This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This is the fruit of Coriandrum sativum, a small plant inhabiting Egypt and the South of Europe, and cultivated for use. It is commonly called coriander seed. It is spherical, about the eighth of an inch in diameter, grayish-brown, obscurely ribbed, and separable into two portions or half-fruits. The odour and taste are agreeably aromatic, and must be familiar to all who have eaten the confectionery product called sugar-plums, each of which generally contains one of the fruits. These properties depend on a volatile oil, which, however, is not separated for medicinal use. The fruit may be employed in infusion, and is occasionally added to other substances administered in this form. It enters into a number of officinal preparations, among which is that excellent laxative, the confection of senna. The dose of powdered coriander is from thirty grains to a drachm. It was known to the ancients, and is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.