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Difference Between Parsley and Coriander

Both coriander and parsley are two common leaves, which are heavily used in the culinary world. Due to their similarity in appearance and flavor, many people cannot tell the difference. However, it is worth noting that both coriander and parsley exhibit a significant number of differences.


  • What is Parsley?

    Difference Between Parsley and Coriander

Parsley is a leafy plant from the family Apiaceae which known in the scientific terms as Petroselinum crispum. The leaves are bright green in color, which is used as spices in food preparation. The product is widely used in the Middle Eastern region and America with the aim of adding flavor and making food to be attractive.



  • What is Coriander?

    Difference Between Parsley and Coriander-1

Coriander is a leafy product that is used as an ingredient in food preparation in various parts of the world. The use of coriander is adding flavor to dishes by the use of its pungent and fresh leaves. It is important to note that coriander leaves and crushed seeds can be added to food when cooking or add them when food is ready because they will offer the same service.


Differences Between Parsley and Coriander

  1. Nutritional Value in Parsley and Coriander

Despite the significant similarity between the two leaves, one of the main difference between parsley and coriander is the nutritional composition. Parsley is highly known to contain vitamins K, C, and A. Moreover; flavonoid, apigenin, and luteolin are found in parsley at a greater percentage. On the other hand, coriander leaves and seeds are known to contain specific vitamins similar to parsley but are low in composition. However, coriander leaves and seeds have a modest composition of minerals and high composition of dietary fiber.

  1. Uses of Parsley and Coriander

The second notable difference between parsley and coriander is how both coriander and parsley are used. In parsley, both leaves and roots are used during the preparation of food dishes to add flavor and as garnish. Green parsley leaves are chopped and sprinkled on top of food products to add flavor, especially when the food is still hot. Parsley roots are used to prepare soups and stews while at the same time being used as a snack or vegetable. For coriander, the flavor is used in various dishes and in the production of flavored tea. Moreover, the seeds are roasted and crushed to prepare curry powder, which is used in adding flavor in food.

  1. Health Effects and Side Effects in Parsley and Coriander

Despite both coriander and parsley being sources of vitamins and various nutrients, they have some effects on the health of individuals, which is exhibited in different terms. Different research studies have shown that parsley does not cause allergic reactions. However, studies indicate that excessive consumption of parsley is likely to cause uterotonic effects, which causes it to be barred or avoided by pregnant women. On the other hand, coriander causes allergic reactions and health side effects to a significant number of people. This explains why some people do not use coriander or experience heartburns after consuming food flavored with coriander.

  1. Edible Parts of the Plant of Parsley and Coriander

It is worth noting that edible parts differ between coriander and parsley. Moreover, there are significant differences between parsley and coriander seeds. Parsley seeds are oval in shape and provide sufficient oil which is used for medicinal purposes. Coriander seeds have a spherical shape and are used as a flavored spice. In addition, leaves and roots are the only edible parts of the parsley while seeds are used for oil extraction. On the other hand, all the parts of coriander (seeds, leaves, and roots) are edible.

  1. Origin and Tree Biology of Parsley and Coriander

The country of origin and the biological characteristics between coriander and parsley exhibit a number of differences. Parsley has been known to originate from the Mediterranean region and the countries in the Middle East region.  With respect to tree biology, parsley behaves differently in various regions. The plant grows annually in tropical and subtropical regions while it grows biennial in temperate areas. On the other hand, coriander is believed to have originated from western Asia and the southern European regions. It is worth noting that coriander is an annual plant, which means that it grows once per year.

  1. Flavor and Appearance of Parsley and Coriander

Flavor and appearance are physical characteristics that can be used to show the difference between coriander and parsley. One can distinguish between the two plants by the fact that coriander is more pungent and is more flavored than parsley. On the other hand, the flavor of parsley can be described as mild and grassy. In terms of color and shape, coriander leaves have a deep green color with sharper serrations and rounded shapes. On the other hand, parsley leaves are bright green in color while at the same time exhibiting curly shapes.

Table Showing Difference Between Parsley and Coriander
  Coriander Parsley
Color Deep Green Color Bright Green Color
Flavor More Pungent and Flavored Mild and Grassy Flavor
Origin Asia and European Regions Mediterranean Region
Tree Biology Annual Plant Annual and Biennial
Health Effects Causes Allergic Reactions Causes Uterotonic Effects
Nutritional Value Contains Dietary Fiber Contains Flavonoid, Apigenin, and Luteolin
Uses Used to add Flavor and as Garnish Parsley roots are used to prepare soups and stews


Summary of  Parsley and Coriander


  • Apparently, it has become difficult to differentiate between coriander and parsley. There is significant number of similarities ranging from color to pungent. However, a close analysis of the two plants shows a significant number of differences as discussed above.
  • Both coriander and parsley are common leaves, which are used as food flavors while their parts form a significant proportion of the stew, and soups we use in our dishes. It is important to highlight that many people appreciate food that has been flavored using parsley and coriander.
  • Coriander and parsley are popular food additives and can be used when raw, roasted seeds, and can be prepared with other food products. It is worth noting that they are used in different parts of the world, which include the Middle East, Asia, India, Latin America, North America, and Africa among other parts of the world.

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References :

[0]Beozzi, S., Cabral, F., Vasconcelos, E. and Ribeiro, H. (2017). Organic production of potted parsley and coriander in coconut coir amended with compost. Acta Horticulturae, (1168), pp.295-302.

[1]Mauer, L. and El-Sohemy, A. (2012). Prevalence of cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) disliking among different ethnocultural groups. Flavour, 1(1), p.8.

[2]Sears, Margaret E. “Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review.” The Scientific World Journal 2013 (2013): 219840. PMC. Web. 28 Dec. 2017.

[3]"Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parsley.jpg"

[4]"Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22Coriander%22.jpg"

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