Coriander seeds and leaves have been a vital part of Indian cuisine for ages. Its scientific name is Coriandrum Sativum Linn, and it is often referred to as Dhanyaka or Dhanya, meaning ‘the rich one.’ This is because besides the earthy and refreshing flavor it adds to the dishes, this herb has wide-ranging therapeutic properties. Let us look at the various benefits of this humble herb in detail.
The composition of Dhanyaka
Dhanayaka’s leaves and seeds are rich sources of Vitamin K, which is vital for improving blood health as well as bone function and repair. The herb is also a great source of Vitamin A, which enhances the retinas’ function, keeps the eyes moist, and protects the vision. It contains Vitamin C, which helps-
- Boost immunity
- Enhance white blood cells function
- Improve iron absorption by the body
- Heal wounds quicker
- Increase collagen protein production for better skin health and elasticity
The human body has numerous loose oxygen molecules called free radicals. They cause severe damage to the cells and increase the risk of severe conditions like cancer. Dhanyaka is rich in antioxidants that help fight these free radicals and eliminate them from the system.
It exhibits anti-coagulant and anti-fibrinolytic properties that prevent blockages and the formation of clots in the arteries (blood vessels). It is why the herb is significant in ayurvedic medicine for decreasing the risk of heart health issues and promoting heart function.
The flavonoids (vital nutrients) in its seeds reduce the formation of debris (remains of dead and damaged cells and tissues) in the blood vessels and prevents them from hardening. Dhanyaka also helps flush out excess sodium from the system, thus reducing elevated blood pressure.
It contains essential minerals like iron, folate, and potassium, along with oils like geraniol, linalool, terpene, camphene, etc. These make the herb effective in alleviating many ailments, including headaches, arthritis, pain, inflammation, anemia, etc.
The various uses of Dhanyaka
In Ayurvedic medicine, Dhanyaka is an effective household remedy for digestive health issues and pitta disorders. The herb alleviates irritation or burning sensations in the digestive system and has a cooling effect. It helps enkindle one’s Agni (digestive fire) without aggravating acidity.
By increasing digestion, this herb prevents the production of ama (toxins) in the body that stems from undigested/partially digested food. It improves the assimilation of digested food and the absorption of its nutrients by the body. Dhanyaka is also helpful in alleviating inflammation, gas, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, IBS, IBDs, and other digestive health conditions.
When combined with other Ayurvedic digestive herbs like Indian Bael, Mochras, Saunth, Dhataki, etc. in Ayurvedic medicineslike the Bilwadi Churna, Dhanyaka effectively helps balance the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Ayurvedic doctors recommend such herbal formulations to prevent gut health issues and improve one’s overall digestive health and function.
The seeds of this herb are also effective for strengthening the urinary tract and preventing infections in the region. Consuming fresh juice from Dhanyaka has both internal and external benefits for the system.
Internally, it improves the overall function of the various organ systems, purifies the blood, increases digestive fire and function, and alleviates allergies and irritations stemming from aggravated Pitta. Its leaves allow the safe elimination of harmful toxins from the body, including lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
Externally, the juice helps improve skin health, prevent and manage allergies and irritations/itches (rashes, acne, pimples, boils, and other infections), decrease signs of aging, and enhance its glow.
Dhanyaka also acts as a mild spice that promotes liver health and improves appetite when the liver does not function optimally. It can even help clear urinary and gall stones when combined with certain herbs for effective action on the liver.
The scientific perspective
Let us look at what the studies say about the various health benefits of Dhanyaka:
A study conducted by AIIMS researchers showed that the herb is highly effective for alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis. It balances the immune system, reduces swelling in the joints, and stops the production of the chemical substances in the body that cause this condition.
Another study verified this by concluding that Dhanyaka significantly reduced all the parameters of arthritis through its numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Unlike conventional medications for the condition, use of Dhanyaka has no harmful side effects.
A study found that Dhanyaka has a significantly high hypolipidemic (cholesterol-lowering) action.
A 2021 large-scale international study found that Dhanyaka seeds exhibited strong antidiabetic, anti-hyperglycemic (blood glucose-reducing), antihyperlipidemic (cholesterol-lowering), anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, making them highly effective for diabetic patients.
Another similar international study concluded that Dhanyaka binds to the ergosterol compounds in the yeast/fungal cells in the body and damages/kills those cells. This shows the herb’s high potential in an antifungal activity that helps alleviate various fungal and bacterial infections in the body.
Antianxiety and anticonvulsant
In 2019, the University of California analyzed the mechanism behind Dhanyaka’s action on the brain. When consumed, the herb binds with and activates certain potassium channels in the brain to reduce over activity and excess excitement in the cells. It reduces severe seizures among patients, making the herb an effective anticonvulsant Ayurvedic medicine.
How to use Dhanyaka
One of the easiest and most effective ways to leverage Dhanyaka is in the form of Bilwadi Churna. Ayurvedic doctors usually prescribe consuming 1-2 teaspoons of this powdered concoction with lukewarm water or milk twice a day for improved digestive health and function and enhanced overall life quality.
But the ideal dosage varies per individual depending on the condition. The herb should be incorporated into the daily diet to reap its many benefits by-
- Garnishing various food items (curries, lentils, salads, soups, and gravies) with chopped Dhanyaka leaves
- Making juices or soups with it
- Using powdered Dhanyaka seeds in recipes
- Making chutneys for use as a condiment
To know more about this humble spice and its wide-ranging effects on your overall health, function, and life quality, contact Hempstreet and get the best consultation.