely cultivated for the use of the fruits in mountainous areas of the tropics.
Because of health wellbeing and rehabilitated diet trends, leafy vegetables and salads
are gaining much significance in the human diet. Since antediluvian times, herbs were
the base for nearly all medicinal therapy until synthetic drugs were developed in
the nineteenth century. Mediterranean diets have been connected with reduced
occurrence of some chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart diseases (Keys, 1980).
While dietary studies are multifaceted, Mediterranean diets do embrace considerable
quantity of garlic, rosemary, basil and thyme. Herbs like coriander have been used for
a large array of purposes including nutrition, medicine, beverages, flavorings,
repellents, dyeing, cosmetics, fragrances, smoking, charms and industrial uses.
Today, herbs such as coriander are still found in 40 percent of prescription drugs.
increasingly popular for their knack to augment and complement the flavors of a wide
diversity of foods (Hacskaylo, 1996). The US National Arboretum offers an substitute
or dried leaves from plants which can be used for flavoring purposes in food” (Milner
and Kaefer, 2007). Although hundreds of volatile compounds can be produced in
aromatic plants, moderately few are typically liable for characteristic flavors or aromas
and still fewer are generally used to delineate chemo types (Gil et al., 2002).
Coriander, among other herbs, which might assist to elucidate some of the defensive
effects observed in populations following more traditional Mediterranean diets. Given
the long history of use of herbs such as coriander, they may be considered one of the
earliest ever recorded functional foods. The herbs that have received the most scientific
concentration in stare to influencing psychological processes have been pinched from
the traditional medicines rather than the culinary herbs. A search of PsycINFO and
MEDLINE using the various herb names (e.g. basil, coriander) and the terms cognition,
attention, memory, dementia and anxiety found only one cram of the upshot of any of
these herbs on psychological processes. It investigated the anxiolytic and hypnotic
effects of lemon grass. In this placebo controlled, double-blind study, lemon grass was
taken as herbal tea for two weeks; no effects were found (Leite et al., 1986). The employ
of herbal treatments for anxiety is perhaps the most common instance of herbal
influence on mental health.
Coriander leaves are used as parsley like garnish with a fresh fragrance that is vital
in, soups, and meat dishes because these are rich in vitamin A, B2(riboflavin), C and
dietary fiber. Salads are incredibly beneficial for weight conscious persons due to their
lofty vitamins and fiber contents. The dried seeds contribute to pleasantly aromatic
The coriander fresh leaves contain 87.9 percent moisture, 3.3 percent protein, 6.5 percent
carbohydrates, 1.7 percent total ash, 0.14 percent calcium, 0.06 percent phosphorus,
of starch, 20g of fat, 11g of protein, and nearly 30g of crude fiber (Peter, 2004).
fat, 28.43 percent crude fiber, 10.53 percent starch, 10.29 percent pentosans, 1.92 percent
sugar, 4.98 percent mineral constituents, and 0.84 percent essential oil. The major
compounds present in essential oil are linalool 67.7 percent, a-pinene 10.5 percent,
g-terpinene 9.0 percent, geranylacetate 4.0 percent, camphor 3.0 percent, and geraniol
The aroma and flavor of coriander are attributable to essential oil present in oil
glands in the mericarp (Diederichsen, 1996). In flavor compositions, coriander
oil intermingles well with cardamom, bergamot, anise, nutmeg, clary, clove and sage.
The oil can be extensively used as a flavoring agent in all types of foodstuff, including
alcoholic beverages, candy, tobacco, pickles, seasonings and meat sauce. The average
use level ranges from 0.1 to 100ppm. Coriander oil also possesses antimicrobial
properties against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms, indicating
that it may be useful as a disinfectant (Deans and Ritchie, 1987; Meena and Sethi, 1994;
Elgayyar et al., 2001).
ofstudies. TheresultsofHPLCinvestigationsshowedthepresenceofapigenin, luteolin,
hesperidin, hyperoside, diosmin, vicenin, dihydroquercetin, orientine, catechin,
chrysoeriol, ferulic acid, salicylic acid, gallic acid, dicoumarin, 4-hydroxycoumarin,
esculetin, esculin, tartaric acid, maleic acid and arbutin. The elemental and amino acid
analyses of coriander showed that the customary elements are sodium, potassium,
arginine (Oganesyan et al., 2007).
Misharina (2001) found the coriander seed in Russia has more concentration of
New Zealand have camphor (5.1 percent) and linalool (65.8 percent) (Smallfield et al.,
2001). The composition of coriander fruits and fresh cilantro was affected by degree of
maturity and g-irradiation, respectively (Fan and Sokorai, 2002; Msaada et al., 2007).
Medicinal importance of coriander
Coriander has been used in medicines for thousands of years (Mathias, 1994). Various
parts of this plant such as leaves, flower seed, and fruit, possess antioxidant activity,
diuretic, ant-diabetic, sedative, anti-microbial activity, anti-convulsant activity,
hypnotic activity and anthelmintic activity and anti-mutagenic (Pathak et al., 2011;
Rajeshwari and Andallu, 2011).
The fruits and oil of coriander are used to wrap the taste or correct the nauseating or
griping qualities of other medicines. Coriander is also used in aromatherapy (Cooksley,
2003). In folk medicine, coriander finds use in opposition to intestinal parasites,
anti-inflammatory and as a part of embrocations for joint pain and rheumatism
(Wichtl, 1994). For pharmaceutical preparations oil is principally used as a flavoring
agent (Leung and Foster, 1996). Coriander can also be used as value added form like
other seed spices as volatile oil, curry powder, oleoresin, consumer packed spices,
ground spices and organic spices. Essential oil of coriander is used in the flavoring of a
number of food products. It is principally used as a flavoring agent in the cocoa, liquor
and chocolate industries this may be owing to the nature of chemical composition of
coriander essential oil. Like the fruits, it is also employed in medicine as a flavoring or
as a carminative agent. It has the advantage of being more stable and of retaining its
agreeable odor longer than any other oil of its class (Purseglove et al., 1981).
Because coriander oil also has bactericidal and fungicidal properties, it is used as
a carminative, stomachic and spasmolytic. It is also used for diarrhea, sub-acid gastritis
and dyspepsia of diverse genesis as well as for its stomachic, digestive stimulation and
antibilious properties (Platel and Srinivasan, 2004). Coriander has been reported to own
strong lipolytic activity (Leung and Foster, 1996), and, as an affiliate of carrot family,
its use has been suggested with caution, because of potential allergic reactions from
tested for their nematicidal activities against the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus
xylophilus. Good nematicidal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus was achieved
with essential oils of coriander (Coriandrum sativum), valerian (Valeriana wallichii) and
oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis). Analysis by gas chromatography-mass
spectrometry led to the identification of 26, 11, and four major compounds from coriander
(Coriandrum sativum), oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis), and valerian
(Valeriana wallichii) oils, correspondingly. Among the compounds, trans-cinnamyl
alcohol, benzaldehyde, cis-asarone, nonanal, octanal, decanal, trans-2 decenal, dodecanal,
undecanal, decanol and trans-2-decen-1-ol showed burly nematicidal activity (Kim et al.,
2008; Rajeshwari and Andallu, 2011).
Antioxidant activity of coriander
Antioxidants refer to any substances in attendance at stumpy concentration in
foodstuffs and capable to significantly avert oxidation by playing a responsibility
in antioxidation as a free radical scavenger, chelator, reducing agent, and/or singlet
the law because of their toxicity effects and other side effects afar registered synthetic
antioxidants. Butylated hydroxy anisole (BHA), butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT),
tertiary butylatedhydroquinone (TBHQ) and pueraria glycoside (PG) are typical
of seeking natural antioxidants from the various sources because harms of human
health caused by food additives (Dorman et al., 2008).
found in high concentration in plants. The benefits resulting from the use of natural
(El-Ghorab et al., 2008). Herbs and spices are one of the important sources for search of
natural antioxidants from safety point of view. Coriander leaves showed stronger
more potent in extracts from leaves than in seeds from coriander and it seems that
compounds of medium polarity are most potent, even if their total antioxidant
correlation between total phenolic content and antioxidant effect; thus a screening of
phenolic content in coriander extracts will probably indicate the presence of compounds
with antioxidant activity (Wangensteen et al., 2004; El-Ghorab et al., 2006). The essential
oils from a number of herbs and spices were also studied for antioxidant activity,
e.g. oregano, rosemary, sage, clove, coriander (Baratta et al., 1998), cumin, fennel, thyme,
marjoram, laurel, caraway, peppermint, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, dill, black pepper
(Lagouri and Boskou, 1995). Although compounds in essential oils such as carvone from
caraway, linalool from coriander, eugenol from clove, thymol from thyme and thujone
the use of essential oils as antioxidants in foods (Madsen and Bertelsen, 1995).
In carotenoids fractions obtained from coriander etheric extract, b-carotene has been
activity was found when compared to the other carotenoids (Guerra et al., 2005).
Antioxidant activity of all volatile and non volatile extracts of coriander seeds and
leaves can be measured by using different methods, i.e. DPPH free radical scavenging
activity assay and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) (El-Ghorab et al., 2007;
Shehwar et al., 2012).
Coriander seed essential oil was shown to have greater antioxidant activity against
radical generating activity of 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl in several oils. The order
of effectiveness among various oil in inhibiting free radicals was coriander . black
cumin . cottonseed . peanut . linseed . olive (Ramadan and Moersel, 2006).
Wangensteen et al. (2004), found that scavenging activity of coriander seed essential
oil is higher than coriander leaves essential oil. The antioxidant activity of coriander
seed essential oil was might be due to presence of linalool in high concentration as
compared to leaf essential oil. There have been many reports on the antioxidant
activities of essential oils from various plants, including capers (El-Ghorab et al., 2007),
carnation (El-Ghorab et al., 2006), clove and other spices (Shan et al., 2005;
El-Ghorab et al., 2010). It is difficult to pinpoint the compounds giving antioxidant
activities to the samples because these oils contained numerous compounds. However,
to possess strong antioxidant activity (Shibamoto and Wei, 2007).
From aqueous extract of coriander, fractions were identified using chromatography
in a silica gel column. Their antioxidant activity, according to the b-carotene/linoleic
acid model, was similar to one another but inferior to that of the crude extract and of
butylated hydroxytoluene. It was noted that caffeic acid (4.34mg/ml), protocatechinic
acid (6.43mg/ml) and glycitin (3.27mg/ml) were present in high concentration. These
are principal components responsible for the antioxidant activity of the aqueous
coriander extract (Melo et al., 2005).
Coriander oil as a source for linalool
The different parts of this plant contain linalool, a-pinene, monoterpenes, limpnene,
g-terpinene, borneol, p-cymene, camphor, citronellol, geraniol, coriandrin,
coriandronsA-E, dihydrocoriandrin, flavonoids and essential oils (Pathak et al., 2011).
Linalool is the main volatile compound in coriander seeds; typically constituting more
than 50 percent of total essential oil (Gil et al., 2002) which has been investigated for its
safety. The seeds contain on average 18 percent oil (fatty acids/triglycerides); however,
the essential oil content of seeds is approximately 0.84 percent. Beyond essential oil,
acids. It forms approximately two-thirds of the oil (Gil et al., 2002; Grosso et al., 2008).
Typical compositional analysis of coriander oil is as follows: alcohols: linalool
(60-80 percent), geraniol (1.2-4.6 percent), terpinen-4-ol (trace-3 percent), a-terpineol
(,0.5 percent); hydrocarbons: g-terpinene (1-8 percent), r-cymene (trace-3.5 percent),
limonene (0.5-4 percent), a-pinene (0.2-8.5 percent), camphene (trace-1.4 percent),
myrcene (0.2-2 percent); ketones (7-9 percent): camphor (0.9-4.9 percent); esters: geranyl
acetate (0.1-4.7 percent), linalyl acetate (0-2.7 percent). After detailed analysis of
coriander herb essential oil presence of major components such as (E)-2-decenal,
dodecenal, (E)-2-tridecenal, dodecanal were assessed by Potter and Fagerson (1990).
However, linalool was also present in oil, since no effort was made to separate fruits,
which contain internal oil canals rich in linalool (Purseglove et al., 1981).
Composition of coriander seed essential oil is different at different places in world
which is mainly affected by length and condition of storage (Misharina, 2001). Yield of
essential oil content of dried fruits varies from 0.03 to 2.6 percent, depending on the
cultivated in New Zealand have linalool, a-pinene, g-terpinene, camphor and limonene
were 65.8, 6.8, 6.1, 5.1, 2.7 percent, respectively (Smallfield et al., 2001; Smallfield et al.,
2001; Gil et al., 2002). Misharina (2001) found that linalool is (68 percent) in Russian
coriander seed essential oil. There is a strong dependence among temperature, radiance
during fruit development, and water supply of crops of coriander and its essential oil
content (Hornok, 1986; Carrubba et al., 2006).
may be .200. Approximately, 97 percent of the total oil is constituted by 18 main
components. When reconstituted in the concentrations found in the natural sample, the
a major sensory effect of the oil apparently comes from the remaining trace constituents
that occur, on average, in concentrations of about 0.01 percent or less. The characteristic
aroma of oil is due to mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids (Bauer et al., 1997). Water
2003). Two photosensitizing furanocoumarins have been isolated and characterized from
coriander (Ashwood-Smith et al., 1989). Geographic location, fertilization and weediness
(weed competition) also affected the chemical profile (Gil et al., 2002).
Spice-based compound, linalool reduces the effects of trauma on the immune
system. Linalool is a fragrant compound found in numerous plants including the
spices, sweet basil, cinnamon, thyme, bay leaf and fruits such as mangoes and citrus.
For several years it has been used extensively in aromatherapy essential oils and as
a fragrance for shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries (Keith, 2010). Linalool is well
acknowledged as one of the most imperative calming fragrances and was previously
thought to operate only on the nervous system.
In vivo studies related to coriander
Al-Jaff (2011) conducted a cram to inspect the potential upshot of coriander seeds on
dietary treatments. Birds were fed experimental diets containing 0 percent (T1), 1 percent
(T2), 2 percent (T3) and 3 percent (T4) coriander seed. Feed and water were provided ad
at the conclusion of the study (six weeks of age) which includes live body weight, feed
conversion ratio, total protein, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, GOT, GTP, Alkaline
phosphatase, cholesterol,glucose, high densitylipoprotein(HDL),low density lipoprotein
(LDL), Triglycerides, uric acid, phospholipids, creatinine and antibody titer (ND). Final
body weight was found higher T3than all other groups and feed conversion ratio was
were T3, while serum globulin was lower in T3when compared with other groups. GOT
and GPT were lower for T3and T4, while alkaline phosphatase was lower in T3group.
T4groups when compared with the control. Serum triglycerides and antibody titers were
higher in T3and T4coriander seed when compared with other groups. It was concluded
from this study that the inclusion of coriander seeds at levels of 2 percent have a positive
effect on broiler performance, blood pictures and immune system during heat stress.
The effects of coriander oil on pentobarbital induced sleeping time in mice were
investigated by Marcus and Lichtenstein (1982). Groups of six “Sprague Dawley male
white mice” (although,no suchstrain has beenreported) were injectedintraperitoneally
with 50mg/kg pentobarbital plus 50mg/kg of coriander oil. Simultaneous
administration of coriander oil and pentobarbital to mice did not significantly
increase pentobarbital – induced sleeping time. However, administration of coriander
oil 30min prior to the administration of pentobarbital resulted in a prolongation of
pentobarbital-induced sleeping time (146 percent of control) (Marcus and Lichtenstein,
1982). Coriander has been advocated as an anti-diabetic remedy. Recent experimental
studies have suggested antihyperglycemic effects of coriander seeds in
streptozotocin-diabetic mice (Swanston-Flatt et al., 1990; Gray and Flatt, 1999). Gray
and Flatt (1999) reported that incorporation of coriander into the diet (62.5g/kg) or in
drinking water (2.5g/l, prepared by 15min decoction) reduced hyperglycemia of
streptozotocin-diabetic mice. Medhin et al. (1986a) demonstrated that aqueous extracts
segments of isolated central ear artery from rabbit. In another study, Medhin et al.
a high fat diet containing coriander seed powder (10 percent) for period of 75 days
(Chithra and Leelamma, 1997). The levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides were
decreased significantly in serum, liver and heart. The serum levels of very low and LDL
cholesterol were decreased, while HDL cholesterol significantly increased.
The investigators concluded that coriander seeds had hypolipidemic effects. In another
study (Chithra andLeelamma,1999) thechanges in levelsof lipidperoxides andactivity
of antioxidant enzymes in Sprague Dawley female rats maintained on a high fat diet
containing 10 percent coriander seed powder for 90 days. Feeding a diet containing
determined by malondialdehyde, hydroperoxides and conjugated dienes in liver and
heart. The levels of free fatty acids in serum, liver and heart of the treated animals were
significantly decreased. Antioxidant related enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase,
catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, glucose six phosphate
dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase were significantly increased in the liver and
heart of the treated animals. It was concluded that coriander seed may protect various
tissues by preventing the formation of free radicals. Feeding coriander seed (10 percent)
female Wistar rats for eight weeks, “favorably enhanced” the activities of pancreatic
lipase, chymotrypsin and amylase. Additionally, feeding the diet containing the spice
mix significantly stimulated the bile flow and bile acid secretion (Platel et al., 2002).
Scientists also demonstrated that linalool action extends ahead of the brain to the
stressed rats to linalool fragrance. At the end of the 2 hour stress period they measured
the hormone levels, white blood cell count and gene activation levels of both the control
and treated groups. The blood tests following the experiment showed that stress
hormone levels in both the control and treatment groups were appreciably raised at the
would be expected to suppress the immune response. However, while the rats that were
not exposed to linalool showed the expected stress-related drop in their white blood cell
counts, those that were exposed to linalool fragrance maintained customary leukocyte
and lymphocyte white blood cell levels. Moreover, the rats in the linalool group had far
smaller number “stress genes” activated than those in the control group. This study
indicates that inhaling an aromatic compound such as linalool has both physiological
effect and a psychological; and reflects our increasing indulgent of the all-embracing
links and interactions between the nervous and immune systems. For some time now
peoples are well conscious that spices contain many important antioxidants and other
going to enhance their dining experience, but will also help to protect them from the
latest viruses doing the rounds. These tasty spices will start defending immune system
even before they reach stomach (Nakamura et al., 2009).
uncertain if quantity of spices in diet is enough to have an influence on antioxidant
defense of the body. So coriander seeds and leaves may be used as a potential source of
food flavoring and antioxidants. Value addition can be as simple as presenting a
commodity in a cleaned graded form, which would instill confidence in the consumers
forits qualityimage. Onthe other hand,it can beacompletely differentproduct suchas
oil, oleoresins, etc. The value added form of spices has tremendous growth potential.
The global market is increasingly shifting away from the commodity form towards the
value added form of consumer packed branded spices, which overcome the
disadvantages of raw spices. The future is bright, but significant investment in
Numerous phytochemical and pharmacological studies have been conducted on
different parts of Coriander sativum. The article supports the potential of Coriander
sativum as a nutritional and medicinal plant. More research can be done to explore the
unexplored and idle potential of this plant. Considering these potentials, coriander
functional ingredients possess a tremendous prospect in the health associated
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