Herbs, including coriander, have a long history as anti-convulsive folk medicine. So far, many of the potential mechanisms of action of this herb are still unknown. In a new study, the researchers found that the molecular effects of coriander can effectively delay some of the seizures common in epilepsy and other diseases.
The study, published in FASEB, explains the molecular role of coriander as a potent KCNQ channel activator, a new understanding that may lead to improved treatments and more effective drug development. Dr. Geoff Abbott, a professor of physiology and biology, revealed that in his research, coriander, a traditional anticonvulsant, activates potassium channels in the brain and reduces seizures. He is a professor of physiology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and is the lead researcher for the study.
Geoff Abbott further explained that a component called dodecenal in coriander can bind to a specific part of the potassium channel, opening the potassium channel and reducing cell excitability. He is happy to say that this particular finding is important because it may lead to more effective use of coriander as an anticonvulsant or modify dodecenal to develop safer, more effective anticonvulsants.
The researchers screened the metabolites of coriander leaves and found that one of the long-chain fatty aldehydes (E)-2-dodecene activates a variety of potassium channels, including major neuronal subtypes and major cardiac subtypes. They are responsible for regulating the electrical activity of the brain and heart. The researchers also found that it is this metabolite that causes the anticonvulsant effect of coriander and delays certain chemical-induced epilepsy. The results of this study provide a molecular basis for the therapeutic effects of coriander and suggest that this ubiquitous culinary herb has a dramatic impact on clinically important potassium channels.
The use of documented botanical folk medicines can be traced back to documented human history. There is DNA evidence that Neanderthals began to consume medicinal plants as early as 48,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of 800,000 years ago showed that Homo erectus or similar species did not feed on plants. Today, evidence on the efficacy of botanical folk medicines ranges from rumors to clinical trials. For example, in the "Compendium of Materia Medica" records, "the sputum tastes Xin Wenxiang, the inner heart and the spleen, and the four limbs."
In many cases, the current consumption of these nutritious foods is very large, often as a food or food seasoning. Coriander is a good example, it is called 芫荽 in the UK. This herb has been eaten by humans for at least 8,000 years. It was first discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun and is believed to have been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians.
Abbott revealed that in addition to its anti-convulsive properties, coriander has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, heart-protecting, stomach-protecting and analgesic effects. And, the most important thing is that it tastes delicious, and that's where its name comes from. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.