The Health Benefits of Cilantro

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on October 5, 2015


If there is one herb with a fantastic flavor, it is cilantro. Nothing opens up the flavor in black bean tacos quite the same way. Cilantro isn’t a recent addition to our lexicon and its uses extend well beyond culinary delight. Ancient Greece used cilantro essential oil as a component of perfume. During medieval times, the Romans used cilantro to mask the smell of rotten meat. Today, it’s still used by naturopaths and has been the subject of many positive inquiries by formal research institutions.

Toxic Metal Cleansing

Cilantro is most often cited as being effective for toxic metal cleansing and rightfully so, this herb is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissue. Many people suffering from mercury exposure report a reduction in the often-cited feeling of disorientation after consuming large and regular amounts of cilantro over an extended period. [1]

Other Benefits of Cilantro

  • May be able to help prevent cardiovascular damage. [2]
  • The School of Life Science in Tamil Nadu, India noted, after researching the activity of cilantro leaves and stem, “if used in cuisine would be a remedy for diabetes.” [3]
  • Strong antioxidant activity. [4]
  • Has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects. [5]
  • May help improve sleep quality. [6]
  • Has been examined and described to have a blood-sugar lowering effect. [7]
  • Cilantro seed oil possess antioxidative properties, consumption may decrease oxidative stress. [8]
  • Research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil found cilantro oil to be a new natural fungal cleansing formulation opportunity. [9]
  • Demonstrated activity against several types of harmful organisms. [10] [11]

James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, has praised the digestive-system-promoting benefits of cilantro and recommends drinking a cup of the tea made from a handful of the leaves, when experiencing any form of stomach discomfort.

Grow Your Own

If you have not ventured into growing your own food, an herb garden is a fantastic project to begin with. Herbs are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of space. Plus, that’s a great category to save a few bucks at the grocery store on. Organic herb bunches are always at least a few dollars and sometimes large portions can go unused. Cilantro is really easy to grow and it’s ultra convenient to have your own organic plant growing for your use.


  1. Omura Y, Beckman SL. Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995 Aug-Dec;20(3-4):195-229.
  2. Patel DK, Desai SN, Gandhi HP, Devkar RV, Ramachandran AV. Cardio protective effect of Coriandrum sativum L. on isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Sep;50(9):3120-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.06.033.
  3. Sreelatha S, Inbavalli R. Antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, and antihyperlipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum leaf and stem in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Food Sci. 2012 Jul;77(7):T119-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02755.x. Epub 2012 Jun 1.
  4. Park G, Kim HG, Kim YO, Park SH, Kim SY, Oh MS. Coriandrum sativum L. protects human keratinocytes from oxidative stress by regulating oxidative defense systems. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):93-9. doi: 10.1159/000335257. Epub 2012 Feb 1.
  5. Mahendra P, Bisht S. Anti-anxiety activity of Coriandrum sativum assessed using different experimental anxiety models. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;43(5):574-7. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.84975.
  6. Rakhshandeh H, Sadeghnia HR, Ghorbani A. Sleep-prolonging effect of Coriandrum sativum hydro-alcoholic extract in mice. Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(22):2095-8. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.613388. Epub 2011 Oct 12.
  7. Aissaoui A, Zizi S, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):652-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.06.019. Epub 2011 Jun 28.
  8. Deepa B, Anuradha CV. Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract. Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Jan;49(1):30-8.
  9. Furletti VF, Teixeira IP, Obando-Pereda G, Mardegan RC, Sartoratto A, Figueira GM, Duarte RM, Rehder VL, Duarte MC, Höfling JF. Action of Coriandrum sativum L. Essential Oil upon Oral Candida albicans Biofilm Formation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:985832. doi: 10.1155/2011/985832. Epub 2011 May 21.
  10. Lixandru BE, Drăcea NO, Dragomirescu CC, Drăgulescu EC, Coldea IL, Anton L, Dobre E, Rovinaru C, Codiţă I. Antimicrobial activity of plant essential oils against bacterial and fungal species involved in food poisoning and/or food decay. Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2010 Oct-Dec;69(4):224-30.
  11. Soares BV, Morais SM, dos Santos Fontenelle RO, Queiroz VA, Vila-Nova NS, Pereira CM, Brito ES, Neto MA, Brito EH, Cavalcante CS, Castelo-Branco DS, Rocha MF. Antifungal activity, toxicity and chemical composition of the essential oil of Coriandrum sativum L. fruits. Molecules. 2012 Jul 11;17(7):8439-48. doi: 10.3390/molecules17078439.

  • AB

    Thank you so much for this article. I will eat more cilantro from now on…

  • Lady Dena

    I was just eating a dish with cilantro, which I was only introduced to this year. I thought I would look up the benefits of cilantro…thank you for such an informative site! I have really been enjoying learning about foods and my body and how they work together for good! FDA approved drugs are often dangerous for us. My dad always treated us with vitamins, herbs or something natural vs pharmaceutical..if possible! We are much healthier for that! I heard cilantro also helped to prevent cancer. Have you found any research on that?

  • James

    Where in your references is there proof that cilantro helps to remove metals?

  • Mohit Pant

    I should like to begin by having a small patch of home-grown Cilantro, which I was told would be good to treat memory associated problems. Is it true, that were I to ingest small portions of Cilantro – I stand to benefit???

  • ghc_health

    “We also found Chinese parsley accelerates the excretion of Hg, Pb, and A1 from the body though the urine.”

  • Matt from Canberra

    In Australia we call cilantro coriander, I think that you only refer to the fruit as coriander and the leaf as cilantro.

    Cilantro or Coriander is great for reducing guilt. Coriander is high in many vitamins and minerals, folic acid,
    5-hydroxytryptophan, and is one of the highest natural sources of

    Because coriander is generally not cooked for
    long these chemicals are not denatured as they often are in other foods. By themselves each of these natural chemicals will significantly reduce guilt, when they are together in this plant they have a far greater effect!

  • Sarah

    Do you make it as tea

  • ghc_health

    You could but I think most people just eat it.

  • Kathleen

    Tried and true: store the cilantro stems and all in a salad spinner in the fridge. Toss it every few days. The air layer in the spinner keeps it dry and fresh, for up to three weeks.

  • Cassandra Berry

    I am actually growing cilantro. Just not sure when to pick it. How is it best used to help anxiety?

  • Global Healing Center

    Eat it!

  • Deb

    As a tea it is healing and cleansing for the kidneys.

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  • Amanda Huggin Kiss

    I use it in salads , salsa , today I put a bunch in an omelet (yummy) great when cooking chicken .just anything you’d like to put it in ,,, maybe not morning cereal ;/ lol :) I eat it on a reg basis for over a year now and even my blood pressure is lower I sleep better, less anxiety ..maybe its power of suggestion? but im definatly keeping my cilantro and personally I love the flavor

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  • Lavender

    Cilantro is great at pulling heavy metals from tissues. Yes this is true. But it does not pull them OUT of the body!
    Using cilantro as a metal detoxer alone is very dangerous and I hope people do there own research before blindly trying to do it.
    When cilantro pulls the metals out it redistributes them all over the body, often times leaving the person in worse shape than before.
    Also, if you still have analgam dental fillings, you cannot metal detox until after you have them removed. Otherwise you are pulling metals from your mouth and putting them into your organs.
    Look into “binders”. Like bentonite clay, Terramin clay, activated charcoal, etc.

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  • Janey

    I have been told that my daughter (15) was injected with metals through a vaccine that she received in school. She has been suffering with sore joints. I was hoping that a cilantro detox program would help her. Do you know?

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