Coriander oil has been founded to be effective in tackling harmful bacteria, particularly those found in food poisoning or antibiotic-resistant infections. A study in the Journal of Medical Microbiology tested coriander against 12 bacterial strains. All showed reduced growth, and most were killed, by solutions containing 1.6% coriander oil or less.
The 12 strains included Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is often resistant to antibiotics.
Coriander essential oil is already known to be effective against nausea and cramps.
"The results indicate that coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell," said Dr Fernanda Domingues who led the study.
The researchers say coriander oil could also become a natural alternative to common antibiotics.