Culantro – A Medicinal Herb

CulantroPlantIn our house we love cooking with Culantro.  We use it to make Cuban rice and beans (Congris) and bean soup (Potaje).  It can also be used for salads, seasoning meat and salsa.

Culantro is sometimes confused with Cilantro but these are two different things. Cilantro has flowery leaves that come out of the top of a thin stem, while Culantro has wide leaves that come out from bottom the stem.  The tastes are similar but Culantro is a bit stronger.  Culantro is a tropical perrenial herb that is part of the Apiaceae family.  In Puerto Rico, it is known as Racao.  But this herb is not only used for cooking, it also has medicinal uses.

Some medicinal uses include:

  • Tea for colds, flues, upset stomach, pain relief
  • It is used to lowers Glucose and Blood pressure
  • It is Ant-Inflamatory

Its nutritional benefits include:

  • Calcium, Carotene and Ribofavin.
  • Vitamin A, B, and C
  • Antioxidant
  • Iron

Culantro attracts beneficial insects such as lady bugs, lacewings, and other beneficial insects, and keeps away aphids. When harvesting Culantro leaves, you want to cut the leaf toward the bottom but leave enough stem so that the leaf grows back.  Eventually, you will see long stems and flowering at the top.  This is where the seeds will form.

To learn more about it’s medicinal uses click on this article called “Culantro (Racao) – A Wonderful Healing Herb and Spice”


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