Apium graveolens Apiaceae

Rich in vitamins and minerals, wild celery has been used as a food and flavoring since ancient Egyptian limes. The Greeks crowned the victors in the Nemean Games with garlands of its leaves, and also made funeral wreaths from them.

Other common names Cutting leaf celery, smallage Parts used Leaves, seeds, roots


Ceteriac is a selected form of Apium graveolens with a very large taproot, which is grown as a root vegetable. Slice off the rough, tough outer skin rather than peel it, then use it raw or cooked, in soups and baked dishes. The root and hollow stems have a celery flavor; slice the stems and use them as straws for drinking Bloody Marys.

Celery (Apium graveolens)

remedy for the treatment of painful joint conditions, such as gout and arthritis, in which an accumulation of toxins in the joint area may be partly responsible for the characteristic symptoms of pain and swelling.

As a result of its diuretic properties, celery seed can also be used to treat fluid retention. Due to its slightly antiseptic nature, it can be of assistance in treating urinary tract infections.

For the safe and appropriate use of celery seed, see Arthritis and gout, page 225. Do not use celery seed in greater than culinary quantities if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The deep green leaves of wild celery may reach 2.5 ft. (80 cm), while the flowering stem bears compound umbels of inconspicuous white-tinged green flowers. The whole plant, including the tiny brown seeds, is very aromatic. Chinese celery or kin tsai (A graveolens) is strongly flavored, with thin stalks that can be dark green to white in color. A prostratum is a creeping, shiny-leaved, somewhat succulent Australian coastal plant with a strong celery flavor. It is now used as a flavoring in commercial bush foods.

• Varieties Excellent selections include 'French Dinant' and the Dutch 'Soup Celery d'Amsterdam.'

• Position Celery prefers a well-drained soil enriched with rotted compost and a sunny but protected position, and is tolerant of saline soils.

Celery (Apium graveolens)

• Propagation Grow wild celery from seed in spring. Space plants about 1.5 ft. (40 cm) apart.

• Maintenance Keep the soil moist with regular watering.

• Pests and diseases Celery has good disease tolerance, although septoria leaf spot can occur.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest leaves from midsummer to autumn, as required. Pick ripe seeds, then dry, deepfreeze for several days to kill any insect eggs, and store in an airtight container.

Herbal medicine

Apium graveolens. Part used: dried ripe fruits (seeds). Celery seed has a strong diuretic effect and enhances elimination of uric acid and other toxins from the body via the urinary system. This action may help to explain its use as a specific

Celery's tiny edible seeds are aromatic and slightly bitter, tasting of celery. The whole seeds retain their flavor well; crush as needed and use to complement fish and seafood dishes, pickles and relishes, soups, stews, egg dishes, salad dressings, breads and savory biscuits.


Chamaemelum nobile syn. Anthemis nobilis and Matricaria recutita Asteraceae

Roman or perennial chamomile or manzanilla (C. nobile). the annual German chamomile (A/, recutita) and dyer's chamomile (Anthemis linctoria) share the same common name. The flowers of both Roman and German chamomile are used medicinally, while the flowers of dyer's chamomile yield a golden brown dye.

Parts used Flowers, leaves

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), foreground; German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), background

Roman chamomile is a densely carpeting and low-growing, cold-hardy plant. Its feathery green leaves have a ripe apple scent and the flowers of the species are single white daisies. It is often confused with German chamomile, an upright growing annual with fine ferny leaves and white daisy flowers. Another annual species, pineapple weed IMatricaria matricorioides), has greenish yellow flowers and foliage with a pineapple scent.

• Varieties A non-flowering variety,

C. nobile Treneague,' is popular for lawns. An attractive fully double variety, C. nobile 'Flore Plena,' is grown commercially for its essential oil in many countries. Varieties of dyer's chamomile include the golden-flowered 'Kelwayi.'

• Position All these chamomiles require a sunny position and well-drained soil.

A nuJtifHAr/zobe/ herb

For a relaxing sleep, try combining the essential oils of both chamomile and lavender in an oil burner. Chamomile is also antifungal and antibacterial Next time you make chamomile tea, brew a second cup that's extra strong and use the liquid to wipe down the kitchen sink and table, or to wipe out a cabinet to rid it of a musty smell. Also, spray it onto plants and vegetables to deter fungal diseases such as mildew in the yard.

• Propagation Raise each species from seed in spring. Propagate perennial' varieties by cuttings or root division.

• Maintenance Weed regularly, especially if you are establishing a chamomile lawn.

• Pests and diseases There are no significant problems.

• Harvesting and storing Gather the flowers when fully open. German chamomile will reflower if harvested in summer. Dry the flowers and store them in an airtight container.

■ Herbal medicine

Matricaria recutita. Part used: flowers. Chamomile has a mild sedative effect on the nervous system. Chamomile's relaxing effects extend to the gut, helping to ease colic, and also to the female reproductive system, alleviating the pain of menstrual cramps. Chamomile's bitter-tasting

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), foreground; German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), background

compounds can help to stimulate the digestion and relieve the discomfort of nausea. Chamomile is a gently acting herb, making it especially suitable for children.

Topically, the soothing and antiinflammatory effects of chamomile are excellent for treating itchy and inflamed skin conditions; it has also been shown to promote wound healing.

Chamaemelum nobile syn. Anthemis nobilis. Part used: flowers. Roman chamomile is commonly used in essential oil form and the dried flowers can be hard to obtain. Some herbalists suggest that the Roman variety has a more pronounced relaxing effect on the gut and uterus, and can be used in a similar way to German.

For the safe and appropriate use of these herbs, see Nausea, poge 205. Do not use these herbs in greater than culinary quantities if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Anthrisc us cerefolium Apiaceae

This delicious culinary herb, used since Roman times, has a delicate flavor between tarragon and ^ parsley thai is indispensable in French cuisine. Either use it raw or add il at the last minute, after the dish has been taken off the heat and is ready to serve. &

Other common name Garden chervil Parts used Leaves, stems

Apicius, the renowned gourmet of 1st-century Rome, set his seal of approval on chervil, which is an annual plant with delicate and lacy, fernlike foliage that forms a low-growing rosette. The tiny white flowers, borne in umbels on slender stems, are followed by thin black seeds. • Varieties There are flat-leafed and lightly curled forms as well as a strain

Chervil is especially popular in Krench cooking, and essential (along with parsley, chives and tarragon) in the classic herb blend called fines herbes. which is used fresh wiih poached fish, shellfish and chicken and in green salads and egg dishes such as omelettes.

Chervil (Anthriseus crrefolium)

called 'Brussels Winter' that is tolerant of colder conditions.

• Position Chervil requires good drainage and a moist soil that is close to neutral, preferably enriched with compost. Grow chervil in a lightly shaded position, because excessive sun exposure will cause the leaves to burn and turn rose pink. In warm climates, grow chervil in spring, autumn and even winter, as it has some cold tolerance and will withstand light frosts.

• Propagation Scatter seed over the soil, press down lightly and water regularly. Seedlings usually emerge in about 10 to 14 days. Plants are ready for harvesting about 8 to 10 weeks after planting. Chervil has a long taproot and bare-rooted seedlings do not easily transplant. It will not germinate in soil that is too warm. In cool-climate areas with mild summers, grow chervil for a continuous supply during the growing season, although light shade promotes lush growth, and the season can be further extended with the use of protective covers.

• Maintenance Water regularly to promote lush growth.

• Pests and diseases There are no significant problems.

• Harvesting and storing As with parsley, harvest leaves from the outside,

Chervil (Anthriseus crrefolium)

preferably with scissors, because the plant is delicate. Leaves can also be deep frozen in sealed plastic bags.

Chervil flowers, leaves and roots are all edible, although it is the faintly anise-flavored leaves that are most frequently used. There are various types, including curly leafed varieties that make a pretty garnish. Use fresh chervil in cooking, because its delicate flavor is destroyed by heat or drying. It goes well with glazed carrots and in butter sauces and cream-based soups. Chervil frozen into ice cubes adds a refreshing taste to summery fruit drinks.

Chervil butter (see Herb butters, page 336), makes a delicious spread for savory biscuits or bread. Also, use it as a flavorsome topping for barbecued fish, meat or poultry.

Qrot*) chervil to tare/ jlou^/ aMcuy ^roryv nearby ue^etabie/ cro^.


Capsicum sp. Solanaceae

Part of the South American diet for at least 7.000 years, chili varieties are the world's most frequently used culinary spice. The heat is mostly concentrated in the seeds and the white pith, so remove either or both for a milder hit.


All Capsicum species are indigenous to South America. The most commonly grown is C. annuum, which contains many chili varieties as well as the bell peppers, pimentos and other sweet capsicum varieties, such as 'Banana' and 'Cubanelle.' Chilies and bell peppers differ from each other by a single gene that produces the fiery-flavored compound capsaicin.

C. baccatum, a species less known outside South America, requires a long growing season.

The rocoto pepper (C. pubescens), from the Andes and upland Mexico, forms a perennial bush that is tolerant of cooler weather and that produces purple flowers

New Mexico', a variety of C. annuum, has a sweet flavor and can be either green or red.

Tiny bird peppers (var. aviculare)

New Mexico', a variety of C. annuum, has a sweet flavor and can be either green or red.

_S ont*/ chiti/ varieties ftuike/ cuv attractive/ tanduuipln^ ^¿¿¿fures.

and thick-walled, fruity-flavored hot fruits with black seeds.

• Varieties There are possibly hundreds of named varieties of C. annuum, and these have been selected worldwide for climate tolerance, color, size, shape, degree of heat and flavor, which may vary from citrus and prune to smoky, coffee, raisin, almond and tobacco. They are all divided into groups by shape: cherry-shaped (Cerasiform), cone-shaped (Coniodes), clustered elongated cones (Fasciculatum), sweet peppers (Grossum) and long hot peppers (Longum).

Among the best-known varieties of C. baccatum are 'Anaheim,' with large, long, tapering, mildly pungent fruit; 'Poblano,' which has large, medium-hot, heart-shaped fruits (and is known as 'Ancho' in its dried form); 'Pasilla,' a large raisin-flavored tapering variety; 'Jalapeno,' a thick-walled variety that is used in salsas or smoked (when it is known as chipotle); 'Guajillo,' a leathery, dark reddish brown variety that is moderately hot; and 'Mirasol,' a reselection of a pre-Columbian Mexican variety.

Some - such as 'Purple Tiger,' 'Filius Blue,' Variegata' syn. 'Bellingrath Gardens' - are very ornamental and widely grown for landscape purposes. They are all edible.

Tiny bird peppers (var. aviculare)

The tiny bird peppers - including the wild pepper of New Mexico, the 'Chiltepin' or Tepin' - all belong to C. annuum var. aviculare. Tabasco' is the most widely known variety of the species C. frutescens.

The species C. chinense contains some of the hottest chili varieties, including the 'Habanero' and its variants, the 'Scotch Bonnet' or 'Jamaican Hot', and the somewhat milder Puerto Rican 'Rocatillo'. All three types are excellent for culinary use and widely grown in the Caribbean. The best-known variety, 'Aji Amarillo' or 'Kellu-Uchu,' is widely used in the cuisine of Peru.

• Position All chili varieties require good drainage, full sunshine and an enriched soil. Do not grow chilies where related species of the family Solanaceae, such as tomatoes and eggplants, have recently been grown.

The dark purple fruits of Thai chili (C. onnuum var. fasciculotum) turn red when ripe.

• Propagation Even the fastest-maturing chili varieties of C. onnuum require a minimum growing season of

3 months. In cooler areas, grow seedlings under protection before planting them out after the last frost. Although the flowers are self-pollinating, they also readily cross-pollinate, so carefully isolate plants intended for seed saving with fine netting.

• Maintenance You may need to protect your plants from birds. Control aphids to prevent the spread of viral diseases; destroy any plants that have mottled or distorted leaves.

Chili 'Ebony Fire' is one of many chili varieties whose name indicates the intensity of its heat.

• Pests and diseases Plant rotation will minimize verticillium wilt and other soil-borne diseases. Vegetable bugs may damage leaves.

• Harvesting and storing Pick peppers at any time, but remember that they reach peak heat when they turn red.

Some cuisines - Indian, West Indian, African and Asian cuisines in general -are almost unthinkable without chilies, yet they were unknown in those regions until after 1492, when Columbus introduced them from the New World.

Capsicums Long Shape
1. Cherry-shaped chilies 2. Red and yellow capsicums 3. Banana chili 4. Olive chilies 5. Bird chilies 6. Long hot peppers 7. Bird chilies

Most of the capsaicin that's responsible for the heal in peppers is stored in the seeds and the white septae wilhin the fruit. To reduce ihe heat in a dish, you need to remove these before cooking. Capsaicin is not water-soluble, and neither water nor beer will neutralize the heal. II is. however, fat-soluble, and a glass of milk or yogurt, or Ihe Indian yogurt-based drink lassi are effectively soothing.

Wear protective gloves when chopping quantities of chili peppers, because they ran numb your fingertips for many hours. Also, avoid touching your face, eyes or genitals after preparing Ihem. Do not feed pets food containing chili, because it is fatal for some breeds.

Chili heal is commonly measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), with the Habafiero' equating to between 200.000 and 300.000 SHU. Until recently, the world's hottest chili was an infamous variety of C. chinense known as the 'Red Savina Habafiero,' which measured 577.000 SHU. Far less lethal for the tastebuds. Tabasco' is a mere 30.000 to 50.000. In 2007. a new record was established by a variety from Assam in India known as Bhut Jolokia.' which reached a very dangerous 1.000.000 SHU.

High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) is now used to measure SHU. A relative heat scale, based on a simple 0 to 10 rating, lias also been developed, with bell peppers rating 0 and 'Habafiero' 10.

Habafiero, a C. Chinese variety, is among the hottest chilies in common use.



Chilies are always green when unripe; when ripe, they may be red, yellow, purple or almost black. Their heat level varies from negligible to incendiary. Generally, the smaller the chili, the hotter it will be.

Varieties lacking the capsaicin gene produce sweet fruits that taste more like capsicum (to which they are related) and have a fruity flavor but little or no heat. The heat level may vary considerably even among chilies of the same variety, so the stated quantity in a recipe should always be adjusted to taste.

To check the heat level of your chilies, cut the end off one and give it the tiniest, tentative lick. A remedy for chili burn on the palate is dairy foods, such as milk or yogurt.

To minimize irritation from the fumes when grinding chilies, use a spice grinder rather than a mortar and pestle.

Choose firm, shiny fresh chilies; avoid those that are wrinkled. Green chilies are

These colorful strings of chilies include only a fraction of the varieties available.

Chili and lime sauce

This Caribbean sauce recipe is delicious with barbecued or baked fish or vegetables. Baste the food with it. or serve it separately.

2 fresh red chilies 1 tablespoon sea salt 1 cup (250 ml) fresh lime juice

Remove the seeds and while pith from the chilies if you do not want too much heat. Slice chilies finely and pack into a jar. Dissolve the salt in the juice and pour over the chilies. Seal and store in a cool place to lei the flavors develop. It is ready Tor use after 4 days and keeps for up to 4 weeks.


Dried chilies: 1. Thai chilies 2. Pasilla 3. Guajillo 4. Habanero 5. Chipotle (dried, smoked jalapeno) 6. Pimentos 7. Ancho (dried poblano)

always used fresh; red chilies can be used fresh or dried. Dried chilies differ in flavor to fresh, being fruitier and sweeter, although still retaining their heat. Buy dried chilies whole, crushed or powdered, and fresh chilies whole, or chopped and preserved in vinegar in jars; these are a good substitute for fresh.

In one of those transatlantic differences in spelling, "chili" - together with the less often used "chilie" - are both used in the UK, while the Spanish-originated 'chile' is commonly used in the United States and Mexico. The term "chili" is reserved for a regional hot and spicy stew, originally from Mexico, which the United States subsequently made its own.

Chili condiments

There is a range of chili condiments to choose from.

■ Paprika is a mildly hot. sweet, bright red chili powder that is produced by drying and grinding suitable varieties. Spain and Hungary are the world's largest producers. Suitable varieties, which must be intensely red when fully ripened, include 'Hungarian.' 'Paprika Supreme' and 'NuMex Conquistador.'

■ Cayenne is a spice powder that is derived from dried hot red chilies. 'Cayenne' is a pre-Columbian variety from French Guiana. A number of cayenne-type varieties have been developed from it. including 'Hot Portugal.' 'Long Red.' Ring of Fire' and Hades Hot.' Dried chilies and chili flakes are also used.

Cayenne pepper

■ tabasco, the most famous chili sauce, is made in Louisiana, according to a 3-year process invented in 1868 by Edmund Mcllhenny.

■ Peri Peri is a sauce developed In the Portuguese from the liny but powerfully hot Southern African variety 'Peri Peri': it includes lemons, spices and herbs.

■ Mole poblano — compounded of chili (such as pasilla), chocolate, spices and seeds or peanuts — is a popular sauce in Mexico, and increasingly abroad.

Clove pinks

Dianthuscaryophyllus and D. plumarius Caryophyllaceae

With an intoxicating spin fragrance, the pretty flowers of clove pinks resemble small carnations. The fresh petals are edible and are used in mulled wines, cordial nerve tonics, salads and desserts, while the essential oil is used in perfumery.

Other common name Gillyflower P.ir use Petals, whole flowers

Clove pinks were bred from the grass pink or cottage pink (0. plumarius) and D. coryophyllus (which also gave rise to the carnation). They form a dense, low, spreading cushion of grasslike foliage, from which emerge many flower stems in early summer. All are perennial. • Varieties A remarkable number have survived the centuries, including 'Sops in Wine,' used in Elizabethan times to flavor mulled wines. 'Bridal Veil', 'Queen of Sheba,' 'Ursula le Grove' and 'Pheasant's Eye' date from the 17th century. Eighteenth-century heirlooms include the Paisley Pinks, such as 'Dad's Favorite' and 'Paisley Gem,' which were bred to resemble intricate Paisley fabric patterning, as well as 'Inchmery' and 'Cockenzie! Nineteenth-century large

The/ Qreakb and JZomasiA/ regarded the/ cloue/pink OA/ the/ flower o^ the/ fyodb.

double-flowered forms include 'Mrs Sinking 'Earl of Essex,' 'Rose de Mai' and 'Mrs Gullen.' 'Napoleon III' is a historic variety that involves a cross with sweet william (0. borbotus). The Carthusian pink ID. carthusianorum) was used in medicinal liqueurs by the Carthusian monks.

The famed Allwoodii 20th-century pinks include 'Arthur,' 'Kestor,' 'Doris' and 'Fusilier.' Other very fragrant modern

Clove pinks IDianthus caryophyllusl rr ff

Clove pinks IDianthus caryophyllusl

Like the spice clove, the flowers of clove pinks and carnations are rich in eugenol. and the perfume absolute is used in many high-quality perfumes, including Floris's Malmaison. Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps. Guerlain's Samsara anil L'Heure Bleu. Worth's Je Reviens, Hermes's Bel Ami. Estee Lauder's White Linen anil Bvlgari's Bvlgari for Men. Il lakes 1.100 lb. (500 kg) of flowers lo produce 3.5 fl. oz. (100 ml) of the essenUal oil. so synthetics such as eugenol and isoeugenol are often used in modern perfumery.

pinks include 'Kim Brown,' Tuscan Lace! 'Highland Fraser,' 'Pretty,' Tudor Manor,' 'Jean d'Arc,' 'May Queen,' 'Falstaff and 'Gloire Lyonnaise.'

• Position These plants require a well-drained, sunny position. They grow well in pots, and are both drought- and cold-tolerant once established. Pinks thrive in alkaline soil; if gardening on acid soil, add dolomite or garden lime. Alternatively, tuck small pieces of concrete rubble under the plant. These will leak lime into the soil during watering.

• Propagation Mixed seed of perennial pinks are available. Named varieties must be propagated by cuttings.

• Maintenance Clove pinks are hardy and easily grown. Do not let these plants be overshadowed.

• Pests and diseases There are no significant problems.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest flowers as required. To use fresh, remove the bitter white heels of the petals.

Comfrey ¡Symphytum officinale)


Symphytum officinale Boraginaceae

Comfrey's other common name, knitbone. is a clue to its traditional use in poultices to encourage the healing of broken bones. Comfrey is also a fabric dye and dynamic compost accelerator.

Comfrey ¡Symphytum officinale)

The/ ether's/ art

For centuries, dyes have been made from herbs and other plants. Comfrey leaves produce a golden yellow dye. while dandelion roots create a reddish one. Until indigo from the Ear East was traded with Europe, woad (Isatis tinctorial was used to produce a blue dye. and the characteristic war paini of the ancient Britons and Celts was made from It. In today's commercial world, synthetic dyes are favored over natural ones because they are resistant to fading from exposure to light. To make your own herbal dyes, consult the Internet or craft books.

Leaves, roots (high in toxic alkaloids)

Common comfrey is a vigorous perennial, with mauve bell-shaped flowers, that grows to about 80 cm. Varieties are not commonly available. Comfrey is also an "accumulator," a deep-rooted plant that taps into minerals in the subsoil. A "soup" made from rotting comfrey leaves in water makes a great organic liquid feed for crops. Other species are the ornamental cream-flowered groundcover S. grandiflorum, and 5. asperum, which has bright blue flowers.

• Position Comfrey grows readily from segments of root and, once established, is difficult to remove.

• Propagation Dig the site deeply, incorporating ample compost or rotted manure. Space plants 3.5 ft. (1 m) apart. Lay out segments of root horizontally and cover with about 2 in. (5 cm) of soil.

• Maintenance Comfrey requires ample nitrogen; an annual top dressing of rotted manure is recommended. Water regularly in the first season.

• Pests and diseases Comfrey is generally trouble-free. Some strains are prone to rust, usually when the plants are water-stressed.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest mature plants up to 5 times a year. Cut with shears and wear gloves, because the hairs on the leaves are an irritant. Leaves can be dried. Do not harvest in the first year or after early autumn.

Comfrey comes in many color variations, including pink, lavender or white.

Herbal medicine

Symphytum officinale. Parts used: leaves, roots. Traditionally, comfrey has been used as a topical application for bruises, fractures and wounds. It has a remarkable reputation for hastening the repair and renewal of damaged tissue as well as reducing inflammation. One of the compounds found in comfrey, called allantoin and thought to be responsible for many of the healing effects of this herb, has been shown to have a regenerative action on connective tissue.

While traditionally comfrey was also prescribed for internal use, these days such practice is strongly discouraged because comfrey contains pyrrolidine alkaloids that have been shown to have toxic effects.

For the safe and appropriate topical use of comfrey, refer to Sports injuries, page 222. Do not use comfrey if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Coriandrum sativum Apiaceae

For more than three millennia, coriander has been cultivated for its aromatic foliage, roots and seeds, all found in the tombs of the pharaohs. II is mentioned in the Bible and is one of (he bitter herbs traditionally eaten at I'assover.

Chinese parsley, cilantro P ts u Leaves, seeds, roots

Coriander resembles flat-leaf parsley, although it is more tender in texture, forming rosettes of long, thinly stalked leaves arising from a crown. The leaves are dissected into wedge-shaped segments, developing a fernlike appearance. Vietnamese coriander or rau ram (Polygonum odoratum) is a leafy perennial used in tropical areas. The leaves of Mexican coriander or cilantro (Eryngium foetidum) are strongly aromatic.

• Varieties 'Spice' is popular for its seeds, while 'Santo' is a variety in which premature flowering is delayed and profuse deep green foliage develops.

• Position Good air circulation, a sunny position and adequate fertilizing will minimize disease problems.

• Propagation Sow this annual directly in the garden in spring after the last frost. Assist germination by rubbing the seed, separating it into halves and then

Coriander and^ic^

Palalliai. or fig cakes, date from Roman times. They are popular in Egypt and Turkey. Remove stalks from 400 g dried figs (select soft ones). Process figs to a paste In food processor. Shape into an oval cake with your hands. Combine I teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon flour. Dust cake with mixture. Serve wedges for dessert.

presoaking the halved seeds for 48 hours.

• Maintenance Weed the crop regularly. To stop premature bolting of varieties grown for foliage, protect the plants from water stress. Apply seaweed liquid fertilizer to promote leaf growth over flowering.

• Pests and diseases Late crops may be susceptible to mildew and fungal leaf spot.

• Harvesting and storing Harvest the seed crop when half the seeds on the plant have turned brown. Tie harvested stems into bunches and then hang them upside down inside paper bags to trap the falling seed. Once the plant is full-size, harvest foliage to use fresh at any time.

Herbal medicine

Coriandrum sativum. Part used: dried ripe fruits (seeds). Seeds have antispasmodic properties and a stimulating effect on the appetite. Traditionally, coriander is often used in conjunction with caraway, fennel, cardamom and anise to ease symptoms of indigestion, including spasm, flatulence, and abdominal distension.

For the safe and appropriate medicinal use of coriander, consult your healthcare professional. Do not use coriander in greater than culinary quantities if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The pungent leaves and stalks are popular in Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, South American and Mexican cooking, in salads, soups, legume dishes, curries and Stir-

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

fries. In India, the leaf is used in types of fresh chutneys. Long cooking destroys the flavor of the leaves, so add them just before serving.

Roast the seeds to enhance their flavor. Used whole or ground, their mild, slightly sweet taste works well in sweet and savory dishes and in sauces such as harissa (see recipe page 338). The fiber in ground seeds absorbs liquid and helps to thicken curries and stews.

The root has a more intense flavor than leaves. It is used in Thai cooking, especially pounded into curry pastes.

Mexican coriander (Eryngium foetidum|
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