Cilantro — Coriandrum sativum
By Steven Horne and Paula Perretty
Most of us are familiar with cilantro leaves as an ingredient in salsas, guacamole and cilantro pesto. Cilantro seeds for some reason are known as coriander, another spice you’re probably familiar with. You may be less familiar with the use of cilantro and coriander seed as an herbal medicine, even though this plant has been used for medicine for thousands of years.
Cilantro and coriander have probably been used by humans since 5000 BC Both the herb and its seed are mentioned in Sanskrit writing dating back to 1500 BC and are also mentioned in the Bible. Seeds have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and in caves in Israel. It is thought that the Romans brought it to Britain as a meat preserver The British colonists brought it to North America in 1670. It was one of the first herbs and spices cultivated by the early settlers and even today, it is a main ingredient in sausage. Could it be that all these peoples intuitively knew that cilantro stimulates the appetite and digestive juices and helps relieve minor digestive irritation?
A more recently discovered use for cilantro is its ability to help eliminate heavy metals and other neurotoxins from the body. This discovery was made by accident in 1995 by a Dr. Omura. He found that his patients eliminated mercury in their urine after his new cook started feeding them soups containing cilantro.
Dr. Omura and his associates found that antibiotics were ineffective in treating infections when heavy metals such as mercury and lead were present. Mercury is a two-edged sword in that it is not only a poison in and of itself, but when it is present in the body it reduces the effect of antibiotics in the treatment of infections. “They hypothesized that certain infectious organisms somehow use mercury or lead to protect themselves from antibiotics or that deposits of heavy metals somehow make antibiotics ineffective.” After the patients started eating the cilantro and eliminating the heavy metals, they were given another round of antibiotics or antiviral drugs, which proved more effective.
As we have hinted, cilantro has long been considered an aid to the digestive system. It is known to stimulate the appetite and promote digestive secretions, including the flow of bile from the gallbladder. The compounds in cilantro are collected and bound to toxins being processed via the liver, and are secreted along with the cilantro compounds. Because cilantro also contains numerous antioxidants, such as quercetin and beta-carotene, it also helps reduce the oxidative stress on the cells caused by these toxins.
In 1996, Dr. Omura investigated the potential health hazard of mercury in dental amalgam. In this case study, they monitored a patient who was having amalgam fillings removed. Even though considerable care was used so that the patient would not swallow minute particles of amalgam during the removal process (drilling), significant deposits of mercury were still found in the patient’s lungs, kidneys, liver, and heart. These deposits were not present prior to the amalgam removal. However, taking cilantro four times a day eliminated the mercury deposits. Omura et al. (1996) initiated cilantro detoxification treatment before the removal procedure and continued it for about 2-3 weeks afterward.
Cilantro has the ability to detoxify and clear heavy metals and other neurotoxins from bones, the brain and the central nervous system. It is used in chelation therapy because it contains chemicals that bind with toxins, especially mercury and lead. The herb will also bind and mobilize neurotoxins from the intracellular space that surrounds the mitochondria that controls cellular respiration. It will also shuttle heavy metals out of the cell nucleus, which can help reverse DNA damage caused, most notably, by mercury.
Cilantro is found in Heavy Metal Detox, but can also be used as a food to further enhance the elimination of heavy metals, like mercury and lead, and other neurotoxins from the body.