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Eryngium foetidum is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is native to Mexicomarker and South America but is cultivated worldwide. In the United Statesmarker, where it is not well known, the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriandrum sativum (also in Apiaceae), the leaves of which are known as cilantro, and which culantro is even said to taste like.

Eryngium foetidum is also known as culantro; culantro coyote (Costa Rica); long, wild, or Mexican coriander; fitweed; spiritweed; sawtooth or saw-leaf herb; cilantro cimarron; chardon benit (French chardon béni); shado, shadon, or shadow beni (English-speaking Caribbean); recao (Puerto Rico); sachaculantro (Peru); bhandhanya (Hindi); donnia; ngò gai (Vietnam); and pak chi farang ( ).


Eryngium foetidum foliage
E. foetidum is widely used in seasoning and marinating in the Caribbeanmarker. It is also used extensively in Thailandmarker, Indiamarker, Vietnammarker, and other parts of Asia as a culinary herb. This variety of coriander dries well, retaining good color and flavor, making it valuable in the dried herb industry. It is sometimes used as a substitute for cilantro, but it has a much stronger taste.

Medicinally, the leaves and roots are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, and eliminate gas. A decoction of the leaves has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

See also


  1. Ramcharan, C. 1999. "Culantro: A much utilized, little understood herb". p. 506–509. In: J. Janick (ed.), Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

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