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Dhania (Coriander): Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more


Dhania, also called coriander, is a herbal plant that might have various uses. Its botanical name is Coriandrum sativum L., and it belongs to the family Apiceae. All the parts of this plant might have potential use as a traditional remedy and flavouring agent for various diseases by different civilizations and in the folk medicine system.[1]

Coriander is a soft and slender plant growing up to 50 cm in height and cultivated throughout India. Dhania is one of the oldest herbs recorded and has been used for more than 5000 years. Young coriander plants are utilized in the kitchen to prepare salads, soups, curries, and sauces, while the fruit obtained from coriander is mainly used as a seasoning for pickles, mixtures, etc. The essential oil of dhania is employed in pharmaceutical formulas. Apart from being used in the kitchen, dhania is also popular for its potential healing properties and possible medicinal benefits.[2]

dhania benefits

Nutritional Value of Dhania:

The main component of essential oil from coriander seeds is linalool (60%-80%). This essential oil also contains ketones, alcohols, and esters like α-pinene (0.2-8%), geranyl acetate (0.15-4.7%), γ-terpinene (1%-8%), and camphor (0.9%-4.9%).[1] In 100 grams of dhania, the nutrients found are:[2]

  Water  92.2 g
  Energy  23 kcal/95 KJ
  Carbohydrate, by the difference  3.67 g
  Fat  0.52 g  
  Sugars  0.87 g
  Total dietary fibre  2.8 g
  Iron  1.77 mg
  Calcium  67 mg
  Magnesium  26 mg
  Potassium  521 mg
  Phosphorus  48 mg
  Copper  0.225 mg
  Selenium  0.9  µg
  Zinc  0.5 mg
  Manganese  0.426 mg
  Sodium  46 mg
  Vitamin C  27 mg
  Riboflavin  0.162 mg
  Pantothenic acid  0.57 mg
  Folate  62  µg
  Thiamin  0.067 mg
  Niacin  1.11 mg
  Vitamin B6  0.149 mg
Table 1: Nutrient content per 100 g of raw dhania leaves4

Also Read: Bhumi Amla: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

In an interesting study, I read that coriander leaf extract, called CSE, was tested on human skin cells and mice to see if it might protect against UV damage. The results showed that CSE may increase collagen production, which keeps the skin healthy, and reduce an enzyme that breaks down collagen. This suggests that coriander leaf extract may help ward off skin ageing caused by the sun.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Dhania:

All parts of dhania have different potential uses and has been used traditionally across the world. Dhania is known for its potential properties like:

  • It might be an antidiabetic agent
  • It may have antimicrobial properties
  • It may be an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
  • It might be an antidepressant
  • It might have anticonvulsive potential
  • It might be a diuretic (increases the flow of urine)
  • It may have antihypertensive activity
  • It may be an antioxidant
  • It might be a potent anti-dyslipidemic (cholesterol-lowering) agent
  • It might have anti-inflammatory activity
  • It may have antimutagenic (counteracting the impact of cancer-producing agents) potential
  • It may be a sedative1,2

From what I have seen, coriander seeds might be a potentially healthy ingredient to include in your diet. Coriander seeds, whether raw or roasted, may have beneficial properties as a functional food. They contain compounds that might show inhibitory effects on tumour cell growth.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Uses of Dhania:

Dhania might have the possible uses for human health.

Potential use of dhania for the digestive system:

Dhania might help with digestive problems, abdominal discomforts, and loss of appetite. The leaves of dhania may be used as an appetiser and might also help with indigestion and may help relieve stomach cramps and muscle spasms. The fruits of dhania may also be helpful for indigestion. Dhania is also known to be a good carminative (relieving gas accumulation) agent. In some parts of Pakistan, dhania has been used for flatulence, diarrhoea, stomach problems, vomiting, and jaundice. Dhania might also help enhance bowel movements and might function as a mild laxative. It may also be effective against ulcerative colitis and hepatitis.2 However, kindly consult a doctor before use.

Potential use of dhania (Coriander) for the respiratory system:

The leaves of dhania might be consumed and also applied topically for coughs and chest pains. The fruits of dhania might have a potential use against bronchitis, cough, and intermittent fevers. Dhania might also exhibit expectorant (expelling mucus) properties. Seeds of dhania might be helpful for influenza as seen in traditional Chinese medicine. Dhania might also be effective for dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing).1,2 However, respiratory diseases can be serious and must be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

Potential use of dhania for the skin:

Dhania might help with disorders like pimples, eczema, dry skin, skin ulcers, and blackheads. It may also be helpful for allergies, hay fever, rashes, and urticaria.2 However, more research is required to prove such claims.

Potential use of dhania for the central nervous system:

Dhania, boiled with milk, might have positive effects on the central nervous system and may help with syncope, vertigo, and memory loss. It might also help relieve anxiety. Dhania may also be helpful for  insomnia (sleeplessness). Due to its vitamin K content, dhania may be helpful for Alzheimer’s disease. The aqueous and ethanolic extracts of coriander seeds might also have a potent use against convulsions.1,2 However, more research is required to ascertain such claims. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor for diseases related to the central nervous system and do not self-medicate.

Potential use of dhania for the eyes:

Dhania might be good for the eyes, and it may decrease the burning sensation and irritation. The antioxidants present in dhania might have a potential to help with eye diseases.2 However, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of eye problems.

Potential use of dhania as a diuretic:

Diuresis means expelling excess fluid and salt from the body. According to studies, the seeds of dhania might help enhance diuresis, glomerular filtration rate, and might lead to excretion of electrolytes from the body in a dose-related manner.2 However, more research is required to confirm such potential effects of dhania.

Potential use of dhania for diabetes:

Dhania might prove to be helpful for diabetic patients. It may help with diabetes by stimulating insulin secretion and might lower blood sugar levels in the body.2 However, conditions like diabetes should be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor. So, kindly consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Potential use of dhania as an antimicrobial agent:

According to studies, the essential oil of dhania obtained from the seeds might exhibited potential antifungal activity against Candida albicans. Essential oil and aqueous extract of coriander leaves might exhibit inhibitory activity against Gram-positive group of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus sp and Gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Proteus mirabilis etc.1 The decoction obtained from dhania leaves and seeds might also help reduce fever.2

Potential use of dhania as a cholesterol-lowering agent:

According to animal studies, coriander seeds might exhibit potential cholesterol-lowering effects. The observations made were: a possible reduction in triglyceride levels, low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and very-low-density lipoprotein. There was also a potential increase in high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) levels.1

Though there are studies that show the potential uses of dhania in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of dhania on human health. 

As per my observations, coriander leaves might act as a natural detoxifier and chelation agent. It may help flush out heavy metals from the body after chemotherapy or remove mercury-based dental fillings. However, more research is needed to thoroughly understand its effectiveness.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

How to Use Dhania?

Dhania essential oil is used in different ways like:

  • In foods as preservative and flavouring agent
  • In pharmaceutical products5

The green leaves of coriander, also called cilantro, are utilised in the preparation of salads, Mexican salsas, chillies, seafood dishes and different ethnic foods. The aromatic coriander fruit or seeds are used in dishes, bread, soups, stews, curry meat, and puddings.3

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side Effects of Dhania (Coriander):

Dhania as a seasoning and spice is considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. Dhania and its constituent linalool have been tested for safety. Dhania and linalool did not have toxicity, denoting that dhania essential oil is safe for use. Dhania leaves and seeds have not been associated with any adverse events when used in traditional medicine.

However, there was a case report of a woman from Iran who reported endocrine toxicity when she had consumed an excess of dhania leaf extract for seven consecutive days.3  Therefore, exercise caution while using dhania.

Precautions to Take With Dhania:

General precaution and a discussion with your doctor before consuming dhania is recommended, especially by pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Interactions With Other Drugs:

It might have unknown reactions with drugs. However, more research is required to find out such reactions.  

Also Read: Kanchanar Guggulu: Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions & More!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is dhania?

Dhania, also known as cilantro or coriander, is a herbal plant that might have various medicinal and culinary uses. It is used as a herbal flavouring agent in the preparation of sauces, salads, chillies, seafood dishes, Mexican salsa, and different ethnic foods. Dhania is also used to prepare herbal medicines.3

What are the common names of dhania?

Dhania is known by various names like Chinese parsley, coriander, cilantro, coriandro, coriander, culantrillo. Its scientific name is Coriandrum sativum.6

Where is dhania cultivated?

Coriandrum sativum is a native herb of Italy and is cultivated in the Mediterranean regions like Egypt, Morocco, Malta, Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and India), and central and eastern Europe.1

Can dhania be used to relieve headaches?

Yes, the juice obtained from fresh dhania leaves, when applied to the forehead, might help with headaches.2 However, more research is required to prove these possible effects of dhania for heaaches.

Can dhania be used to manage problems related to urination?

Yes, dhania might have a potential to help with urethritis and urinary tract infections. It may also help with problems related to the bladder.1,2 Kindly consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Can dhania be used for treating anaemia?

Due to its high iron content, dhania may be helpful for people suffering from anaemia.2 However, more research will be required to prove these claims.

Does dhania have antifungal properties?

Yes, the essential oil of dhania might have antifungal potential . Dhania essential oil might exhibit fungicidal (fungi killing) properties against Candida albicans.2 However , more research is required to ascertain such claims.

Where is dhania cultivated in India?

In India, dhania is widely cultivated in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.2

How is dhania used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive problems?

In Ayurvedic medicine, the seeds of dhania are used with caraway and cardamom seeds and might be helpful for digestion related problems.1 Kindly consult a doctor before use. Do not self-medicate.

How is dhania employed in traditional Chinese medicine?

In traditional Chinese medicine, seeds of dhania may be helpful for indigestion, stomach pain, bad breath, influenza, and anorexia (loss of appetite).1 However, more research is required to prove such effects.

Can dhania be used in rheumatism and arthritis?

Yes, dhania might have potential use as an ointment to deal with arthritis (swelling of joints) and rheumatism (a condition affecting muscles, bones, and joints).1 More research is required to prove its potential use.

Can dhania be used for mouth ulcers?

The potential antiseptic properties of dhania might help deal with mouth ulcers.2 Please consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of mouth ulcers.

Also Read: Avipattikar Churna: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!


  1. Najla Gooda Sahib, Farooq Anwar, Anwarul-Hassan Gilani, Azizah Abdul Hamid, Nazamid Saari, and Khalid M. Alkharfy; Coriander (coriandrum Sativum L.): A potential source of high-value components for functional foods and nutraceuticals- A review. Wiley online library. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234029175_Coriander_Coriandrum_sativum_L_A_Potential_Source_of_High-Value_Components_for_Functional_Foods_and_Nutraceuticals_-_A_Review/link/5a6dfc7daca2722c947f27d3/download
  2. K.K Chahal, Ravinder Singh, Amit Kumar, and Urvashi Bhardwaj; Chemical composition and biological activity of coriandrum sativum L: A review. Indian Journal of Natural Products and resources. 2017 Sep 8(3): 193-203 Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322483650_Chemical_composition_and_biological_activity_of_coriandrum_sativum_l_A_review
  3. Single, Keith Ph.D.; Coriander: Overview of potential health benefits. Nutrition today. 2016 51 (3): 151-161 Available from: https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/05000/coriander__overview_of_potential_health_benefits.8.aspx
  4. U.S Department of agriculture. Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw [Internet] Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169997/nutrients
  5. Shyamapada Mandal, Manisha Mandal; Coriander (coriandrum sativum L.) essential oil: Chemistry and biological activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2015 June 5(6):421-428 Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115000647
  6. CABI. Coriander Sativum (coriander). [Internet] Available from: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/15300#tosummaryOfInvasiveness

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234029175_Coriander_Coriandrum_sativum_L_A_Potential_Source_of_High-Value_Components_for_Functional_Foods_and_Nutraceuticals_-_A_Review/link/5a6dfc7daca2722c947f27d3/download

[2] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322483650_Chemical_composition_and_biological_activity_of_coriandrum_sativum_l_A_review

[3] https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/05000/coriander__overview_of_potential_health_benefits.8.aspx

[4] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169997/nutrients

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