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Eryngium foetidum (also known as Bhandhanya, Chandon benit, Culantro, Donnia, Culantro Coyote, (Fitweed, Long coriander, Mexican coriander, Wild coriander, Recao, Shado beni (English-speaking Caribbean), Spiritweed, (Ngò gai (Vietnam), Sawtooth), Saw-leaf herb, or Cilantro cimarron) is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated worldwide. In the United States, where it is not well-known, the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriandrum sativum, the leaves of which are known as cilantro, and which culantro is even said to taste like. The two plants are in the same family, Apiaceae.
E. foetidum is widely used in seasoning and marinating in the Caribbean. It is also used extensively in Thailand, India, Vietnam, 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 has a much stronger taste. Like cilantro, many people find the leaves distasteful, due to a genetic trait. As the species name means “fetid” in Latin, it is possible that Linnaeus also had noted this trait.
Medicinally, the leaves and roots are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, eliminate gases and as an aphrodisiac.
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