Coriander and cilantro come from the same plant. The word coriander can be used to describe the entire plant: leaves, stems, seeds, and all. Most people are referring to the spice produced from the seeds of the coriander plant. The leaves of the plant are commonly called cilantro, which comes from the Spanish word for coriander.
The change in names is very appropriate, since the plant’s leaves and the ripened seeds taste totally different. Cilantro on the other hand is a little too different for many more delicate taste buds, unfortunately. Most people either enjoy or greatly dislike the taste, but I can see why some people argue that it’s an acquired taste.
It’s a different story for the seeds. Coriander is an extremely popular spice with a pleasing aroma and lemony flavor, found in many recipes. Little is known about the origins of the coriander plant, although it is generally thought to be native to the Mediterranean and parts of southwestern Europe.
More recently, coriander plants were known to be growing in Massachusetts by the early 1600’s, one of the first herbs grown by the American colonists. Coriander essential oil promotes digestion and eases stomach upset, aids in a healthy insulin response, soothes joint and muscle pain. Coriander essential oil is also know for toning and rejuvenating to the skin.