Coriander Oil Fights Bacteria Naturally
For those of you cilantro lovers, there's an added benefit to this wonder herb. It fights bacteria! A new study suggests that the oil from its seeds (coriander oil) combats serious bacteria like E. coli and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It also combats drug-resistant bugs and those that commonly cause food poisoning.
In this study, Dr. Fernanda Domingues of the University of Beira Interior, in Portugal, and her team tested the effect of coriander oil (which is derived from cilantro) against 12 bacterial strains in the lab. Solutions containing 1.6% coriander or less killed or slowed the growth of all the bacteria tested.
"Coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell," explains the Dr. Domingues.
Researchers are optimistic that using the oil could greatly reduce the number of food-borne illnesses we currently face--upwards of 76 million people a year and resulting in 5,000 deaths, according to Time magazine. The use of coriander oil is also shown to prevent spoilage of food which is a real bonus for the leftover fish tacos taken home from your favorite Mexican restaurant. I guess it's not a mystery as to why Coriander oil has also been used for centuries as a remedy to ease nausea, relieve pain, help digestion, treat fungal infection and alleviate cramps.
Coriander, along with other green herbs and vegetables are an excellent source of carotenoids which maintain the healthy linings of your digestive tract, respiratory tract and skin. These linings and coverings are the first line of defense against infectious disease causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungus.
Not a fan of cilantro? Do you think it tastes like soap? Don't feel badly, it might be genetic. According to an an MSNBC article, "cilantrophobes may not be able to pick up the scent of a compound called dodecenal, which gives the cilantro that lovely fresh scent cilantrophiles know so well." Other studies have shown some effective alternatives to fighting bacteria. Basil is proven to be an effective antimicrobial against bacteria, mold and yeast. Another study showed peppermint to also work as an antimicrobial as well as an antioxidant.
What side of the cilantro fence are you on?
What dishes do you include coriander seed or cilantro?