Medicinal use of Coriander seeds(Dhaniya)

Coriander seeds are known as Dhaanyak in Sanskrit. They are used in Ayurveda to treat variety of diseases, either alone or with other ingredients. The use of seeds is mentioned in Sanskrit texts dating back almost 7000 years ago. Sushruta prescribed dried seeds for digestive disorders (anorexia, digestive weakness, nausea etc).


Coriander seeds does not require any introduction. Everyone is familiar with this as a spice and flavoring agent in kitchen. These are ground to make powder which is used as Dhania powder for culinary use. Let’s get familiar with this spice as medicinal herb.

Coriander seeds have Tridoshnashk (Vata, Pitta and Kapha balancing), astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, carminative, stimulant, stomachic, digestive, appetizer, diuretic, constipating, anti­pyretic, expectorant, anodyne, anti-bilious, laxative, anthelmintic activities.

Coriander seeds are indicated in colds, coughs, urinary tract infections, heat and inflammation, digestive problems, fevers, and as an antidotes hot pungent foods. It is the main herb for digestive and skin problems. It removes excess Kapha / phlegm.

General Information

Coriander plant is slender, glabrous, branched, annual herb. It is cultivated all over India for its aromatic leaves and seeds. The plant grows up to varying heights (20-120 cm). The first leaves form a rosette and have long petioles, are round-shaped, three-lobed or parted. Lower leaves are pinnate, leaflets are broad, oval, lobes of the upper leaves are slender and linear. The compound umbel has many flower stalks. Flowers are white, pink, the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel are longer.

The ripe mature seeds which are fruits of plant, are used as spice. Dhaniya plants matures in 2-3 months after sowing.  The yellow seeds are thrashed out and dried in sun, winnowed, and stored in bags.

Description of Seeds: Fruit globular, mericarps usually united by their margins forming a cremocarp about 2-4 mm in diameter, uniformly brownish-yellow or brown, glabrous, sometimes crowned by the remains of sepals and styles, primary ridges 10, wavy and slightly inconspicuous secondary ridges 8, straight, and more prominent, endosperm coelospermous.

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of Coriander / Dhaniya is Coriandrum sativum. It belongs to plant family Apiaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass: Rosidae
  • Order: Apiales
  • Family: Apiaceae ⁄ Umbelliferae – Carrot family
  • Genus: Coriandrum L. – coriander
  • Species: Coriandrum sativum L. – coriander

Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: leaves, seeds

Plant type: Herb

Distribution: Common throughout India

Dosha: Balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, especially Pitta

Tissue/Dhatu: plasma, reproductive

Vernacular Names / Synonyms

  1. Latin name: Coriandrum sativum
  2. English: Coriander/ Cilantro
  3. Ayurvedic: Dhanyaka, Kustumburu, Dhanyeyaka, Dhanika, Dhanak, Dhana, Dhanya Kunati, Dhenuka, Chhatra, Vitunak
  4. Unani: Kishniz (Persian)
  5. Siddha: Kothamalli
  6. Assamese: Dhaniya
  7. Bengali: Dhane, Dhania
  8. English: Coriander fruit
  9. Gujrati: Dhana
  10. Hindi: Dhaniya
  11. Kannada: Havija, Kothambari bija
  12. Kashmiri: Dhaniwal, Dhanawal
  13. Malayalam: Malli, Kothampatayari
  14. Marathi: Dhane, Kothimbir
  15. Oriya: Dhania
  16. Punjabi: Dhania
  17. Tamil: Kottamatli virai, Dhaniya
  18. Telugu: Dhaniyalu
  19. Urdu: Kishneez
  20. Tehran: Tukhm-i-gishniz
  21. Arab: Kuzbara
  22. Turkey: Gashnish
  23. Greek: Koriyan

Constituents of Coriandrum sativum

  • Volatile oil (1.5 %) Coriandrol, anethole,
  • Camphor, limonene, geraniol, borneol
  • Flavonoids Rutin, quercetin, apigenin
  • Coumarins Psoralen, angelicin, umbelliferone
  • Phenolic acids, Phthalides

Ayurvedic Properties and Action

Coriander seed is sweet, bitter and pungent in taste (Rasa) and sweet after digestion (Vipaka). Leaves are cool whereas seeds are hot in potency.

Coriander works on Blood, muscle and plasma. The main action is on digestive, respiratory and urinary system.

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Snigdha (Unctuous / Oily)
  • Virya (Action): Shita (Cooling) Leaves, Seeds: Ushna (Heating)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)


  • Amapachana: Toxin digester
  • Dipana: Appetite stimulant
  • Daha prashamana: Alleviate burning sensations in the body
  • Mutravirechana: Diuretics, increase the flow of urine
  • Shulaprashamana: Alleviates intestinal spasms
  • Trishgna: Alleviates thirst
  • Krimighna: Destroys worms
  • Dhanyak is used in Ayurveda for treatment of following diseases:
  • Atisar: Diarrhea
  • Chardi: Vomiting
  • Daha: Burning sensation
  • Jvara: Fever
  • Trishna: Excessive thirst
  • Ajirna: Indigestion

Important Medicinal Properties

Coriander is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

  1. Anti-allergic: Prevents, or relieves an allergy.
  2. Antispasmodic: Used to relieve spasm of involuntary muscle.
  3. Alterative: Alter favorably the course of an ailment.
  4. Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
  5. Anthelmintic: Expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body.
  6. Carminative: Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence.
  7. Diaphoretic: Promote sweating.
  8. Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
  9. Expectorant: Promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs.

Health Benefits of Coriander Seeds

  1. It pacifies Vata, Kapha and Pitta dosha.
  2. It gives relief in spasm, burning sensation, gastritis, bloating and flatulence.
  3. It improves appetite, digestion but does not aggravates pitta.
  4. It soothes irritated digestive system.
  5. It is considered to be nerve and brain strengthening.
  6. It removes heat from the urinary system.
  7. It is diuretic and increases amount of urine. This property make it useful in stones, urine retention and painful urination.
  8. It increases sweating and helps in fever.
  9. It is taken with cumin seeds, turmeric as decongestant.
  10. It helps in menstrual problems, particularly period pain.
  11. It is antibacterial and antifungal.
  12. It reduces LDL or bad cholesterol levels and increases HDL.

Medicinal Uses of Coriander seeds / Dhaniya Beej

Here are few home remedies using Dhaniya or Coriander seeds to cure various clinical conditions.

1. Acidity, improving digestion

Prepare a tea, by steeping one-third teaspoon of each Coriander seeds + Fennel seeds + Cumin seeds, in one cup hot water for 10 minutes. Filter and drink thrice a day after meal.

2. Atisaar / diarrhea

Roast seeds and take (10 gm) with water.

3. Burning sensation, irritation of the bladder while urinating

Prepare a tea, by steeping one-third teaspoon of each Coriander seeds + Fennel seeds + Cumin seeds, in one cup hot water for 10 minutes. Filter and drink thrice a day after meal.

4. Bloody diarrhea

Soak seeds (20 gm) in water (one glass) for few hours. Mash seeds and filter. Drink this twice a day.

5. Baldness

Mix coriander powder (100 gm) and vinegar (100 ml). Apply on affected scalp areas.

6. Colds, flu, coughs and catarrh

The seeds along with turmeric and cumin, and taken in hot teas.

7. Conjunctivitis, as eyewash, pain in eyes

Take coriander seeds (20 gm) in water (400 ml). Boil and cook for few minutes till volume reduces to 100ml. With the help of thin cloth, strain to remove any impurity. Put few drops in eyes or use this as an eyewash. This is useful in eye pain and inflammation.

8. Digestive weakness

Prepare decoction of coriander seeds and dry ginger powder and drink 10~­20 ml, twice a day.

9. Fever, burning sensation

Cold infusion of seeds mixed with sugar is given.

Mix Coriander 2 parts + Cinnamon 2 parts + Ginger 1 part. Take one teaspoon of this and steep in hot water for ten minutes. Drink few times a day.

10. Headache

Paste of seeds is applied on forehead. For headache due to excessive pitta, Cumin + Coriander (equal part) tea should be taken. For preparing the tea, soak one teaspoon of mix in one cup hot water. Filter and drink.

11. High Blood pressure

Decoction of cumin seeds and coriander seeds should be taken.

12. Heavy bleeding during menstruation

For curing heavy bleeding during periods, prepare decoction of (10 gm) coriander seeds in 400 ml water. Cook till volume reduces to one fourth. Drink (20 ml) thrice a day.

13. Indigestion

Seeds powder is given with Sonth (dry ginger powder).

14. Joint pain due to excessive heat in body

Take seeds powder (6 gm) with Mishri (10 gm), twice a day.

15. Kidney Problems

Prepare cumin-coriander-fennel tea, 2-3 times a day.

16. Mouth ulcer

Soak seeds (5 gm) in water (100 ml) at night. Next morning mash seeds and filter the solution. Use this for gargling.

17. Piles

Boil coriander seeds (10­20 gms) in a glass of water. Add Mishri (10 gm) and drink twice a day. This helps to stop blood in bleeding piles.

Prepare decoction of Coriander seeds, Haritaki, Giloy (1:1:1) in water and drink twice a day.

18. Sore throats and oral thrush

The lukewarm tea of Dhaniya seeds is used as gargle.

19. Throat pain, bad breath

Clean and chew seeds (1 teaspoon) to cure throat pain.

20. Upset stomach and flatulence relief

Chew on Coriander seeds or drink a tea made from the seeds.

21. Visham jwar (recurrent fever), Indigestion

Prepare churna by mixing equal amount of coriander seed, clove, Sunthi and Nishoth. Take 2 gm of this powder with water, twice a day.

22. Vomiting

Powdered coriander seeds are boiled in a glass of milk/water for about 5 minutes, sugar is added and given once a day.

Dosage of Coriandrum sativum

3-6 grams of seeds can be eaten.

Warning / Caution / Side-effects

  1. It is very safe to take. We all use coriander seeds as spice in our kitchen.
  2. Seeds have antifertility effects so it should not be taken in excess.
  3. Few allergic reactions, like contact dermatitis, are seen with the use of coriander powder and more particularly with the oil.
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