Culantro is a perennial tropical herb that is used to add flavor to your dishes while cooking. It is similar to cilantro (coriander) and lettuce. Usually, its leaves and stalks are used.

Culantro is an amazing substitute for cilantro, with a stronger aroma and taste and leaves that are a bit longer. It is used in the Caribbean, Americas, Vietnam, Thailand, and several other Asian countries.

Botanical Name: Eryngium Foetidum

Common Names: Culantro, Mexican coriander, sawtooth coriander, Recao, shadow Beni, long coriander, Bhandhania, spiny cilantro, broadleaf cilantro.

See also: Substitutes For Cilantro and Shiso.

bunch of culantro leaves on a wooden background

Health Benefits of Culantro:

This herb is rich in calcium, iron, proteins, vitamins A, B, and C, carotene, and riboflavin. People prepare it in tea form to cure flu, fevers, constipation, and diabetes because it has many health benefits.

Some popular health benefits of culantro consumption are:

1. Detoxification

 The culantro contains vitamin B2, which is good for the proper functioning of the liver. Regular intake can reduce the occurrence of toxic substances in the liver, so it is excellent for detoxification.

It contains natural antioxidants such as phenolics, carotenoids, anthraquinone, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Read More.

2. Pain relief

Culantro is known to reduce inflammation around body parts. For this benefit, you should boil its leaves with water. You can then drink the hot infused water or apply it to body parts or joints for pain relief.

Read More.

3. Eliminate bad breath

Culantro can control the issue of bad breath. The strong and fresh fragrance and chlorophyll give it deodorizing effects.

For this sake, you could simply chew some leaves after meals. Read More.

4. Aid in neurological inflammation

If used regularly, culantro may prevent you from getting neurological inflammation. Due to this, you may lessen the chances of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Read More

closed culantro flower

What Is Culantro?

People say that culantro originated from the Caribbean or tropical regions of the Americas. Farmers now cultivate it worldwide.

You can grow it annually in colder areas if you provide suitable conditions. People have grown it wildly since ancient times and used it for medicinal purposes.

Culantro is self-propagated through reseeding and is naturally grown under shady forests, in humid climates, and moist soil.

It was brought to South-East Asia by the Chinese to be used instead of coriander and was later naturalized there. The herb grows well in partial sunlight above 1700 meters sea level. It does not tolerate frost.

What Does Culantro Look Like?

Culantro is a small green herb having long leaves with tiny spines at the edges. The leaves are green in color and arranged in a spiral pattern around the main stem. The plants are approximately 8-40 centimeters in height. The size of leaves is 1-4 centimeters in width and 5-32 centimeters in length.

They are good ground covering plants. The herb has creamy white flowers.

culantro leaves in various stages on a white background

What Does Culantro Taste Like?

According to the taste and aroma, we can say that culantro is a stronger version of cilantro. Both serve the same culinary purposes, but people usually add culantro to dishes during cooking, while they add the fragile cilantro after cooking.

The aroma of culantro is strong and musky, having citrus and herbal notes. However, people sometimes notice that it has a stinking smell.

It has a strong herbaceous, culinary flavor leaving behind a bit of citrusy bitter nuance. Some people often say that culantro has a soapy taste, much like how many describe cilantro.

How To Use Culantro?

People use this herb in rice, beans, and stews. They use the leaves in chutneys, salads, or as toppings over dishes. They also add them to soups, curries, noodle dishes, and various other recipes.

Its versatile flavor makes it popular across different regions of the world. People use it as a spice in its dried form.

How To Store Culantro?

You can store unwashed culantro leaves in the refrigerator for up to a week by wrapping them in paper towels. It can also be stored for extended use by chopping the leaves and then mixing them in oil. You can store this mixture in the freezer for a long period of time.

You can also store the leaves and seeds in dried form.

Seasons and Availability:

This savory substitute of cilantro is available all year-round, but grows best in the summer heat (the off-season of cilantro), so that the cilantro lovers can get the fresh taste they desire through culantro.

In tropical and sub-tropical regions, you could plant it in your garden with great ease. You can also get them from farmer stores, big grocery stores, or vegetable shops.

culantro in herb garden

Possible Side Effects of Culantro:

There are no well-known side effects of culantro but the abundance of anything may harm you. A regular high dose of it can affect your kidneys. It may also cause allergic reactions to some people or may interact with the medications.

You may consult a doctor before consuming it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Although there is no such record you know that prevention is better than cure.

More Herbal Information:

  1. Rosemary
  2. Tokyo Bekana
  3. Fennel Bulb
  4. Thai Basil
  5. Moringa
  6. Arugula

If you enjoyed this post about Culantro and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families. Thank you!

Also, please leave a star rating! ;-)