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dhanyaka - Coriandrum sativum Linn.

dhanyaka :

Young plants growing in a nursery Dhanyaka consists of dried ripe fruits of Coriandrum sativum Linn. (Fam. Umbelliferae) , a slender, glabrous, branched, annual herb, cultivated all over India, 30-90 cm high, giving characteristic aroma when rubbed, crop matures in 2-3 months after sowing, herb is pulled out with roots, after drying, fruits threashed out and dried in sun, winnowed, and stored in bags.


The oldest Coriander fruits have been discovered in the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel. The fruits were thought to be over 8,000 years old. Some Sanskrit text speak about coriander in there gardens in ancient India nearly 7,000 years ago.

In Chinese Mythology it was believed that the seeds from the Coriander plant, would have the power to grant immortality. The Peruvians and the ancient Egyptians used coriander seeds and leaves to flavour their food. In fact the discovery  of seeds found in the tombs from the 21st Egyptian Dynasty, over 3,000 years ago.

The crazy Romans first brought coriander to Britain in the first century AD where it became  a semi-native in some areas. The British used it along with vinegar  and cumin to preserve their meat, while the legions would march carrying it as a flavouring for their bread. In Roman Britian times it was considered to have high status as it was fairly exotic.

Coriander was grown commercially in Essex UK for a while and used for the gin distillers. Vets also used it as a drug to treat animals (possible digestive problems).

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Streptophyta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Family: Umbelliferae
Genus: Coriandrum
Species: Coriandrum sativum

Allied species:

Charaka Samhitha 
  1. Trushnaprashamana– Herbs that relieve excessive thirst
  2. Sheetaprashamana – Herbs that relieve excessive cold
  1. Guduchyadi group of herbs
Susrutha Samhitha
  1. Guduchyadi group of herbs

Maharshi Charaka

Rocana– which improves the taste sensation
Dipana– which augments the appetite


Sanskrit: Dhanika, Dhanya, Vitunnaka, Kustumburu
English: cilantro leaf, coriander
Hindi: Dhaniya
Urdu: Kishneez
Telugu: Dhaniyalu
Bengali: Dhane, Dhania
Marathi: Dhane, Kothimbir
Oriya: Dhania
Gujarathi: Dhana
Tamil: Kottamatli virai, Dhaniya
Malayalam: Malli, Kothampatayari
Kannada: Havija, Kothambari bija
Punjabi: Dhania
Arabic: Kuzbara, Kuzbura.
Spanish: Cilantro, Coriandro, Culantro, Semilla de cilantro.
Assamese: Dhaniya
Japanese: Koendoro, Koriandaa, Koyendoro.
Chinese: Yuan-sui, Hu sui, Xiang sui, Yan sui.
French: Coriandre, Persil arabe (leaves), Grain de coriandre (fruits / seeds).
German: Böbberli, Chinesische, Chrapfechörnli, Indische Petersilie, Koriander, Rügelikümmi, Wanzenkümmel, Korianderfrucht, Schwindelkorn, Wanzendill.
Burma: Nan nan bin (leaves), Nan nan zee (fruits / seeds).
Nepal: Dhaniyaa, Dhaniya saag.
Persian: Geshniz.
Sinhalese: Kottamalli, Kotthamallie
Greek: Koliantros, Koliandro, Koriandro, Koriannon, Korion.


A. Types of Coriander. There are two types of Coriander seeds typically found in the marketplace - European (also known as Moroccan Coriander) and Indian.

  1.  Sadhana (CS-4)
  2. Sindhu (CS-2)
  3. Sudha (LCC-128)
  4. Swathi (CS-6)
  5. APHU Dhania-1 (LCC-170)
  6. Suguna (LCC-236)
  7. Suruchi (LCC-234)
  8. Susthira (LCC-219)


धान्यकं मधुरं शीतं कषायं पित्त नाशनम् 
ज्वरकास तृषाच्छर्द्दिकफहारि च दीपनं 

रोचनं दीपनं  वात कफ दौर्गन्ध्य नाशनम्  - CS SU 

भक्ष्य व्यञ्जन भोज्येषु विविधेश्वचारिता
आर्द्र कुस्तुम्बरी कुर्यात् स्वादु सौगन्ध्य ह्रुद्यतां - सु सू
आर्द्रका कटु तिक्तोष्णा मुत्रला न च पित्तकृत्
भोज्य व्यञ्जन भक्ष्येषु विचित्रेषु प्रयोजिता 
आर्द्र कुस्तुम्बरी स्वर्य स्वादु सौगन्ध्य ह्रुद्यतां
सा शुष्का मधुरा पाके स्निग्धा त्रुट् दाह नाशिनी - मा नि 


Synonyms in Ayurveda: dhanya, dhanyaka, catra, vitunnaka, chatradhanya, sugandhi, sukshmapatra, haridgandha, hridya, veshna, kushtumburu

Its Sanskrit  Synonym  is “Vitunnaka” means “helps to relieve agony ,Pain” 
First attested in English in the late 14th century, the word "coriander" derives from the Old French: coriandre, which comes from Latin: coriandrum, in turn from Ancient Greek: κορίαννον, koriannon, derived from Ancient Greek: κόρις, kóris (a bed bug), and was given on account of its foetid, bed bug-like smell. The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ko-ri-ja-da-na[8] written in Linear B syllabic script (reconstructed as koriadnon, similar to the name of Minoss daughter Ariadne) which later evolved to koriannon or koriandron and koriander (German).

Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from coriandrum. It is the common term in North American English for coriander leaves, due to their extensive use in Mexican cuisine.
  1. Dhanyaka - the seeds resembling grains or dhanya
  2. Chatra - the inflorescence resembles umbrella
  3. Kustumbur - helps to relieve diseases
  4. Vitunnaka - helps to relieve agony
  5. Hrudya gandha - has pleasant smell
  6. sookshmapatra - with small leaves

Rasa: Kashaya Katu Madhura Tikta
Guna: Laghu Snigdha
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Maduram
Karma: Kaphahara Pittahara Vatahara

Maharshi charak has mentioned that it helps improve the taste sensation of the food. To cope up with burning sensation of the body and help in excessive thirst, it can be taken with glassful of cold infusion of Dhania’s fruit with sugar. The powder of ground fruits of Dhaniya helps in curing upset stomach. It is also helpful in curbing pitta and chronic uneasiness. Several digestive problems can be cured by the help of proper consumption of Dhania.


The plant can be grown from the temperate zone to the tropics. It succeeds at elevations up to 2,200 metres in the tropics, but though it grows well, it rarely forms seeds at elevations lower than 500 metres It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 25°c, but can tolerate 4 - 32°c It can be killed by temperatures of -10°c or lower It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,400mm, but tolerates 300 - 2,600mm
Plants grown mainly for their seeds do well in partial shade, but when growing for the seed or essential oil a sunny position is preferred. Prefers a warm dry light soil The plants dislike constant moisture or too much nitrogen. Another report says that coriander grows best when a cool damp spring is followed by a hot dry summer. Coriander tends to run quickly to seed if the plants are too dry at the seedling stage. Plants tolerate a pH in the range 4.9 to 8.3. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4 - 8
There are some named varieties


Seed - sow in situ. The seed is slow to germinate.


The plant is fast-growing and seems to be free of pests and diseases. The leaves may be harvested about 35 days from sowing, mature seeds after 80 - 140 days.
Optimum yields of the dried seed are up to 1.1 - 2.0 tonnes/ha
The flowers are very attractive to pollinating insects


Fresh plant contains volatile oil, 0.12%. 
- Coriander oil contain: coriandrol, d-ilinalool, licareol, d-d-pinene, p-cymol, terpinene, dipentene, geraniol, l-borneol, B-phellandrene, terpinolene, n-decylaldehyde, acetic acid, decyl acid.
- Linalool is the main volatile compound in coriander seeds, typically constituting more than 50% of the total essential oil. (Gil et al., 2002)   
- The fruit has a volatile oil, 0.25%; pentosan, 10.6%; furfurol, 6%; pectin, 1.1 to 1.7%; vitamin C; fat 19%; protein 11%, starch 10.5%, and potassium maleate 1.8%, fat 0.3%, and vitamin C3.
- Ethanol extract of fresh roots yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, sterols, carbohydrates, saponins, and phenolic compounds. 

- Study of seeds for fatty acids yielded main components of petroselinic acid (68%), linoleic acid 16.6%, oleic acid 7.5%, and palmitic acid 3.8%. Minor components were stearic acid, vaccenic acid, and myristic acid. 
- Study of essential oil in coriander seeds yielded linalool 67.75%, alpha-pinene 10.5%, gamma-terpinene 9.0%, geranyl acetate 4.0%, camphor 3.0%, and geraniol 1.9%.  
- Nutrient analysis of raw cilantro leaves per 100 g yielded: (Proximates) water 92.21 g, energy 23 kcal, protein 2.13 g, total lipid 0.52 g, carbohydrate by difference 3.67 g, total dietary fiber 2.8 g, total sugars 0.87 g; (Minerals) calcium 67 mg, iron 1.77 mg, magnesium 26 mg, phosphorus 48 mg, sodium 46 mg, potassium 521 mg, zinc 0.50 mg; (Vitamins) vitamin C 27.0 mg, thiamin 0.067 mg, riboflavin 0.162 mg, niacin 1.114 mg, vitamin B6 0.149 mg, folate 62 µg, vitamin B12 0, vitamin A 6748 IU, vitamin E 3.50 mg, vitamin D 0, vitamin K 310 µg; (Lipids) total saturated FA 0.014 g, total monosaturated FA 0.275 g, total polyunsaturated FA 0.050 g, trans FA 0, cholesterol 0. 
- Essential oils from leaves and fruits were analyzed by GC-MS. Leaf oil yielded 44 compounds, mostly aromatic acids, with major constituents of 2-decenoic acid (30.8%), E-11-tetradecenoic acid (13.4%), capric acid (12.7%) undecyl alcohol (6.4%), tridecanoic acid (5.5%) and undecanoic acid (7.1%). Seed oil yielded 53 compounds, with major constituents of linalool (37.7%), geranyl acetate (17.6%) and 
γ-terpinene (14.4%).



  1. Dhanyapancaka kvatha Curna
  2. Hingvadi gulika
  3. Hingvadi curna
  4. Dadimashtaka Curna
  5. Yavanyadi Curna
  6. Kushmanda Rasayana
  7. Saindhavadi Curna

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Fruit, Leaves, Seed, ,


1-3 g of the drug in powder form.


used as an antidote for pepper poisoning


an equal amount of fresh parsley, tarragon, dill or a combination of the three.


Clay particles, dried cow dung particles 


Even the name of the plant can be controversial. In the U.S., the leaves are called cilantro, while the seeds are called coriander. In Europe, the leaves are called coriander, while the seeds are also called coriander. To confuse matters further, cilantro leaves are also known as Chinese parsley.

Commercial value:

 Coriander seed oil is included among 20 major essential oils in the world market.Its commercial value depends on its physical properties, chemical composition and aroma.The aroma and flavor of coriander are attributable to essential oil present in oilglands in the mericarp (Diederichsen, 1996). In flavor compositions, corianderoil intermingles well with cardamom, bergamot, anise, nutmeg, clary, clove and sage.The oil can be extensively used as a flavoring agent in all types of foodstuff, includingalcoholic beverages, candy, tobacco, pickles, seasonings and meat sauce. The averageuse level ranges from 0.1 to 100 ppm. 


Fruit globular, mericarps usually united by their margins forming a cremocarp about 2-4 mm in diameter, uniformly brownish-yellow or brown, glabrous, sometimes crowned by the remains of sepals and styles, primary ridges 10, wavy and slightly inconspicuous secondary ridges 8, straight, and more prominent, endosperm coelospermous , odour, aromatic, taste, spicy and characteristic.


Transverse section of fruit shows pericarp with outer epidermis, when present with slightly thickened anticlinal wall, a few stomata, many cells with small prisms of calcium oxalate, trichomes absent, outer layer of mesocarp parenchymatous with inner cells in wavy longitudinal rows and degenerated vittae as tangentially flattened cavities, middle layer of mesocarp sclerenchymatous forming a thick layer of fusiform, pitted cells in very sinuous rows, layers often crossing at right angles with definite longitudinal strands in the secondary ridges, sinuous primary costae with some spiral vessel: inner cells of mesocarp, large, hexagonal with rather thin, lignified walls, inner epidermis of very narrow thin-walled cells slightly sinuous anticlinal wall showing parquetry arrangement, two or rarely more, normal vittae occurring on commissural side of each mesocarp containing volatile oil, endosperm of thick-walled cellulosic parenchyma containing much fixed oil, numerous aleurone grains, about 4-8 in diameter containing micro-rosettes of calcium oxalate , split carpophore passing at apex of each mericarp into raphe, adjacent to which a large cavity and on inner side of this a flattened vascular strand, carpophore consisting of fibres surrounded by spiral vessels.

Geographical distribution:

Dhanyaka is widely distributed in Italy, central, Eastern Europe and Mediterranean areas like in Egypt and Morocco. It is also widely cultivated in Bangladesh, China, England and India. Ukraine is one of the major essential oil production country. In India, it is found especially in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Common throughout India


Waste places and arable land, often by the sides of rivers

Plant conservation:

Least Concerned

General Use:

Considered aromatic, anti-halitosis, carminative, corrective, narcotic, stimulant; stomachic.
- Taste, odor, and medicinal qualities depend on the volatile oil. 

- Studies have suggested anti-diabetic, anti-platelet aggregation, antioxidant, antilithogenic, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic properties.

Therapeutic Uses:

Atisara, Chardi, Daha, Jvara, Trsna, Ajirna

Systemic Use:

Headache  –  Apply paste of  Dhaniya leaves  on forehead for 10 minutes .
Stomatitis  (mouth ulcer ) – Apply juice of Coriander leaves over the ulcers or hold the  juice of Coriander leaves in mouth for 5min .
 Indigestion/vomiting/diarrhoea/dysentery - 20ml decoction prepared from 5gm. coarse powder with a Pinch of ginger powder may be taken thrice a day.
 Fever - 20ml. decoction from 5gm Powder with sugar 3-4times a day helps to alleviate fever.
Dehydration/Excessive Thirst/sun Stroke -20ml decoction prepared from 5gm coarse powder with a pinch of salt helps in dehydration/excessive thirst/sun stroke conditions
Cough /Cold- Use of 5 gm of Dhaniya powder as herbal tea every morning prevents cold and cough.
 Intestinal Worms – 3-5 gm powder with jaggery twice a day for 5 days.


Harvest, wash and use fresh or dry it


Dhanyank is Mutral (Diuretic), Jwaraghna  (Anti -Pyretic),Deepana  (improves digestion ), Rochana ( improves taste ) ,Grahi (useful  in mal- absorption ) & Hridya  (Good for heart).

Clinical trials:

  1. Coriandrum sativum - L. / Coriander / Plants For A Future 
  2. Comparative Antioxidant Activity Study of Some Commonly Used Spices in Bangladesh / S. Sultana et al / Pak. J. Biol. Sci., 13: 340-343. / DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2010.340.343
  3. Anthelmintic activity of extracts of Coriandrum sativum Linn. in Indian earthworm / Chandan H.S., Tapas A.R.,, Sakarkar D.M. / International Journal of Phytomedicine 3 (2011) 36-40


  1. Effect of coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum L.) ethanol extract on insulin release from pancreatic beta cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Maryam eldi et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 23 Issue 3, Pages 404 - 406
  2. The Effect of Feeding Coriandrum sativum Fruits Powder on the Plasma Lipids Profile in Cholesterol Fed Rats / Suliman S H et al / Research Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 3: 24-28, 2008
  3. Diurnal Changes in Essential Oil Content of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) Aerial Parts from Iran / Sadrollah Ramezani et al / Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 2009 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 3 | Page No.: 277-281 / DOI: 10.3923/rjbsci.2009.277.281
  4. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) seed oil improves plasma lipid profile in rats fed a diet containing cholesterol / Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan et al / European Food Research and Technology, Volume 227, Number 4 / August, 2008 / DOI 10.1007/s00217-008-0833-y
  5. The effect of Coriandrum sativum seed extract on the learning of newborn mice by electric shock: interaction with caffeine and diazepam / Authors: Seyed Sadegh Zargar-Nattaj, Pooya Tayyebi, Vahid Zangoori, et al / Psychology Research and Behavior Management / Dovepress


        Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coriander if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

        Allergies. People who are allergic to mugwort, aniseed, caraway, fennel, dill, or similar plants might have allergic reactions to coriander.

        Diabetes. Coriander might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take coriander, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

        Low blood pressure: Coriander might decrease blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low in people with low blood pressure. Use cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications to lower your blood pressure.

        Surgery: Coriander might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop using coriander at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

        1. It is very safe to take. We all use coriander seeds as spice in our kitchen.
        2. Seeds have antifertility effects so it should not be taken in excess.
        3. Few allergic reactions, like contact dermatitis, are seen with the use of coriander powder and more particularly with the oil.

        Toxicity studies:

        Coriander is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in appropriate medicinal amounts.

        Coriander can cause some side effects, including allergic reactions and increased sensitivity to the sun. Increased sensitivity to the sun might put you at greater risk for sunburns and skin cancer. Avoid sunlight. Wear sunblock and protective clothing outside, especially if you are light-skinned.

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

        When coriander comes in contact with the skin, it can cause skin irritation and inflammation.

        Use in other system of medicine:

        - Seeds and leaves are edible.
        - Used as seasoning.
        - A component of curry powder.
        - Seeds used in confectionery and flavoring of gin and other spirits.
        - Leaves are eaten raw with native dishes: kilauin, lumpia, pansit, paksiw na isda.

        - Infusion of the fruit is used for dyspepsia. 
        - Pounded seeds inhaled for its odor to counter dizziness.
        - Oil useful for flatulence, colic, rheumatism, neuralgia.
        - Plant used for ptomaine poisoning. 
        - Seeds chewed for halitosis.
        - Paste of seeds applied for headaches.
        - Seeds used in lotions or bruised for poultice in rheumatic pains.
        - Juice of fresh plant applied for erythema.
        - Decoction of plant in milk (with sugar added to taste) used for bleeding piles.
        Cold infusion of seeds or powder made of dried seeds with a little sugar useful for colic in children. Also relieves internal heat and thirst.
        - In Iranian folk medicine, recommended for anxiety and insomnia.

        - Perfumery: Used as fragrance component for soaps and cosmetics and flavoring in pharmaceutical preparations.
        - Repellent: Fungicidal and bactericidal. Growing plant repels aphids. A boiled mixture of one part coriander leaves and one part anise seeds is effective against red spider mites and aphids.


        Coriandrum Sativum is a commonly used herb for most of the time culinary and food seasoning purpose. The herb has its origin in south Europe and south-western Asia. Coriandrum Sativum is commonly known as Dhania in south Asia and cilantro and Parsley in European countries. It has been used in food for adding up a fresh aroma to the food recipes. Coriandrum Sativum has the very strong smell that gives a great taste and fresh aroma to the food.Coriandrum Sativum has been considered as an effective medicinal herb and its worth has been proven via different Laboratory studies. Coriandrum Sativum is a rich source of Iron, Magnesium, Inorganic Phosphorus, 11 Essential oils, vital components as acids including Oleic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, And Ascorbic acid etc. It also provides high values of dietary fiber.

        Ayurvedic Formulations:

        Common Ayurvedic Formulations of dhanyaka with their Indications
        Vilwadi Lehyam

        Photos of dhanyaka -

        Medicinal properties of Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum) Cilantro

        Coriander-II (Coriandrum sativum Fam. Umbelliferae/Apiaceae) The Fruit: Cremocarp

        Kotakkal Ayurveda - Mother land of modern ayurveda