(NaturalNews) Food-borne illness outbreaks and the growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are two very serious societal problems for which researchers say they are actively looking for viable solutions. But one such solution found right in nature is coriander oil, which has been found to kill a number of different bacterial strains, as well as aid in digestion and treat the symptoms of food poisoning.
Dr. Fernanda Domingues and her colleagues from the University of Beira Interior in Portugal tested the effects of coriander oil, an essential oil extracted from the seeds of the coriander plant, also known as cilantro, on twelve different bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella enterica, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the infamous hospital superbug.
Published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, their findings revealed that solutions containing just a 1.6 percent concentration of coriander oil or less were all effective at killing all twelve bacterial strains, to some degree or another. A powerful, natural antibiotic, coriander oil appears to be a promising candidate for new uses not only in food preservation, but also in medicine as a type of natural antibiotic.
"The results indicate that coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell," said Dr. Domingues about how the essential oil works. "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."
Besides its antibacterial effects, coriander oil has a wide range of other therapeutic uses as well, including as an analgesic (pain reliever), anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, and anti-fungal medicine. Used in many Indian dishes, coriander seeds and oil are also recognized as powerful digestive aids that can mitigate the damage caused by food poisoning, as well as stimulate and revitalize the body (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/eo/corianderseed.html).
"This research encourages the design of new food additives containing coriander oil that would combat food-borne pathogens and prevent bacterial spoilage," added Domingues. "Coriander oil could also become a natural alternative to common antibiotics. We envisage the use of coriander in clinical drugs in the form of lotions, mouth rinses and even pills; to fight multidrug-resistant bacterial infections that otherwise could not be treated."