Cilantro (the leaves of the Coriander plant) has medicinal value that rivals its value as a spice. It's formal name is Coriandrum sativum and is sometimes called Chinese parsley because it bears a strong resemblance to and belongs to the same plant family as Italian flat leaf parsley.
Cilantro contains an antibacterial component that may prove to be a safe, natural means of fighting Salmonella, a cause of foodborne illness, suggests a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Working together, U.S. and Mexican researchers isolated the component which is called dodecenal, and laboratory tests have shown it is twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic, gentamicin, at killing Salmonella. Since most natural antibacterial agents found in food have weak activity, a chemist who is involved in the study at the University of California, Berkeley, noted, "We were surprised that dodecenal was such a potent antibiotic." In addition to dodecenal, eight other antibiotic compounds were isolated from fresh coriander, inspiring the scientists to suggest that dodecenal might be developed as a tasteless food additive to prevent foodborne illness.
Cilantro has a long history as a digestive aid. In Egypt, it has been found in pharaohs' tombs, presumably to prevent indigestion in the afterlife. While no one has been able to attest to its post-mortem healing properties, recent studies have supported its use as a stomach soother for both adults and colicky babies. According to James A. Duke, Ph.D., a botanist retire from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, "Cilantro has been shown to settle the stomach, improving tummy troubles of all kinds, from indigestion to flatulence to diarrhea."
What' s more, it also has wound healing benefits, which were first discovered by the ancient Romans, who used it to preserve meats. The herb contains an antioxidant that helps prevent animal fats from turning rancid. It also contains substances that kill meat-spoiling bacteria and fungi. These same substances in cilantro also prevent infection in wounds. Intriguing new studies suggest that Cilantro has anti-inflammatory effects.
Research has shown that mercury toxins can impair immune system function and thereby cause chronic viral, bacterial & fungal illnesses. Both allopathic & holistic practitioners have observed that patients diagnosed with these illnesses, often have dramatic recoveries following an aggressive mercury detoxification/amalgam replacement program. Associates of the Heart Disease Foundation of New York have discovered that therapeutic doses of Cilantro can rapidly mobilize mercury and other toxic metals from the brain and CNS into other tissue.
Cilantro's postulated mechanism of action is to act as a reducing agent changing the charge on the intracellular mercury to a neutral state allowing mercury to diffuse down it's concentration gradient into connective tissue. This is called connective tissue mercury toxicity. Binding agents such as Pectin, garlic or MSM quite easily bind to this "free mercury" leading to it's excretion from the body.