Natural remedies for lead poisoning: Cilantro, also known as coriander, naturally protects the liver and lowers lead concentration

Cilantro, also known as coriander, was found to be a natural remedy for lead poisoning as it naturally chelates lead from the body — providing protection for the liver and reduces lead concentration.

Coriandrum sativum, the scientific name of coriander, is one of the oldest spice crops in the world. Its leaves are commonly used for folk medicine as a carminative (relieves flatulence), spasmolytic (relieves spasms), and galactagogue (increases breast milk production) herb. Moreover, coriander is believed to contain powerful chelating properties. However, there were not enough scientific evidence to prove this, until this study.

A team of researchers from the Juarez University of the State of Durango and Autonomous University of Coahuila in Mexico analyzed the chelating effect of the methanol extract of coriander and its fractions on Wistar rats poisoned with lead. In the study, they intoxicated the rats with 50 milligram per kilogram (mg/kg) of lead acetate and then treated them with 50 mg/kg of methanol extract and its fractions — which were administered to four treatment groups. Moreover, they evaluated hemoglobin, hematocrit, and lead concentrations.

Coriander is a promising agent for chelation, particularly for heavy metals such as lead. Lead poisoning is a result of lead build up in the body. Young children below six years old are particularly vulnerable to its harmful effects. This can affect their mental and physical development. There is no known safe blood lead concentration, but it is known that as lead exposure increases, so do its harmful effects.


The results of the experiment revealed that the group that received methanol extract displayed significant improvement in the levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit in comparison with the control group. This is essential because intoxication with lead causes anemia, which is seen in a reduction of hemoglobin. Furthermore, results showed that lead concentration in treatment groups were reduced compared to the control group.

“The administration of the methanol extract and its fractions produced a good significant variation in most of the evaluated tests,” the researchers wrote.

In conclusion, extracts of coriander provide protection for the liver and decreases levels of lead concentration in rats poisoned with lead. The findings of the study were published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

Coriander and its other health benefits

Coriander is a flowering plant that is a member of the parsley family. It is believed to have originated from South Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. Its stems, leaves, seeds, essential oil, and roots are all used for their medicinal properties. Listed below are the other health benefits of the coriander plant.

  • It fights oxidative damage – Coriander is rich in strong antioxidants, such as catechin, alkanals, apigenin, and lanalool. These help scavenge free radicals that are harmful for the body.
  • It prevents cancer – Because of its antioxidant properties, it can potentially help treat cancer. It root extracts were shown to hinder DNA damage, prevent cancer cell migration, and stimulate cancer death cell based on laboratory studies.
  • It helps manage diabetes – A study found that its leaf and stem extracts decreased blood sugar levels and helped manage blood sugar better.
  • It reduces cholesterol levels – In animal studies, it was found to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
  • It prevents infection – The plant possesses anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. It is said to break down the cell wall of pathogens, which prevents them from proliferating. (Related: Coriander oil (cilantro) can be used to treat food poisoning and drug-resistant infections.)
  • It enhances memory – A study found that it has the potential to improve memory and help manage Alzheimer’s disease.

Find more news coverage of the toxicity of heavy metals at

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