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Coriander Seeds


Egyptology Articles


Herbs and Aroma

Alternative Medicine

Aroma Therapy


This is another well known herb with a volatile  oil. Coriander has been known for over 3,000 years. It was found wild in Egypt and the Sudan. Coriander seeds were placed in Egyptian tombs. Both ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed coriander had aphrodisiacal properties. Its botanical or Latin name is coriandrum sativum .

Its Arabic name is Kuzbarah or Kizbara.

Its Arabic name is Kuzbarah or Kizbara. Its name was said to be dated back to the Greek word “Koris” which means ‘bed bug”. This probably was due to the conception that the plant smells strongly like these insects. Its origin can be traced back to the Eastern Mediterranean countries and ancient egypt.

Cultivated world-wide its name is derived from the Greek 'Koris' which means bed bug, as it was believed that the plant smells strongly of these insects. Its origin is from Eastern Mediterranean countries or Asia Minor.  In the Mediterranean region, coriander cultivation dates back to ancient Egypt.

The parts used of the plant are the fruit or seed and leaves. Fruits and leaves posses totally different flavour and can therefore not substitute each other. The oil is derived from the seed of the plant. The fruits aroma is is warm, nutty, spicy and sometimes citrusy. Seeds are sweet and aromatic when ripe. Unripe seeds are said to have an offensive smell. The seeds have a warm, mild and sweetish flavor.

The coriander grown in Russia and Central Europe has smaller fruits (less than 3 mm) and contains more essential oil than the oriental variety (greater than 3 mm), which is cultivated for fruits and leaves.

Its main constituent is an essential oil which only constitutes only 1% of the active components of the seed. The oil consists mainly of linalool (50 to 60%) and about 20% terpenes In toasted coriander fruits, pyrazines are formed as the main flavour compounds




coriander seeds.  

The seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, with alternating straight and wavy ridges. The seeds are almost spherical, one end being slightly pointed, the other slightly flattened The length of the seed is 3 - 5 mm (1/8” - 3/16”) and the colour, when dried, is usually brown, but may be green or off white. The seed is generally sold dried and in this state is apt to split into halves to reveal two partially hollow hemispheres and occasionally some internal powdery matter. Coriander is available both whole and ground. The fresh leaves of the plant are called cilantro and are used as an herb.



Coriander seeds posses both medicinal and culinary uses.

As a medicine it is used to aid digestion. Coriander seed oil is strongly antibacterial against several organisms.

It is a stimulant, aromatic and carminative. It is used as an appetizer and a digestant stimulating the stomach and intestines. It is generously used with active purgatives as flavoring  and to lessen their griping action. Coriander water was formerly used for windy colic. The essential oil is used in colic, rheumatism and neuralgia; the seeds as a paste for mouth ulceration and a poultice for other ulcers.

It was Commonly used for treating rheumatism.  

Culinary uses 

This seeds is very distinctive in a very famous Egyptian recipe MELOUKHIA.

In this recipe coriander is grounded with garlic and is fried in oil(named taklia), then placed while hot in meloukhia soup making a characteristic

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