Other Name(s):

Chinese Parsley, Coentro, Coriander Leaves, Dhanyaka, Coriandrum sativum, Fresh Coriander, Kustumburi, Persil Arabe, Persil Chinois, Persil Mexicain.


Cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant. It is commonly eaten as a food or used as a spice. Cilantro can also be used as a medicine.

Cilantro is taken by mouth for cancer and to remove poisonous metals such as mercury, lead, or aluminum from the body. It is also taken by mouth for measles, toothache, and as an antioxidant.

In foods, cilantro is used as a flavoring agent.

How does it work?

Cilantro might help remove metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum from the body. Removing these metals from the body might help some antibiotics and antiviral medicines work better. Cilantro might also help eliminate certain bacteria that cause infections.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cancer.
  • Lead poisoning.
  • Measles.
  • Mercury poisoning.
  • Toothache.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cilantro for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Cilantro is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. However, some people might experience food allergies after eating cilantro. There is one report of hives, facial swelling, and throat swelling in a man who ate cilantro.

There is another report of severe diarrhea, stomach pain, darkened skin, depression, lapse of menstruation, and dehydration in a woman who took 200 mL of a 10% cilantro extract for 7 days.

When cilantro comes in contact with the skin, it can cause hives or itching.

There isn't enough information to know if cilantro is safe when taken as a medicine.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cilantro during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using more than food amounts.

Bleeding disorders: Cilantro might slow blood clotting. There is concern that cilantro might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders when eaten in large amounts.

Surgery: Cilantro might slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery when eaten in large amounts. Stop using large amounts of cilantro at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


The appropriate dose of cilantro depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cilantro. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

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