The Super-Herb That Can Boost Your Gut Health

We may be oblivious to the untapped potential of everyday herbs. Civilizations across the globe have utilized herbs in culinary arts and medicine for centuries. That leafy garnish atop your Latin dish? Not a coincidence. The bitter, earthy flavor of Italian sauces is good for your gut as well. Let's find out why cilantro is a universal favorite and how it may help you.

Cilantro, or coriander, is a calorie-free way to boost gut health. Gastro pros like Dr. Marvin Singh have dubbed cilantro a "super-herb" (per mindbodygreen). Why? Foremost, it's filled with antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and K, according to WebMD. It's extremely effective at reducing blood sugar and may have potential brain health benefits as well, though further testing on human subjects is needed. Despite those phenomenal qualities, we have yet to scratch the surface of why cilantro is beneficial to gut health.

Since the GIT (gastrointestinal tract) is considered our second brain, it's no wonder our gut health has a major effect on our well-being. Things like infections and weakened immune systems can stem from foods passing through our gut. Once our body detects pathogens, it attacks with inflammation. Bacterial imbalances in your gut microbiome can cause symptoms like constipation, irregular menstrual cycles, and the hardest hitter: fatigue (per Healthline). We're not saying all of these symptoms can be cured by this tiny plant, but Dr. Singh confirms he recommends it for detoxing. He's not alone. 

How do you cleanse with cilantro?

Before we discuss cilantro's use in cleansing, please remember that all cleanses should be discussed with a clinician first, especially if you are taking medication. Luckily, using cilantro for gut health doesn't require a master cleanse.

Oils and extracts are far stronger than a light cilantro garnish, so they may affect people differently. Source Naturals, a natural supplement retailer, suggests cilantro oil for heavy metal detoxes. They commend the phytochemicals within cilantro that attach to heavy metals and free radicals in the body, pulling them from the liver and out of the bloodstream. These cleanses are considered alternative treatments, so your doc may not approve.

As another option, health advisers at Medical News Today remind us that subtle is best. Cilantro can be incorporated into herbed dips, fish tacos, and used to spice up simple salads. Fresh leaves and stems add a tangy flavor to many culinary dishes. Anne Taylor from Health Digest suggests topping off avocado toast with it.

Cilantro is an herb with an acquired taste; however, it's beneficial for internal health. This tiny plant's powerful properties may help fight illnesses. Keeping your gut healthy can be as simple as garnishing with this ingredient more often. Give it a try and see how your body responds.