Cilantro and basil are spicy fragrant herbs that can be easily grown not only in the summer cottage, but even at home on the windowsill.
Basil is one of the beneficial plants in the greenery. It contains vitamins A, B, C, PP, as well as essential oils: eugenol, linalool, estragol and limonene.
Cilantro removes toxins, harmful cholesterol from the body, lowers blood sugar and normalizes blood pressure. These greens help to quickly digest heavy foods, improve digestion and help improve well-being in depression.
Cilantro can be used for flatulence and increased gas production. Let's consider how they differ, what are their benefits and harms, how they can be applied.
Is it the same thing or not?
Cilantro (coriander) and basil are completely different, although they share a lot of herbs. Cilantro (coriander) is an annual plant of the genus Coriander, of the Umbrella family. Cilantro is called the leaves of the coriander plant.... Basil belongs to the Yasnotkov family.
Why are plants confused?
Both plants are herbs commonly used in cooking. They have a bright rich spicy taste, so they are sometimes confused with each other.
What is the difference in appearance?
Basil is a shrub up to 80 centimeters high... Leaves up to three centimeters long are light green to dark purple in color. At the top of the plant, the leaves form inflorescences up to 35 centimeters long. The stem of the coriander reaches a height of 70 centimeters. Coriander leaves are shaped like parsley. The fruit is a hard beige or brown seed. Sometimes you can confuse the green leaves of basil and cilantro.
How can you tell them apart? Cilantro leaves are uneven along the stem: the lower ones have petioles, and the upper ones grow directly on the stem. Basil leaves are rough and ovoid.
Benefits and chemical composition
Basil Stem and Leaves Contains Camphor Essential Oil (from 3.5 to 5%). Basil also contains vitamin C (18 mg per 100 g of product), A (3.15 mg), calcium (295 mg), potassium (177 mg) and magnesium (64 mg).
- It has a bactericidal effect, helps the immune system fight viruses and bacteria.
- Prevents the appearance of diseases of the oral cavity (strengthens teeth, gums; eliminates unpleasant odor).
- It is used as an expectorant for respiratory diseases.
- Used in the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure.
- Heals the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines in chronic gastritis and colitis.
- In cosmetology, basil essential oil is used as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent for eczema, dermatitis and acne. Basil also helps to strengthen hair follicles, preventing hair loss.
We suggest watching a video about the beneficial properties of basil:
You can find even more details on the benefits and contraindications for using basil here.
The fruits of cilantro contain essential oil, the main components of which are linalool (up to 80%) and geraniol (up to 5%). Cilantro leaves also contain vitamin A (337 μg per 100 g of product), K (310 μg) and C (27 mg), as well as potassium (521 mg), calcium (67 mg), phosphorus (48 mg).
- It is used in the complex therapy of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Essential oil of cilantro has a choleretic, analgesic effect.
Coriander fruits have a laxative, antispasmodic effect, stimulate digestion and increase appetite.
- It is used as an expectorant for diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
- Cilantro broth has bactericidal properties, strengthens the gums and reduces bleeding.
- Reduces blood pressure, increases blood clotting.
- It is used in the treatment of infectious diseases, especially those accompanied by diarrhea.
- Cleans the blood from heavy metals, reduces the level of "bad" cholesterol and blood sugar, is a part of anthelmintic drugs.
- Due to its diuretic effect, cilantro helps to reduce swelling.
- A decoction of coriander fruits has a sedative effect, it is used for insomnia, epilepsy, depression.
- Chopped fresh cilantro soothes the skin after burns, heals wounds, and reduces allergies. The broth is used to treat skin affected by fungus and eczema.
- Cilantro greens increase potency, helps prevent prostatitis.
We suggest watching a video about the beneficial properties of cilantro:
Effects on the body
Basil, activating brain activity, increases the overall tone of the body... Coriander, especially its fruit, has a sedative effect. However, both plants can be equally successfully used in the treatment of most diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Cilantro, due to its richer composition, has a wider range of positive effects.
In large quantities, basil can irritate the mucous membranes of the digestive system, heartburn. In case of an overdose of coriander, sleep disturbance, memory problems, and menstrual irregularities in women are possible.
Contraindications are the same for cilantro and basil.:
- pregnancy, breastfeeding, children under three years of age;
- blood clotting disorders;
- pathology of the cardiovascular system (coronary heart disease, heart attack);
- endocrine pathologies (diabetes mellitus).
Basil is dangerous in large quantities due to its mercury content. It is not recommended to use it continuously for more than two weeks. Cilantro is a safer plant, with prolonged use only stomach pain and diarrhea are possible. Both plants are not recommended for use in large quantities in the presence of thrombophlebitis, varicose veins. Despite the obvious benefits of basil and cilantro, we must not forget that any medicinal herbs have a harmful effect in case of overdose.
Are herbs interchangeable?
Both basil and cilantro go well with all green vegetables. They replace each other in all summer vegetable salads, soups, sauces, as well as cold appetizers and meat dishes. Basil and cilantro are absolutely interchangeable when preparing pesto sauce (add garlic, nuts, olive oil to chopped herbs and grind to a paste).
Unlike basil, coriander seeds are added to the dough when baking bread, pastries... Coriander is widely used in the preparation of pickles, marinades, kvass and beer. The seeds prolong the freshness of the meat. Basil has an astringent, slightly bitter taste, and cilantro has a characteristic specific aroma that not everyone likes. In addition, purple basil tastes sharper and stronger than green basil. This must be taken into account when replacing basil with cilantro in dishes.
Can you combine?
Basil and cilantro can be combined in dishes such as vegetable salads and side dishes, soups, sauce for meat and pasta. This will enrich the flavor and increase the health benefits of the dish.
If you do not like the bright smell of plants, and you do not want to eat them fresh, you can subject cilantro or basil to heat treatment, that is, boil in soup, fry with meat.
but it must be remembered that both plants have a fairly rich spicy taste, they are able to drown out the main taste of the dishso they cannot be overdose.
Basil and cilantro are unique herbs with a memorable taste. Due to the rich content of essential oils, tannins, vitamins and trace elements, these herbs are used in folk medicine, cosmetology and cooking.