Coriander. (Derived, perhaps, from cimex, a bug, because the green herb and seed stink intolerably); also called cassibor and corianon. The coriandrum sativum Lin. Sp. Pi. 367. The plant is an umbelliferous one, with finely divided leaves; the lower ones like parsley; the seeds of a pale yellowish-brown colour, and striated. It is a native of Italy; cultivated in some parts of England; annual, flowers in June, and ripens in July or August.
The leaves have a small degree of an aromatic smell, mixed with somewhat offensive. The seeds when fresh are also disagreeable, but by drying they become grateful: to the taste they are moderately warm and pungent. Dioscorides has asserted, that these seeds, taken in a considerable quantity, produce deleterious effects; but Dr. Withering has known six drachms of the seeds taken at once without any remarkable consequences. Mathiolus considers them as antiseptic; but they are generally used as stomachic and carminative. Mixed with sena in infusion, they more powerfully correct its odour and taste than any other aromatic, and are equally powerful in obviating the colic pain it is very apt to produce. Rectified spirit of wine takes up all their virtue, but water only partially extracts it. Distilled with water, a small quantity of essential oil is obtained, which partakes agreeably of the quality of the seeds. Pure spirit carries off, in evaporation, a great part of their flavour. Raii Hist. and Lewis's and Cullen's Mat. Med.