14 Dangerous Side Effects Of Cilantro

Get your facts right before you introduce this unassuming herb into your diet.

Medically Reviewed by Reda Elmardi, RDN
By Tanya Choudhary, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition

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.

Top 14 Side Effects Of Cilantro:

Here are the top 14 cilantro side effects

1. Liver Damage

Woman experiencing liver pain as a side effect of consuming excess cilantro

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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.

2. Low Blood Pressure

Woman experiencing low blood pressure as a side effect of consuming cilantro

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Excess ingestion of cilantro is bad for your cardiac health 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

Woman experiencing upset stomach as a side effect of consuming cilantro

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Cilantro is known to heal several gastrointestinal issues. But when you consume too much of it, 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 extreme gas formation, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting and sometimes even loose motion.

4. Diarrhea

In severe case 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 asthma. Sometimes the shortness of breath caused by too much cilantro intake can also come with dry and tight throat.

6. Chest Pain

Woman experiencing chest pain as a side effect of consuming cilantro

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Though a little uncommon, but may experience chest pain to some extent by 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

Woman experiencing allergic reaction as a side effect of consuming cilantro

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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. It can turn you allergic to the herb, which will give you 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 and dermatitis.

9. Inflammation

Another common side effects of cilantro 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. However, your face may also get flushed while giving you a tingling sensation.

10. Fetal Damage

Eating lots of cilantro during pregnancy can be dangerous for the health of your fetus or baby. Some components of the herb is 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

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 of this toxin can 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.

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.

most dangerous side effects of cilantro [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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

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.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Acute and sub-chronic toxicological evaluation of hydro-methanolic extract of Coriandrum sativum L. seeds
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5099860/
  2. Coriander
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000851/
  3. Allergy to Coriander
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1398-9995.1979.tb04374.x
  4. Oral allergy syndrome
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44691194_Oral_allergy_syndrome
  5. Allergy, Immunotherapy, and Alternative Treatments for Dizziness
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354733186_Allergy_Immunotherapy_and_Alternative_Treatments_for_Dizziness
  6. Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis Associated with Fresh Cilantro, Texas, 2013
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267876272_Outbreak_of_Cyclosporiasis_Associated_with_Fresh_Cilantro_Texas_2013
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author
Tanya is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She specializes in writing articles on ingredients that benefit skin,... more

Reda Elmardi

(RDN)
Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. He has more than 10... more

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