Coriander oil could be used to cure a host of infections including food poisoning and the superbug MRSA, say researchers.
The herb extract is resistant to a range of toxic bacteria which cause infections that are resistant to drugs, a study has found. Portuguese scientists tested samples of the oil – taken from the seeds of a coriander plant – against 12 lethal bacteria. All showed reduced growth and most were killed by a solution containing less than 1.6 per cent of the oil.
The team from the University of Beira Interior found the oil attacks and kills the outer membrane of bacteria cells, including salmonella, E.coli and MRSA. Dr Fernanda Domingues, who co-authored the study, said coriander oil could help the millions who suffer from food-borne illnesses every year.
‘It could become a natural alternative to common antibiotics,’ she said. ‘We envisage the use of coriander in lotions, mouth rinses and even pills, to fight multidrug-resistant bacterial infections that otherwise could not be treated.