Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander seed header

Family: Umbelliferae  (Apiaceae)

Synonyms: Cilantro, Chinese parsley

Aroma: Warm, spicy, woody, sweet and slightly camphoraceous

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow,

coriander flowersPlant: An annual herb growing 30 – 90 cm (11–33 inches) in height with delicate bright green leaves and a profusion of dainty white flowers that produce small seeds.

Main Growing Areas: Mediterranean, western Asia, Russia, Poland, Hungary, France, England and the Netherlands.

Major Constituents: Linalool, limonene, camphor, alpha-pinene, 1.8 cineole

Interesting snippets: Cultivated all over the world for more than 3000 years. Mentioned in the bible, early Sanskrit texts, by the Greeks and found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, Tutankhamun and Rameses II.

In ancient China coriander was thought to promote longevity and ease pain.

coriander seedsPart of Plant used /Extraction: Crushed ripe seeds/steam distillation, 1 ton of crushed seeds in a 4,500 still will yield 7kg of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Poor appetite, indigestion, flatulence, osteoarthritis and rheumatic pain, muscular pain and stiffness, antifungal

Emotional and Spiritual: Mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion

Gabriel Mojay writes that coriander seed both calms and uplifts and is indicated for states of nervous depression that are accompanied by worry and anxious overthinking. The oil imbues a feeling of security, peace and earthy permanence, coupled with a feeling of spontaneity and passion and seeks to achieve stability without denying joy.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi states that coriander helps people relax in a pleasant way during times of stress, irritability or nervousness. It may be beneficial for shock and fear. She also states that it stimulates creativity and memory.

Valerie Ann  Worwood writes for seekers who wish to experience all things, before they feel sure of themselves and of the future thoroughfare to their soul. In this fragrance lies the challenge of change, helping us to go forward, even if timidly, rather than staying behind forever wondering “what if.”

Safety: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing

Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. Third Edition. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd, Australia (2018)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014
Worwood, V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)