Discovering the Healing Power of Coriander and Cumin to Detoxify the Body, and How I Came to Know these Beautiful Spices
For about a week or so, I felt an on and off again wave of sickness that was both concerning but mostly annoying because it would come and go with no warning. I started my day with a bottle of water and I was feeling great. In a sudden moment, in the course of the same day, I would not be feeling so well. I would break out into a sweat for no apparent reason at all. Sometimes, I felt cramping in the stomach or I would get a wave of nausea out of the blue. Then out of nowhere, the symptoms would go away but reappear again with excessive burping and flatulence.
Phenomenons like these are known as gastrointestinal events. I learned this term in culinary school. While my events were unpleasant, I new I did not need to go to the doctor or purchase medication, but I needed to be healed of these events. I was trying to understand what was causing the problem and what I could do to heal myself of this situation. I searched in my brain everything I had eaten over the last several days that could have created the discomfort yet at the same time, I was trying to figure out what I could do to make myself feel better. So, I went to my wonderful collection of spice history resources and discovered that both Coriander and Cumin have healing properties related to digestion as well as other benefits that support the healthiness of detoxification. I studied what foods these spices pair well with and I decided to create a simple light and elegant broth to detoxify my body and begin the healing process of my digestive system.
In just two small servings of this soup; each on a different day, I began to feel better because suddenly I was not experiencing those symptoms any longer. My normal appetite returned and I felt amazing again. I was so excited about my experience, I wanted to share it. This is how I developed the Kale and Carrot Detox Soup with Coriander and Cumin Infused broth. I hope this soup can be beneficial to others.
Coriander and Cilantro; how are they related?
It comes from the same plant as the herb Cilantro, which are the greens. The spice Coriander has it’s own distinct flavor which is a combination of citrus and Sage. Aside from it’s culinary uses, Coriander has been used as a healing agent and aphrodisiac for centuries. The Cilantro plant grows to a height of one to two feet and grows clusters of small white, pink or lavender flowers. Today, most producers of Coriander include India, Middle East, Central and South America, United States, Canada, North Africa and Russia.
Culinary uses and benefits:
As for the culinary uses of Coriander, it has been used for food and wine. It is mixed with several spice blends including curry powder, chili powder, garam masala, and berbere. It goes well with lentils, beans, onions, potatoes, sausage, pork, seafood and pastries. The seeds are used in brewing Belgian wheat beers and preparing Middle Eastern Falafels. As for healing properties, early healers believed that anything that smelled distasteful, like the “old sock,” smell that some people characterize Cilantro as smelling like, had to have powerful medicinal qualities. The spice has a long tradition as a cure for flatulence and a treatment for arthritis and rheumatism. Coriander contains beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants. It is believed to help cleanse the body of harmful heavy metals and toxic substances. Diabetic research suggest that Coriander’s essential oils can normalize glucose and insulin levels and support the pancreas. Other health benefits include treatment of swellings, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, digestion, menstrual disorders, small pox, eye care, conjunctivitis and skin disorders.
What is Cumin, and where does it come from?
It is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper. This plant was originally native to the Mediterranean. Cumin grows to a height of 20 inches and produces thread-like leaves and dark green stems that all grow to the same height, creating an even canopy of white or pink flowers. The seed from which the spice is made are yellowish brown with pale ridges.
Culinary uses and benefits:
In a culinary sense, Cumin has an intense nutty, peppery, sharp and slightly bitter flavor. Cumin is used in rubs and for grilling, seasoning stews, egg dishes, vegetables, cheeses, and breads. Cumin is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin E, and iron, which increases hemoglobin production and blood flow, making it helpful for treating anemia and problems with concentration or cognition. Herbal healers use Cumin to treat indigestion, cure skin eruptions, and improve immunity and treat hemorrhoids. It is high in fiber and antifungal and antimicrobial properties which makes it a natural laxative. The presence of caffeine makes it an ideal decongestant for respiratory problems. Cumin is an important antioxidant and all purpose health booster. Research shows that the spice has chemo-preventive properties, and speeds up the secretion of detoxifying and anticarcinogenic enzymes from the glands. Early studies report that Cumin along with other spices can reduce the chances of developing hypoglycemia.
Please note: As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, please consult your primary care doctor if you take medications and are including these spices in your diet for the first time. Any diet should include a variety of healthy food groups each eaten in moderation.
Hajeski, Nancy. National Geographic Complete Guide to Herbs and Spices Remedies, Seasonings, and Ingredients to improve Your Health and Enhance Your Life. Washington, D.C. National Geographic Society, 2015. Print.