Cilantro is an herb used in a wide variety of cuisines worldwide and is known for its flavor and the pungent smell it imparts to dishes. However, one must also be aware of the side effects of cilantro that are mostly associated with its overconsumption.
This flavorful herb completes every dish and adds a unique aroma to the delicacy. Mexican cuisine uses it in almost every dish. This herb also contains some medicinal properties. However, its negative effects are also gaining attention. Learn more about them in this post.
Gastrointestinal issues like abdominal cramps and vomiting, diarrhea, skin sensitivity, and allergic reactions like hives, swelling, and rash.
May cause liver damage and may cause kidney stones.
Excess cilantro intake may interact with sedative medications and drugs that slow blood clotting.
When To See A Doctor
Cilantro may cause chest pain, when this concern turns into a chronic condition it is advised to consult a doctor.
In This Article
Top 14 Side Effects Of Cilantro:
Here are the top 14 cilantro side effects
1. Liver Damage
Overconsumption of cilantro can take a toll on the liver and affect its activities badly (1). It contains certain volatile essential oils that trigger the functionality of the most significant organ of our body. It also contains a number of powerful antioxidants, which help in eliminating liver problems. But when you consume more than the recommended amount of the herb, you force these constituents to work in the reverse order, increasing bile secretion and ultimately harming the liver. There is more research needed to properly understand the relation between cilantro and liver damage.
2. Low Blood Pressure
Excess ingestion of cilantro is bad for your cardiac health, this is one of the adverse reactions to cilantro as it may make your blood pressure plummet too low. A recent research has revealed that you may experience mild euphoria by including lots of this herb in your daily diet. Apart from the fall in blood pressure, it can also cause light-headedness followed by unconsciousness.
3. Upsets Stomach
Cilantro is known to heal several gastrointestinal issues. But when you take cilantro overdose, you end up upsetting your stomach and developing various digestive disorders. According to a medical report, consumption of 200 ml cilantro extract (10%) for one long week can result in cilantro-induced gastrointestinal symptoms like extreme gas formation, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting and sometimes even loose motion.
In severe cases of upset stomach, you may develop mild to moderate diarrhea (2). It has also been reported that this condition can get worse leading to dehydration. Try to keep the quantity of cilantro under control while incorporating it in your regular meal.
5. Breathing Problems
If you already suffer from some respiratory issues, it is advised not to consume excessive cilantro (3) It can give you acute breathing problems that can eventually lead to chronic lung diseases like cilantro-induced asthma. Sometimes the shortness of breath caused by too much cilantro intake can also come with dry and tight throat.
6. Chest Pain
Though a little uncommon, some may experience chest pain after eating excessive amounts of cilantro. It not only causes extreme discomfort, but can also become chronic over time. Therefore, make sure that you consult your doctor before increasing the quantity of the herb in your daily diet.
7. Skin Sensitivity
The green leafy herb contains certain acidic elements, which can make your skin highly sensitive to sunlight. In such situations, whenever your skin is exposed to the sunlight as well as ultraviolet rays, you get sunburns. It may also make you prone to skin cancer. Therefore, it is better to stay away from the scorching sunlight or use a good sunblock cream regularly.
8. Allergic Reactions
The protein content of cilantro is misinterpreted as ‘detrimental’ by our body and an antibody named IgE is automatically formed within our system to ‘counterbalance’ their negative effects. Cilantro allergies leave you with itching, swelling, irritation, rash, hives, etc., upon overconsumption or direct contact with it (4). The most severe allergic reactions that you may have to experience are eczema patches, dermatitis, and cilantro-induced anaphylaxis. You may also notice cilantro-induced urticaria or dermatitis.
Another common side effect of cilantro intolerance is oral inflammation. Those acidic components of the herb, which make our skin sensitive to sunlight, are responsible for this too. Usually, the lips, gums and throat are inflamed in this condition, and you might experience cilantro-induced angioedema. However, your face may also get flushed while giving you a tingling sensation.
10. Fetal Damage
When it comes to cilantro and pregnancy, there are some things you need to know. Eating lots of cilantro during pregnancy can be dangerous for the health of your fetus or baby. Some components of the herb are known to hamper the normal activities of the female reproductive gland, which can either cause harm to the expectant mothers or damage the overall health of the developing fetus.
11. Kidney Stones
Cilantro contains saponins, which have been linked to kidney stones. When you consume this herb, your body breaks down the saponins into smaller compounds that are easier to excrete from your system. However, if you do not drink enough water while consuming cilantro, the amount of saponin that is being broken down could increase and lead to the formation of kidney stones.
12. Kidney Damage
Did you know there is a connection between cilantro and kidney damage? Cilantro contains oxalic acid, which is toxic to humans. Oxalic acid is a natural substance found in many foods, but it is especially prevalent in spinach, rhubarb, and lima beans. Consuming too much cilantro can cause cilantro toxicity that may result in severe health problems, including kidney damage.
13. Issues With High Sodium
Cilantro is high in sodium content. One cup of cilantro contains about 1,000 milligrams of sodium, which is almost double the recommended daily intake. If you are trying to cut back on salt consumption, avoid adding cilantro to your diet.
14. Hallucinations, Confusion, And Seizures
Cilantro contains thujone, which is a neurotoxin. Thujone is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in clove oil. It is used in herbal medicine to treat various conditions, but excessive amounts of thujone can cause hallucinations, confusion, and seizures.
Additionally, some individuals may not prefer cilantro’s soapy taste. Andrew Barney, a blogger, spoke about his dislike for cilantro. He said “My tongue proceeds to feel numb most of the time, and even if not, the taste stays in my mouth for hours. Making it almost impossible to eat something else instead. It really ruins the whole mood, and usually the day (i).”
Infographic: Most Dangerous Side Effects Of Cilantro
Cilantro is a herb which is used in a variety of dishes, well known for its flavor and particular smell. Eating it in moderation is healthy, but overconsumption of cilantro can cause some serious side effects in the long run.
Check out the most dangerous side effects of cilantro in the infographic below.
Cilantro is a herb used for the unique aroma and flavor it adds to dishes. It is a part of many cuisines throughout the world. However, one must also consider the side effects of cilantro, which are associated with its overconsumption. This herb may aggravate breathing problems, diarrhea, chest pain, and oral inflammation. Other serious side effects include liver damage and hypotension. It may also trigger allergic reactions and skin sensitivity. Hence, caution is advised.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to eat raw cilantro?
Mary Sabat, RDN, LD, CPT, says, “People do not typically eat raw cilantro since the flavor can be quite strong and unpleasant. However, cilantro in a smoothie would be fine.”
Is cilantro good for your gut and bladder?
Sabat says, “Cilantro has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and it can help improve digestion and support the health of the gut and bladder.”
Can cilantro make you dizzy?
Yes, an allergic reaction to cilantro can lead to the development of symptoms such as dizziness (5).
Can you get food poisoning from cilantro?
Yes, consumption of cilantro has been associated with cyclosporiasis outbreaks (6). This is a type of illness caused by food contaminated with Cyclospora cayetanensis parasite.
- Cilantro has some dangerous side effects that may cause health issues.
- You should not use cilantro if you are allergic to it and experience rashes and itching.
- Ensure you only consume this herb in moderation to avoid digestive issues like abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Anyone with a history of liver disease should not consume cilantro to prevent further complications.
Cilantro is a popular herb, but it can have dangerous side effects. Learn about the risks and how to stay safe in this video.
Personal Experience: Source
i. I HATE CILANTRO!!!
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- Acute and sub-chronic toxicological evaluation of hydro-methanolic extract of Coriandrum sativum L. seeds
- Allergy to Coriander
- Oral allergy syndrome
- Allergy, Immunotherapy, and Alternative Treatments for Dizziness
- Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis Associated with Fresh Cilantro, Texas, 2013