Cilantro or coriander, as it’s also known, is an annual herb in the parsley family with a history that goes back thousands of years. Even King Tut asked for cilantro seeds to be scattered in his tomb so he would have enough of this fragrant herb in the afterlife!
Originally from the Mediterranean region, cilantro has a long history of culinary use and medicine. But only recently have the researchers discovered that cilantro can act as a powerful detoxifying agent and promote the removal of heavy metals from the body.
Heavy Metal Poisoning
When toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, and uranium accumulate in the body, they can cause a variety of health problems. Besides industrial exposure of workers in the heavy metal industry, the most common routes of exposure are inhalation of polluted air and ingestion of contaminated food and water.
The symptoms of heavy metal poisoning vary and may include nausea, vomiting, headaches, anemia, muscle and joint pain, confusion, and in rare cases, cancer.
Detoxification of heavy metals is usually performed through chelation. Chelation therapy refers to the process of binding heavy metals by using chelating agents. Molecules in chelating agents bind to heavy metals in the bloodstream so that the toxic metals can be safely excreted from the body.
Besides pharmaceutical chelating against, there a number of natural chelating agents that can be used to promote heavy metal detox – and cilantro is one of them.
The best detoxifying effect is achieved when cilantro is used together with chlorella, a type of fresh-water algae. Research has shown that the combination of cilantro and chlorella can remove an average of 87% of lead, 91% of mercury, and 74% of aluminum from the body in just 45 days.
While cilantro contains chemicals that bind with heavy metals, chlorella promotes the removal of these toxins from the digestive system.
If you’re taking chlorella for detox purposes, aim for 5-7 grams of powder chlorella per day. After about a month, you can decrease your daily dosage to 1-2 tablespoons (3-4 grams).
As for cilantro, the options are limitless, since this aromatic herb can be added to almost any type of dish. Try mixing freshly chopped cilantro with sour cream and some lime to make a delicious homemade condiment. You can also use cilantro to garnish your soups, salads, noodles, tacos, and curries. And if you’d rather drink your cilantro then eat it, toss a handful into your blender and make a refreshing detox smoothie.
Other benefits of Cilantro
Besides being an excellent natural detoxifier, cilantro has a long list of other health benefits. Cilantro is packed with antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol Studies show that a diet rich in cilantro and other herbs and spices slows blood clotting and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cilantro has a low glycemic index, which means it can be safely used by people with Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, cilantro may help lower blood sugar and reduce chronic inflammation.
Adding cilantro to your diet isn’t just good for your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health. Cilantro has been found to act as a mild sedative, which means it can help you calm anxiety, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality.