As it was raining heavily I was feeling lazy but also wanted to use my camera. So instead of going out, I decided to photograph something inside my house and after searching the house I found those tiny seeds of coriander sitting silently inside the airtight container in the kitchen.
Though we use these tiny seeds every day we almost neglect its looks. But if we look close enough it has a shape which keeps us intriguing. They appeared as monstrous mace when we look at it close enough.
I used my Nikon 7100 with 50mm 1.8d lens along with generic 59mm extension tubes. As coriander seed are not moving things like insects, I decided to make a light box to capture them. I used 2 YongNuo yn560 Speedlight for lighting purpose.
The seed in the centre is the one which me feel that the coriander seeds look like mace head
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) is an annual herb that belongs to the carrot family (Umbelliferae). The plant is named after koris, the Greek word for bug, as the unripe fruits have a smell that has been compared to that of bedbugs. However, when ripe, the seeds have a distinctive sweet citrus/mint/musty aroma that has been valued over the centuries.
A split coriander seed with removed carpophore
Coriander originates from South Europe, North Africa and West Asia. Cultivation of coriander started 2000 years BC. Coriander was one of the many plants cultivated in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was popular and often consumed in the ancient Egypt and Greece. Coriander is still one of the most widely used spices in the world. It grows best in cool areas in a well-drained soil. Coriander is mostly cultivated as a source of food. It can be also used as a remedy because it contains numerous compounds that act beneficially on the human health.
Anatomy of the seed
As the seed is oval most of the photography angles give similar results. So I decided to split it and see what in inside. Botanically Coriander seed is considered to be Schizocarp which can be split into 2 single seeded Mericarpos (segment of a fruit that breaks at maturity). The fruits often seperate to consist of a concave inner surface and the rigid outer pericarp. The coriander seeds are hollow inside and have a carpophore running axially.
Split seed with Carpophore
Coriander seeds have been used medicinally since ancient times. One pharmaceutical use of coriander seed is to mask or disguise the tastes of other medicinal compounds (active purgatives) or to calm the irritating effects on the stomach that some medicines cause, such as their tendency to cause gastric or intestinal pain.
It is also employed for the preparation of either the steam-distilled essential oil or the solvent-extracted oleoresin. Both products can be used in the flavouring and aroma industries. Essential oils can be fractionated to provide linalool (usually 60 to 70 per cent), which can be used as a starting material for synthetic production of other flavouring agents, such as citral and ionone.Used externally, the seeds have been applied as a lotion or have been bruised and used as a poultice to treat rheumatic pains. The seed essential oil is used in aromatherapy, perfumery, soap making and food flavouring. The oil is also fungicidal and bactericidal.
Coriander seeds are also used in making Beer. In ancient Roman days they were used to make perfumes also.