Coriander essential oil is derived from the coriander plant, also known as Chinese
parsley or cilantro. The leaves and seeds of the coriander plant are commonly used in Asian, Indian, and Mexican cooking and are known for having an herbaceous aroma and flavor. When used as an essential oil, coriander has many benefits for the mind and body.
Native to Southwestern Asia, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa, the coriander plant (coriandrum sativum)is a leafy green herb that grows up to 3 feet tall. It has feathery leaves and long stems and bears small round seeds, which are harvested and steam distilled to make essential oil. The name coriander actually is derived from the Greek word koriannon, meaning “bug,” which speaks to coriander’s strong, almost bug-like herbaceous aroma. The leaves and seeds of the plant contain high amounts of linalool, which contribute to its medicinal properties. Overall, coriander is similar in its chemical composition to lavender.
Method of Extraction
Coriander seeds are harvested and steam distilled to produce essential oil. Steam distillation is one of the most popular forms of extraction, and vaporizes the volatile compounds found within the coriander seeds which yield a 100% pure essential oil.
Traditional Uses of Coriander
Throughout history, coriander has been prized by ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures. Hippocrates recommended the use of coriander seeds in medicine. Additionally, coriander seeds have been discovered in the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings. During the Bronze Age in Great Britain, coriander seeds were used to flavor barley and mixed with vinegar and spices to preserve meats. Today it is used across the culinary scene in Mexico, Peru, Israel, and Asia to flavor traditional dishes, and is often added to Belgian beer and gin during the fermentation process. In aromatherapy, coriander essential oil is used to relax the mind and applied topically to soothe sore muscles.
Benefits of Coriander Essential Oil
Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support
Coriander’s benefits extend well beyond the kitchen, as coriander essential oil has many benefits for the skin, hair, and body. It contains high amounts of linalool, a compound that can promote healthy skin. When combined with carrier oil, coriander essential oil can be used to prevent breakouts and soothe muscle aches, and when diffused it can aid in easy breathing.
The herbaceous, spicy aroma of coriander essential oil is invigorating and can help boost concentration, while also promoting a deep sense of relaxation.
How to use Coriander Essential Oil
For the Skin
Before using it on the skin be sure to combine it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.
- Add 1 drop of coriander essential oil to ½ teaspoon of argan oil and apply it to the face (avoiding the eyes and mouth) to promote a clear complexion.
- Add 2 drops of coriander essential oil to 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and use it to soothe tired muscles.
- Swap silver fir essential oil for coriander essential in this homemade deodorant this all natural deodorant recipe from professional aromatherapist Amy Galper.
For the Hair
- Add 2 drops of coriander essential oil to ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and rub it into the ends of your hair to prevent breakage and promote shine.
For Improving Your Environment
- Add 2 drops of coriander essential oil and 2 drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to ease frazzled nerves. Be sure to diffuse in a well-ventilated room and don’t leave the diffuser on for prolonged periods of time.
How to Safely Use Coriander Essential Oil
In general, coriander essential oil is safe to use, however it can be irritating to some and should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or children. Never apply it to the skin directly and always combine it with carrier oil before use. It’s best to conduct a skin patch test before applying it to a larger area. Coriander essential oil should only be applied topically or inhaled, and not ingested. For more essential oil safety tips, take a look at this article.
Coriander essential oil is a highly aromatic essential oil that benefits the body and mind. From preventing breakouts to promoting a feeling of calm, it’s a fantastic option if you’re looking to expand your essential oil toolkit. It is best complimented by citrus essential oils like bergamot and grapefruit, which can also help boost concentration and focus. To learn about other lesser-known aromatic essential oils, take a look at this article: Everything You Need to Know About Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.