Culantro has been used in traditional medicine for burns, earache, fevers, hypertension, constipation, fits, asthma, stomach ache, worms, infertility complications, snake bites, diarrhea, and malaria.
The plant is used in traditional medicines for fevers and chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and in Jamaica for colds and convulsions in children. The leaves and roots are boiled and the water drunk for pneumonia, flu, diabetes, constipation, and malaria fever.
The root can be eaten raw for scorpion stings and in India the root is reportedly used to alleviate stomach pains. The leaves themselves can be eaten in the form of a chutney as an appetite stimulant.
Culantro is also known as E. antihystericum. The specific name antihystericum reflects the fact that this plant has traditionally been used for epilepsy. The plant is said to calm a person’s ‘spirit’ and thus prevents epileptic ‘fits’, so is known by the common names spiritweed and fitweed. The anticonvulsant properties of this plant have been scientifically investigated. A decoction of the leaves has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in rats.