Life Extension Magazine®


Superfood: Coriander

Coriander, also called cilantro, improves irritable bowel syndrome and various cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, in March 2024. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

Coriander, known more commonly in the U.S. as cilantro, is an herb that has been used for more than 3,000 years for both culinary and medicinal purposes.1

This tart and citrusy herb is a common ingredient in Asian dishes like those with garam masala and Thai curry.

In traditional medicine, coriander (Coriandrum sativum) has been utilized for gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, dyspepsia, flatulence, and more.2,3 Modern science and recent medical evidence affirm its health benefits.

In a trial, individuals with irritable bowel syndrome received an herbal blend containing coriander, spearmint and lemon balm or a placebo (both groups received Loperamide or psyllium) three times per day for eight weeks. Significantly lower severity and frequency of abdominal pain and bloating were observed in the herbal blend group.4

Coriander also provides a variety of heart-health benefits, with documented anti-dyslipidemic, anti-hypertensive, antiinflammatory, and diuretic activities.4

In a study of rats fed on a high-fat diet with added cholesterol, they experienced significant increases in total cholesterol and triglycerides.5 However, the rats given coriander seeds had decreased levels of LDL and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, and an increase in beneficial HDL cholesterol compared to the control group.

This study showed that coriander appears to work by enhancing the breakdown of cholesterol for removal from the body.

Another study of rats that were fed a regular or high calorie diet, and received either coriander seed extract or glibenclamide (antidiabetic drug) found that coriander seed extract decreased insulin resistance and decreased blood sugar by 72 mg/dL in just six hours in both groups. Results were more promising in the group that was fed a high calorie diet. After 21 days significant improvements in metabolic health markers were observed in the extract group as compared to glibenclamide group.6

Coriander’s ability to help regulate blood lipids has been demonstrated in human studies as well. In a study of patients with cardiovascular disease, taking coriander seed powder (2 grams per day) for 40 days significantly decreased body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure. It also contributed to a beneficial increase in HDL cholesterol.7

In a trial, diabetic patients who were given coriander seed powder or placebo, showed significant reduction in blood glucose and cholesterol markers after six weeks. Improvement in metabolic health markers and cardioprotective indices show that coriander seed powder may have cardiovascular protective effects in diabetic patients.8

There are a variety of ways to incorporate coriander into your diet. It works well in bean dips, soups, or salsa. And fresh cilantro leaves pair well with foods like avocado, corn, tomatoes, and chicken.


  1. Kumar S, Ahmad R, Saeed S, et al. Chemical Composition of Fresh Leaves Headspace Aroma and Essential Oils of Four Coriander Cultivars. Front Plant Sci. 2022;13:820644.
  2. Sahib NG, Anwar F, Gilani AH, et al. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.): a potential source of high-value components for functional foods and nutraceuticals - —a review. Phytother Res. 2013 Oct;27(10):1439-56.
  3. Mahleyuddin NN, Moshawih S, Ming LC, et al. Coriandrum sativum L.: A Review on Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Cardiovascular Benefits. Molecules. 2021 Dec 30;27(1).
  4. Vejdani R, Shalmani HR, Mir-Fattahi M, et al. The efficacy of an herbal medicine, Carmint, on the relief of abdominal pain and bloating in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Aug;51(8):1501-7.
  5. Dhanapakiam P, Joseph JM, Ramaswamy VK, et al. The cholesterol lowering property of coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum): mechanism of action. J Environ Biol. 2008 Jan;29(1):53-6.
  6. 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.
  7. Zeb F, Safdar M, Fatima S, et al. Supplementation of garlic and coriander seed powder: Impact on body mass index, lipid profile and blood pressure of hyperlipidemic patients. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2018 Sep;31(5):1935-41.
  8. Parsaeyan N. The effect of coriander seed powder consumption on atherosclerotic and cardioprotective indices of Type 2 diabetic patients. Iranian Journal of Diabetes and Obesity. 2012;4:86-90.