Natural Defense Against Bacterial Infections

Coriander oil effective against drug resistant bacteria

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The lovely, aromatic herb coriander is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. Oil from the plant may also have important medicinal value, according to a new study.

Coriander oil has been found to be toxic against a variety of bacteria. Researchers believe it could be used in food and medicines to prevent food-borne illnesses, and it may even be able to treat antibiotic-resistant infections.

"Coriander oil is useful when fighting bacterial infections."

A study conducted at the University of Beira Interior in Portugal tested coriander oil against 12 strains of bacteria, including  E. coli, salmonella and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Researchers found the coriander oil solution (1.6 percent oil) reduced growth of all the strains and killed most.

This oil is currently used as a food additive and is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. Produced from coriander plant seeds, the oil has a long history as an herbal remedy. It's been used for centuries to relieve pain, cramps, convulsions, aid digestive problems and treat fungal infections.

According to lead investigator, Dr. Fernanda Domingues, the oil damages bacteria cell membranes, which causes the cell to die.

Dr. Domingues says this research suggests oil of coriander could play important roles in the medical and food industries to fight food pathogens and prevent spoilage. It could also be used in drugs to fight bacterial infections, including drug-resistant ones.

This study was published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

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Review Date: 
September 6, 2011
Last Updated:
September 6, 2011