From being an essential garnishing item, coriander can now come handy for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients as doctors have found that it helps in reducing joint swelling.
A bunch of coriander leaves. AFP
"Coriander produces a significant reduction in joint swelling and stops release of those bio-chemicals from the body that lead to this swelling," says Dr YK Gupta, head of the department of pharmacology at AIIMS.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs. It is an auto-immune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
This long-term disease most commonly begins between the ages of 30 and 60. It often occurs later in life for men. However, even older teens and people in their 20s may have it.
Symptoms may include morning stiffness, which lasts more than an hour, joints may feel warm, tender, and stiff when not used for an hour, numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet and sleep difficulties among others.
Says Dr Surender Singh, associate professor with the department of pharmacology at AIIMS, "We undertook this experiment after we found its mention in the traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Unani for its anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic activities. The present study was carried out to scientifically evaluate this traditional claim.
"In our two-year study, the anti-arthritic activity was evaluated in two animal models of arthritis, one of which mimics Rheumatoid arthritis in humans. We found it to be effective in the animals. Based on the similarities of the animal model to human RA, we believe that results of our study validate the traditional use of coriandrum in the treatment of arthritis."
This study, being funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, has also been published the prestigious Indian Journal of Medical Research.