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Five amazing health benefits of cilantro


(NaturalNews) Ancient Greeks used cilantro essential oil as a perfume ingredient, whereas Romans used it to mask the smell of rotten meat. Today cilantro has become one of the most used culinary herbs around the world. Nonetheless, while some people love its unique flavor, others claim that it tastes like soap.

According to an article published in The New York Times, some of us may be genetically predisposed to disliking the taste of cilantro. However, crushing the leaves may help plant enzymes break down the aldehyde molecules, which cilantro-haters seem to be sensitive to. Similar aldehydes are also found in soap, hence the reference to the soap-like taste.

Whether or not you are a cilantro lover, you may want to find ways to sneak this healing herb into your daily diet. Here are five scientifically-validated reasons why cilantro should be part of everyone's diet.

1. Detox from heavy metals

As reported by the Global Healing Center, cilantro is a remarkable heavy metal detoxifier or chelating agent. Specific compounds in cilantro can bind to toxic metals and soothe feelings of disorientation after mercury exposure.

According to an article published in the journal Acupuncture & Electro-therapeutics Research, consuming raw or cooked cilantro, or its juice, accelerates the elimination of mercury and lead from the body through the urine.

2. Soothe digestive issues

If you are experiencing any form of a stomach ache or discomfort, James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, suggests that drinking a cup of fresh cilantro tea made from a handful of its leaves is the best way to find instant relief.

3. Anti-anxiety effect

It is no longer a secret that conventional drugs that affect the mind are harmful to the body and may cause suicidal thoughts. Therefore, the interest in natural, plant-derived medicines is growing by the day. Scientists at the Suresh Gyan Vihar University, in Jaipur (India), found that cilantro extracts might produce an anti-anxiety effect similar to diazepam.

One of the best ways to calm your nerves and prevent future anxiety attacks is through diffusing the aroma of cilantro essential oil throughout your home.

4. Powerful antioxidant activity to protect your skin

Cilantro is known to protect the skin from free radical damage, which over time may lead to skin cancer or other skin diseases. A 2011 study found that specific chemical compounds found in cilantro protect human keratinocytes from oxidative stress and promote the repairing of damaged skin cells.

5. Anti-diabetic properties

Lastly, cilantro has been touted as an anti-diabetic herb due to its powerful antioxidant properties and its ability to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

An article published in the Journal of Food Science, confirmed cilantro's anti-diabetic claim in a rat model. When they compared cilantro's anti-diabetic activity with the clinically available drug glibenclamide, they found that cilantro could protect liver function, and exhibited hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant efficacies to manage diabetes mellitus in diabetic rats.

In addition, cilantro is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and healthy bones. Furthermore, it provides small amounts of manganese and vitamins A and B-9 (folate).

While the benefits mentioned above are quite impressive, they are only the tip of the iceberg. If you can stomach its taste you won't regret adding cilantro to your family's diet. All the parts of the plant, including the seeds, are edible. They can be added to many dishes, from smoothies and salads to salsas and curries.

Always make sure the seeds or leaves come from a reliable organic source to avoid pesticides. Or why not try and grow your own? Cilantro is very easy to cultivate, even on a windowsill or balcony.

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