This leafy herb doesn't just spice up Mexican food—it can kill bacteria, soothe sore muscles, and pep you up.
Bag the bloat
To flatten your stomach, try cilantro, a natural diuretic, says Sara Snow, green-lifestyle expert and author of Sara Snow's Fresh Living. (The herb also aids digestion and prevents nausea.) Just chop it up and sprinkle it on top of your salad.
Make meals safer
Cilantros essential oils kill salmonella and E. coli, according to studies in the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry. Try this zesty cilantro marinade from Fiona Beckett, author of The Frugal Cook. Combine 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, and 1 small bunch chopped fresh cilantro (stalks included) in a blender; marinate meat or poultry for 1—2 hours.
Ease post-gym aches
Got sore joints and muscles? Ease them fast with a rub made from cilantro, an anti-inflammatory, recommends Maoshing Ni, PhD, who practices traditional Chinese medicine and is the author of Secrets of Self-Healing. Finely chop 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, and combine with 1/4 cup aloe vera gel; apply rub to tender areas.
Get smooth skin
Who knew the oils in cilantro calm irritated skin? Soothe and hydrate the natural way with this body mask from La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. Blend 1/2 avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, and 1/4 cup avocado oil in a food processor; apply mask to skin, let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse in the shower.