Culantro (Eryngium foetidum) is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated throughout the world. It is also known as culantro coyote (Costa Rica); alcapate (El Salvador); Mexican coriander; duck-tongue herb; sawtooth or saw-leaf herb; fitweed; spiritweed; shadow beni (English-speaking Caribbean), and ng̣ gai (Vietnam). Eryngium foetidum is also known as Eryngium antihystericum, and has been traditionally used as a treatment for epilepsy. The plant is said to calm a person's spirit and thus prevents epileptic fits. Culantro is used as seasoning and marinating in Caribbean cuisine. It is known as 'shadow benny' or 'bandanya' and 'recao'. It is also used extensively in Thailand, India and Vietnam cuisine. Culantro dries well, retaining good color and flavor, and is valuable in the dried herb industry.

The leaves and roots of E. foetidum are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, and eliminate gas. A decoction of the leaves has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Eryngial is a patented extract of Eryngium foetidum, used for treatment of human Strongyloides stercoralis infection (Strongyloidiasis). Strongyloidiasis is a human parasitic disease.

Author: Quite (Copyright)

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