Cilantro Can Directly Access Your Brain

According to a recent study from UC Irvine, (funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke):

“…[cilantro] readily accesses the brain, and it is likely that its consumption as a food or herbal medicine (in cilantro) or as an added food flavoring would result in active levels in the human body; we found the 1% cilantro extract an efficacious Voltage Gated Potassium Channel activator… We anticipate that its activity on Voltage Gated Potassium channels contributes significantly to the broad therapeutic spectrum attributed to cilantro, which has persisted as a folk medicine for thousands of years throughout and perhaps predating human recorded history.”


  1. Study Type: Human Study: In Silico
    Title: Cilantro leaf harbors a potent potassium channel–activating anticonvulsant
    Author(s): Rían W. Manville and Geoffrey W. Abbott
    Institution(s): Bioelectricity Laboratory, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of California–Irvine, Irvine, California, USA
    Publication: Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB)
    Date: July 2019
    Abstract: Herbs have a long history of use as folk medicine anticonvulsants, yet the underlying mechanisms often remain unknown. Neuronal voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily Q (KCNQ) dysfunction can cause severe epileptic encephalopathies that are resistant to modern anticonvulsants. Here we report that cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), a widely used culinary herb that also exhibits antiepileptic and other therapeutic activities, is a highly potent KCNQ channel activator. Screening of cilantro leaf metabolites revealed that one, the long-chain fatty aldehyde (E)-2-dodecenal, activates multiple KCNQs, including the predominant neuronal isoform, KCNQ2/KCNQ3 [half maximal effective concentration (EC50), 60 ± 20 nM], and the predominant cardiac isoform, KCNQ1 in complexes with the type I transmembrane ancillary subunit (KCNE1) (EC50, 260 ± 100 nM). (E)-2-dodecenal also recapitulated the anticonvulsant action of cilantro, delaying pentylene tetrazole-induced seizures. In silico docking and mutagenesis studies identified the (E)-2-dodecenal binding site, juxtaposed between residues on the KCNQ S5 transmembrane segment and S4-5 linker. The results provide a molecular basis for the therapeutic actions of cilantro and indicate that this ubiquitous culinary herb is surprisingly influential upon clinically important KCNQ channels.—Manville, R. W., Abbott, G. W. Cilantro leaf harbors a potent potassium channel–activating anticonvulsant.
    Link: Source