Coriandrum. U. S. (Br.) Coriander.
Coriand. [Coriander Seed]
Related entry: Oil of Coriander
"The dried ripe fruit of Coriandrum sativum Linne (Fam. Umbelliferae), without the presence or admixture of more than 5 per cent. of other fruits, seeds, or foreign matter." U. S. "Coriander Fruit is the dried ripe fruit of Coriandrum sativum, Linn." Br.
Coriandri Fructus, Br.; Coriander Fruit; Coriandre, Fr. Cod.; Koriander, G.; Coriandro, It.; Cilantro, Sp.
Coriandrum sativum is an annual plant, with an erect branching stem rising about two feet, and furnished with compound leaves, of which the upper are thrice ternate, with linear pointed leaflets, the lower pinnate, with the pinnae cut into irregular serrated lobes like those of parsley. The flowers are white or rose-colored, and in compound terminal umbels; the fruit globular, and composed of two concavo-convex mericarps. C. sativum is a native of Italy, but at present grows wild in most parts of Europe, having become naturalized in consequence of its extended cultivation. The flowers appear in June, and the fruit ripens in August. It is a singular fact that all parts of the fresh plant are extremely fetid when bruised, while the fruit becomes fragrant by drying. This is the official portion. The chief supplies come from Russia, Morocco, Holland, and Hungary. Attempts have been made to cultivate the plant in Vermont. The amount annually imported into the United States is over 1,000,000 pounds. The drug not infrequently contains a large admixture of earthy and stony substances as well as stems and similar inert matter. Bloine reports finding a sample of Coriander that contained 20 per cent. of flaxseed. LaWall has found leguminous starch in a specimen of powdered Coriander, probably from vetch seed which is sometimes accidentally present.
The fruit is officially described as follows: "Mericarps usually coherent; cremocarp nearly globular, from 3 to 5 mm. in diameter; externally light brown or rose colored; summit with 5 calyx teeth and a short stylopodium, each mericarp with 5 prominent, straight, longitudinal, primary ribs and 4 indistinct, undulate secondary ribs; mericarps easily separated, deeply concave on the inner or commissural surface and showing in transverse section 2 vittae (oil tubes) on the inner surface of each. Under the microscope, sections of Coriander show an epidermis of small cells with thick walls; a layer of several rows of thin-walled more or less collapsed parenchyma separated from a broad zone of strongly lignified, sclerenchymatous fibers which extend as a continuous ring in the mesocarp of each of the mericarps; 2 or 3 layers of large, tangentially elongated, thin-walled parenchyma cells, frequently with numerous large lysigenous intercellular spaces; inner epidermis of large tabular cells, the inner yellowish walls being considerably thickened and closely coherent to the brownish cells of the seed-coat; commissural surface with 2 large, elliptical vittae; the cells of the pericarp separated from the seed-coat and forming a large elliptical cavity; endosperm distinctly reniform in outline and consisting of tabular or polygonal thick-walled cells containing numerous large aleurone grains each with a rosette aggregate or prism of calcium oxalate. The powder is light brown, consisting chiefly of fragments of endosperm and lignified tissues of the pericarp; calcium oxalate crystals numerous, from 0.003 to 0.01 mm. in diameter, mostly in rosette aggregates, either isolated or in aleurone grains; sclerenchymatous fibers irregularly curved, having thick, yellowish, lignified walls and numerous simple pores; numerous globules of fixed oil; fragments of light yellow vittae few, associated with elongated polygonal epidermal cells. Coriander yields not less than 0.5 per cent. of volatile extractive, soluble in ether (see Part II, Test No. 12). Coriander yields not more than 7 per cent. of ash." U. S.
"Nearly globular, about five millimetres in diameter, uniform brownish-yellow in color, and glabrous. Mericarps usually closely united, and crowned by the calyx teeth and stylopod. Primary ridges wavy and inconspicuous; secondary ridges straight and more prominent. In transverse section, two vittae on the commissural surface of each mericarp. Aromatic odor, especially when bruised; taste agreeable." Br.
The aromatic taste and odor of coriander depend on a volatile oil, which may be obtained separate by distillation. One pound of the seeds yields forty-two grains of the oil. (Zeiler.) This is colorless or pale yellow, with an agreeable odor of coriander, a mild aromatic taste, and a sp. gr. varying from 0.87 to 0.88. Its main constituent, according to Semmler (Ber. d. Chem. Ges., xxiv, 206), is what was first called coriandrol, but is now recognized as right rotatory linalool, C10H18O, boiling between 194° and 198° C. (381.2°-388.4° F.). Besides this, about 5 per cent. of dextro-pinene was isolated, boiling between 156° and 160° C. (312.8°-3200 F.). It is one of the most permanent volatile oils, long resisting oxidation. The fruit's virtues are imparted to alcohol by maceration, and less readily to water.
Uses.—Coriander is a rather feeble aromatic. It is almost exclusively employed in combination with other medicines, either to cover their taste, to render them acceptable to the stomach, or to correct their griping qualities. It was well known to the ancients.
Dose, twenty to sixty grains (1.3-3.9 Gm.).
Off. Prep.—Confectio Sennae, Br., N. F.; Syrupus Rhei, Br.; Syrupus Sennae, (from Oil), U. S.; Tinctura Rhei Composita, Br.; Tinctura Sennae Composita, Br.; Fluidextractum Stillingiae Compositum, N. F.; Infusum Gentianae Compositum, N. F.