CILANTRO (Coriandrum sativum), also known as Chinese/Mexican/Indian Parsley, is best known these days as a fresh culinary herb essential to Mexican cooking. The seeds are called Coriander and have been an essential of the spice and medicine chest since ancient Greece. The fragrance is fresh, fruity and clean! This wonderful heirloom variety is long-standing, which means you will not have to make as many successive sowings of this uniquely fresh and pungent slow-bolting heirloom strain to ensure continual availability. 50-55 days to first leaf harvest, 90-105 days to seed. Annual. 100 seeds.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: Hippocrates recognized Coriander's many medicinal uses including as a mouthwash (crushed seed infusion), for digestion (chew seeds), and as an anti-spasmodic (cramps) tea. In Europe, it is known as the anti-diabetes spice and recent studies have suggested that it may help stimulate the body's production of insulin as well as lowering blood sugar levels. Similarly, it has been shown to help maintain healthy cholesteral levels. Both leaf and seed have anti-microbial properties and were used even in ancient times for that purpose. Modern science has found that compounds in Cilantro are effective at combating Salmonella and other food-born illness. The herb has high levels of phytonutrients, phenols and flavonoids, and is a good source of dietary fiber as well as containing iron, magnesium and manganese. Recently, Cilantro has been touted as a natural and effective oral chelation agent to remove heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury from the system. Please do your own research on this however before undertaking or relying on it as a chelation agent.
GROWING TIPS: A very short-lived plant, grown in early spring or fall when weather is cool. I grow mine in pots, so I can move out of the hot mid-day sun or into my windowed mud room in the winter time where it does nicely even when the temperature dips to freezing. During the growing season, it is probably most practical to just reseed it every 3-4 weeks. During the winter, it is a great candidate for growing indoors. I start harvesting as soon as the leaves appear mature. It is a cut and come again plant. So after I have had as much as I think I can reasonably harvest from it, I'll turn my attentions to the next pot and let the old pot go to seed. In this fashion you can rotate 3 pots and always have plenty of this essential herb for Mexican cooking!