Cilantro NO!
I H a t e C i l a n t r o . c o m
(4,423 members)
Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro!

Visitors share their cilantro stories...


I first discovered the devil's herb when i was maybe 12 or 13 years old. I ordered a jambalaya rice bowl from this hoity-toity restaurant. unknowingly, cilantro was added to the dish. It looked tasty, but mind you, i've never had cilantro before. And the first bite in, the first thing that hits my mouth is this soapy, nasty, underbelly sweat tasting sorta thing. I have no idea what it is, but i can't even finish the dish. I inquire to my mom who is with me at the time. She informs me that it is called "Cilantro". And that's when it started.

Several times, i've went to restuarants, where cilantro was a hidden ingredient. I get the dish, and i'm completely put off. I had to start learning to ask for no cilantro, i even started faking a cilantro allergy. (I still do it to this day, and it works like a charm)

One time i remember specifically about cilantro, was the first time i went to chipotle. For those of you who don't know, Chipotle is an American burrito chain, that serves burritos the size of a football. Oh yeah, i forgot to mention... they put cilantro-lime rice in the burritos. (And you can't taste the lime, i'll tell you that)

So i got my burrito, took one bite, and of course the first thing that hits me is the cilantro, i probably don't even have to mention that. I threw away the rest of the burrito, because the cilantro put me off so much. Everyone else ate their burritos.

Ever since i've formed my hatred for cilantro, i've faked allergies, told my friends who aren't too familiar with the herb about the dangers that lie ahead, and of course, i've stopped visiting chipotle.

Everyone i know seems to be a closet fan of cilantro and it disgusts me. My friends and family continue to offer me condolences, which never work.
"There's only a little bit in it"
"Add some sauce to it"
"I spent so much money on that chipotle burrito, i can't believe you're just going to waste it"

I care not about what you have to say about my cilantro hatred. If you're not getting rid of it, then you can get rid of me.

C \ Okotoks, Canada
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In July 2010 I went to visit my friend in the Washington DC area. She took me to Chipotle Mexican Grill. This was my 1st time going to Chipotle as we did not have one in my area. I had heard many people talk about how good their food was, so I was excited to try it. My friend recommend the burrito bowl. It's like a burrito without the Tortilla. I never really had cilantro so I did not know to watch out for it. Chipotle's rice has cilantro all through it. So I get a steak bowl with that cilantro rice, some corn salsa that has cilantro, and some brown salsa that is laced with cilantro. I also had cheese and sour cream. That darn cilantro ruined the tastiness of the meat, cheese, corn, and rice. It tasted like someone put soap in my food!!! I was so disgusted with that cilantro!!!! Everything else in the bowl was good, so I tried to pick around the Cilantro, but I couldn't!!!! I just threw most of it out. Chipotle needs to have plain rice for people who can't stand that damn cilantro!!! Next time I go there I'm just gonna get a salad with meat, cheese and hot salsa. All of which don't contain cilantro!!!!! They should call that darn place Cilantro instead of Chipotle as much cliantro as they use!!!!

Michelle \ New Haven, CT, United States
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I am a vegetarian and am very allergic to Cilantro/Coriander. Eating out in St. Louis, MO is difficult. I love ethnic food, because as a vegetarian I have the most choices in ethnic restaurants. However, it seems almost every vegetarian dish is loaded with Cilantro! I discovered my allergy after eating at a Thai restaurant and vomiting afterwards on several occasions. I started to piece things together and realized Cilantro/Coriander may have been the source of many problems for me.

Not only is it in almost every dish served in restaurants around here, it is also in a lot of different kinds of alcohol. Micro brew beer is a past time of all my friends, but I really have to read the labels and make sure it is not made with Coriander. Even a few sips of it and I will have a migraine, stomach ache, and trouble breathing. I also read that Gin contains Coriander. I have only had Gin on two occasions, and both times I ended up in the hospital.

Most people do not believe me about this allergy. It is frustrating when my own family serves dishes with Cilantro when I have told them I am allergic.

Fireflies \ St. Louis, MO, United States
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Oh, I do not like cilantro,
For I think it tastes like soap,
Like excretions from a beetle,
Like the breath of those who tope.

Oh, I do not like cilantro,
Of all the green herbs in the garden,
This single leafy menace,
Does against my palate harden.

You may call it coriander,
I really could not care,
Just leave it out my soup, please,
The flavor 'twill impair.

You won't me find braising bars of soap,
Or stewing up an insect,
Such culinary aberrations
Should we violently reject.

So, too do I spurn cilantro,
Spurn its nasty aldehydes,
Much preferring to use parsley,
For the sapor it provides.

Adam Mitchell Bond \ Catasaqua, PA, United States
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Being raised in Southern California gave me several early opportunities to come across Mexico's favorite herb. It also allowed me to discover very early on that not only do I utterly loathe this evil weed, but I'm debilitatingly allergic to it.

This was discovered one fine day when my mother took me out to a new fast-food type Mexican food restaurant that had just opened up down the street. I downed two tacos, and since I was never a picky child I ignored the odd taste, which turned out to be a rather devastating mistake. Within twenty minutes I felt nauseous. Within the hour, I was pale and had clammy skin. Not long thereafter I was kneeling before the big white throne, emitting a technicolor yawn of Mexican goodness. This lasted for two days. My mother told me I'd probably gotten food poisoning, and I attributed it, at first, to the white sauce on the tacos possibly being bad.

I later found out that my father, too, is allergic to cilantro. He heard my story and ever since, I've been keeping an eye out for it.

That's not always possible, however. Regardless of repeatedly telling servers at Mexican restaurants that I'm severely allergic to the green scourge, they seem to conveniently forget when it's baked into the rice, or rubbed into the carne asada. Even a mouthful is enough to make me queasy for a day. Eventually, through several mistakes and a sinfully strong love of Mexican food, I came to intimately know which restaurants and menu items were generally safe, and for a long while I was in the clear.

Until middle school.

A traveling taco truck we liked to call the "roach coach" was our only source of lunch food on campus. Usually I packed a lunch, but seeing as middle schoolers are ruthless, thieving animals, my lunch was inevitably stolen one day. Forced unto the coach, I looked over their menu and decided that a tuna melt would be the possible best option.

Upon receiving my sandwich, I thought it nice that they put a bit of fresh lettuce on it and took a rather large bite, only to discover, to my horror, that what I thought was lettuce was, in fact, a thick layering of cilantro. I couldn't stop myself from swallowing before it was too late. I threw the sandwich away and immediately went to the nurse, explaining to her what happened. She was skeptical of my allergy and phoned my mother, who had legal custody of me at the time. My mom, however, never accepted the fact that I have such an allergy, since it links me to my father, so she vehemently denied it and she and the nurse concluded I was faking to get out of class. In the end, I managed to be miserable through the rest of my classes until after school when I went home, curled up in bed, and pretended to die for the remainder of the day.

My mother's denial of my condition never ended, either. On several occasions, she's offered me not only dishes with cilantro in them, but plain chopped cilantro, cilantro juice, and other such strange things. To top all of it off, she cooked every single dish for my high school graduation with cilantro in it.

At college, I thought I'd be free of my mother's insane desire to prove I don't have an allergy, and finally be free of cilantro for good. On the contrary, my allergy made my dorm life absolutely miserable.

Living in the dorms, most of my meals came from the Dining Commons. Mexican food happens to be cheap and easy to make in bulk, so there were several Mexican or Hispanic themed dinners and so on. The servers came to know me as "cilantro girl," and would often give me a hard time for asking about every little thing and denying an entire dish if even one thing was found to be off. Some nights, I wouldn't be able to find a single item lacking this wretched garnish and have to go sulking back to my dorm, stomach rumbling and unsatisfied.

The Dining Commons was also my first encounter with Indian food. I hadn't quite realized that anyone other than Hispanics would be crazy enough to put the stuff in anything, so I tried out some yellow curry, just to be adventurous. Just to make sure, I asked the server if it contained cilantro (I'd become extremely cautious by now). He said no. I was happy. The curry was delicious.

He lied.

There was just enough 'coriander' in the dish that about an hour after eating it brought back those familiar waves of nausea. I couldn't attend classes the next day, and even though I'd filed complaints with the DC, my words went unheeded. My Freshman year was spent mostly in terror of a chance encounter with my nemesis.

I've since moved out of the dorms, however, and living on my own and being able to make my own nutritional decisions has greatly improved my life. I'll still occasionally run into it, but by now I have so much experience with it under my belt that I can find it before tasting it and demand a refund.

Christine \ Davis, CA, United States
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 | ChrissyD2013's profile

Bottom line : cilantro is horrible. the first time I ever tasted it, I thought I bit my tongue while chewing and was tasting the blood from that. WRONG...someone just put something in my salsa that was equally disgusting...cilantro. I am not a picky eater by any means, in fact I cannot think of any other food that I won't eat. In fact, I don't even like the idea of cilantro being in the same room. I hate it with a passion, which is what makes this website so AWESOME!!! Man, I wish I could spread some of this passion into other more productive areas of my life :)

Krunk \ Philadelphia, United States
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When I was very young, maybe 10 or so, my parents took me to Ernie's, our favorite Mexican restaurant. This was in South Gate, California around 1955 or so. Not being an adventurous child, I was eating my usual cheese enchilada when I tasted something very nasty. It was so bad, I never forgot the taste of that one bite of food. What was that?!

Fast forward to the 1970's. I moved out of California for a couple of years and didn't have any restaurant Mexican food for a while. When I came back, I couldn't wait for some great Mexican food and headed for the first place I came to.

I don't have to tell you what happened. My world was turned upside down.

Now I am reduced to being the pain-in-the-ass table companion who says, "Is there cilantro in this dish?" every time I order. Everyone hates me.

\ , CA, United States
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 | Harriet's profile

the first time I encountered the hated weed was about 15 years ago at a mexican restaurant. i sent my food back, as I thought that my dish was improperly washed...I definitely tasted an awful soapy taste! when they gave me all new food(and I still tasted it) my waiter informed me that it was the cilantro - and that other people had experienced the same dilemma. since then, I have tried to be careful, and i almost always ask my waiters if there is any cilantro...and to please double check. Sometimes, the protein has been marinated in a cilantro sauce! CULPRITS TO WATCH OUT FOR; Fish tacos, all mexican and tai foods, any salsa, guacamole(which i love WITHOUT CILANTRO). you can even eat at Chipotle...they have both the white and brown rice in the back without the weed - just ask for it.BUT no guac or salsa. just get cheese and sour cream. even the corn has it! Gosh - I even got some once in a seafood restaurant in ALASKA!!! the chef had grown some in his garden, and just put it into the rice for FUN??? SO...fellow haters - just be vigilant...and just say NO!!!

Jay \ Bloomfield, NJ, United States
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 | maestromuffin1's profile

Just want you to know how pleased I am to be allowed to become a part of a great intellectual organization like this. My first run in with this noxious weed is buried in the mists of time but I know it is the cause of so much grief in my life. I just can't go into it. Just let it be said that it was traumatic and it has take me years to come to turms with it.

On a recent trip to DC my wife and I unfortunately went to a Chipotle restaurant and even knowing the cursed was in the burito, we partook of the fare. Needless to say the trauma was immediate and it is unlikely that we shall ever return to any kind of odd normalcy. All the long fought pain viciously arose and we wonder if we'll ever get back to our unassuming way of life without getting crazier than we were.

Caveat emptor!

Randy \ Sherando, VA, United States
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 | 73randy's profile

I had often seen TV chefs use cilantro in their cooking, but never actually tasted it. I just assumed it was delicious based on what they said about it. Well, this year, I finally got a taste of it. My sister and niece had recently fallen in love with vietnamese pho soup - they couldn't get enough. "You gotta try this!" she kept telling me. We went to the car show (along with my mom, another cilantro virgin) and afterwards decided to eat at this "wonderful" pho place. We placed our orders and waited.
When the bowls of soup came and the waiter set them down on the table, I noticed the cilantro floating around. I knew what it was, I had seen it plenty of times on TV. I put some beansprouts in, gave it a stir, and took a whiff. It smelled sort of funny, but I had never had pho before, and thought that that was how it was supposed to smell. My sister and niece were lapping it up, and we had the same thing, so I assumed everything was ok. I twirled some noodles around my fork and tasted a hint of...dishwater. I looked at my sister. She was twirling away. I looked at my niece. Slurp slurp. Oh god, the beansprouts. I pulled them all out. Still tasted funny. Maybe it was my imagination. I tried a bit more. Still that dishwater aftertaste. Oh lord, it was the fork. The fork still had soap on it. I never checked it, and now its contaminated.
I got another fork, and gave it the smell test before putting it in the soup. Not a trace of soap. I tasted more noodles and still, that hint of dishwater. Maybe it was the noodles. I tasted some of the broth alone. O...M...G. There it was. There was broth, but there was also old dishwater after dishes had been washed and most of the bubbles dissipated. Flat and dirty and just a hint of dish soap. Maybe the restaurant hadn’t rinsed our bowls well. I asked my sister if her soup tasted funny. "Nope, its great" Twirl twirl, slurp slurp. I asked her to taste mine. "Tastes fine to me". “Hmm” I said. I started smelling each of the soup elements and when I got to cilantro I knew I had found the problem.
After we left the restaurant, my mom asked if the soup tasted weird to anyone else. “Yeah” I said “Like dishwater, right?” She thought for a moment, then nodded. “I think it was the cilantro” I told her. She grimaced.

Zia \ Philadelphia, PA, United States
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The first time I ran into cilantro I saw it and became disgusted. I was about 9 years old and hated vegetables or anything that was green due to my preference for happy meals, pizza, candy and soda. Growing up in the U.S. made me become picky for the food I ate as a child. But a couple years later when I was about 11 I discovered the power of foods that add a sensational flavor. I bought a taco de carne asada at a park. My uncle said "You should add some cilantro and onions to it". To make myself look more adult-like I gave it a try. WOW, I bought another taco and added twice the amount. From then on I was eating everything from avocado, squash, chili peppers, to eye tacos, tripe tacos and every other taco out there with this delicious green plant. But I still held my hatred and disgust to one green thing. CELERY. I cannot stand the taste it pierces through my tongue and makes me choke. Even if its a scrap I can still taste it and ruins my meal. I was wondering if any of you know of!!

Andres \ Los Angeles, CA, United States
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I've lived in a lot of different cities and states, and in Germany, and I've visited a lot of other places, so I have tried a many different regional cuisines. But my husband and I finally settled in south Texas, where cilantro is put into just about every dish you can think of, food that would otherwise be delicious. Everyone I know cooks with it, and so many things I have made to share with others have been commented on like this: "It's really good, but it could use more cilantro."

For years I went along, thinking maybe something was wrong with me. But then I remembered that when I cooked Louisiana foods for people up north, they thought there was too much cayenne in them, even when I had reduced the amount in deference to their virginal tongues and my husband and I could not taste it. Those people openly expressed their dislike for something we believed necessary to the dishes, and remembering that, I was inspired to do the same.

I'm free now, liberated from the horrible herb. While remaining polite about other people's cooking, I am no longer afraid to say, loudly and proudly, that I hate cilantro. I do not allow it into my kitchen, and I give it a wide berth in the marketplaces. Cilantro is, now and forever, dead to me.

Rebecca \ San Antonio, TX, United States
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 | Texas@Step's profile

I am a total foodie and will anything, and I mean anything. Nothing scares me. If its' weird or unusual, count me in.

However, the one cuisine I simply cannot stomach is Mexican. Its' not that I dislike the way it tastes; it makes me want to die within an hour of finishing a meal. I used to blame it on refried beans,so I eliminated them, but I still got sick after eating even a piece of grilled fish and rice. I've been to the "authentic" places in Southern California and high end places all over and I still get ill.

As a business traveler, this has proven difficult, especially in the Southwest and California. I have to tell my guests, who may ALL want to go to Mexican that I can't do it. This is never a hit.

I stumbled on this site when I Googled "cilantro" at the supermarket today. Now I know that I am not alone and I also know what makes it impossible to eat Mexican food. If anyone objects to me avoiding Mexican in the future, I'll go to this site on my smartphone and let them see that I'm not crazy.

Thank you for this site!!!

Hank \ Westborough, MA, United States
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I love food. The list of foods that I hate is very small. The list of foods so vile that the thought of them alone makes me gag is smaller yet. Those include: mushrooms, seafood, and tomatoes. But today these lists have a new member. And its name is Cilantro.

A few years ago I had this peanut Thai dish for the first time and I loved it. I was then under the assumption that Thai food was something I could add to my list of favorite foods. A few weeks later I got another Thai dish...which would've been amazing had it not been for a slight "dirty bath water" taste. I wasn't sure what caused it and assumed it was just made wrong. So I tried yet another Thai dish a few weeks after that. And it was even worse than the one before it. But again I just couldn't figure out what was in it that made it so horrendous. I stopped trying to get myself to like Thai food for a few years, until a few months ago I was at a restaurant where the menu was so limited that the only thing on the menu that kind of appealed to me was a Thai Chicken wrap. I decided to give it one more shot. I got it, took a bite out of it and it had that same damn "dirty bath water" taste! I disassembled the wrap and only ate the chicken and the sauce, and it was delicious. I just couldn't understand what was in Thai food that was so repulsive. So I came to the conclusion that I do like Thai food but there was one thing in it that made it go from amazing to absymal. So today it came up in my mind for whatever reason and I decided to find out which "demon seed" was being planted in my food. (Demon Seed is a term I use to describe a food I find so intolerable that they ruin any other food they touch.) I researched every food that would normally appear in the Thai dishes I usually enjoy. It turns out it's cilantro! Who knew that a simple herb could taste so disgusting? I knew this was the culprit once everyone started using terms like "soap" or "dirty water" to describe its taste. It definitely tastes like "soapy, dirty, bath water" to me. So it turns out the first time I ever had the Thai food, there was no cilantro in it. So I ordered a Thai dish today on my lunch hour and I requested NO cilantro. And it was out of this world. I'm so glad I finally found out this serial killer of deliciousness. Who in their right mind would actually enjoy eating something like this? All I had to do was type in "cilantro" into Google and up came this site. It's good to see I'm not the only one who despises this atrocious herb. Never again will this demon seed plague my meals! Good riddance I say!

Mike \ , NY, United States
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 | terrareus's profile

My first experience was last year when me and my friends went traveling round SE Asia. I love food from everywhere, there is hardly anything I don't like, and even if food is not that great I'll still eat it anyway. But every now and then, I'd order something over there, and It would have this vile flavour in it, I just didn't know what it was, just that it didn't taste like it should be there. I kept telling my friends, "it's got that taste in it again", whenever they'd put it in something. It really pissed me off, esp. not knowing what it was. One day we ate in this place, and the whole thing was covered (garnished) in the repulsive stuff, so I asked what it was, and they went off for ages, as they didn't know the name in English, finally after they looked on their internet, they told me "CORIANDER". I always imagined I would have eaten it before at some point, you hear enough about it on the food shows. But no way, I'd never forget that disgusting taste.

Then I went to America for 6 months and met this guy, we got on the subject of food, and I told him, "this stuff called 'coriander' I hate it, it makes me want to throw up. He replied that he had never heard of it before. Then after dating him for a while, he told me he was going to make hummas, and that apparently everyone loved his home made hummas. So I was eager to try. He was like "yeah I put my favourite herb in it, 'cilantro'. I'd never heard of cilantro before, but was sure I'd like his hummas. GOOD GOD! IT HAD THAT F*CKING FLAVOUR IN IT! So I went to the fridge and tried a bit of this 'cilantro', to see if it was the culprit, and it was. I never said anything, to the guy about it either, cuz I didn't want to be rude, but thought they must be in the same herb family, and that this cilantro was another herb with the same vile flavour. It never occurred to me that it was the same thing. Then I went to an Indian restaurant over there. I always specifically say "no coriander", whenever I go to those restaurants. Anyway, at the end, the owner said he guessed I was English, because I called it coriander, whereas Americans call it CILANTRO... Ugh, a piece of shit by any other name would still smell as vile...

Victoria \ Solihull, United Kingdom
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Years ago in California I went out to eat Mexican with friends. A large bowl of Turtle soup was ordered and placed in the middle of the table. It had small green leaves floating in it. I took a bowl and a strange taste made my eyes water and nose start to run. I took another small sip and realized that this soup was doing it! It was terrible, a horrible smell and taste. Now I avoid it any time possible. No one else at the table had that reaction so I just supposed I was allergic to it. I didn't run into it again for years and now it is everywhere and I specifically order "NO CILANTRO!"

Kathy \ Fayetteville, AR, United States
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 | Kathy H's profile

It was lying there on the shelf, cooling itself under the mist of the irrigation sprinklers. It fooled me. I grabbed it without thinking, bagged it up, and said to my wife, "I got the parsley!" Later, as it was being chopped in the kitchen, I gave no thought to the smell. It was an honest mistake. I scraped it from the cutting board and into the pot of tomato sauce bubbling happily away on the stove. Not long after, dinner was served. That first bite, I'd never forget it, not even if I lived to be a million years old. As my wife and I spat the evil, bitter green plant from our mouths, we looked at each other and snarled..."Cilantro."

Travis \ Wagoner, OK, United States
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I remember my first encounter with cilantro. I'd found a recipe in a cookbook that called for a large quantity of cilantro (2 cups chopped). The meal was inedible and had to be tossed out. My ex-boyfriend asked me what was in there and when I mentioned cilantro, he told me that was the ingredient that had ruined the dish. I tried the dish again, several years later, cutting the cilantro down to 1/4 cup thinking the problem was with the quantity but that was still enough to ruin the dish.
Today however had to be my worst experience with cilantro. I'd ordered Pad Thai from Pei Wei and brought it home for dinner. I've never had Pad Thai from there before but a co-worker had it once and it smelled wonderful. I wasn't paying too much attention to what was in it until I took a bite that made me want to vomit. I thought that perhaps they'd served me spolied food or maybe a roach had gotten in my meal. I quickly spit out whatever I had in my mouth and discovered I'd had a mouthful of green parley-like stuff (partially chewed it wasn't easily identifiable). I quickly googled Pad Thai and found that cilantro is commonly used as a garnish. Reluctantly I sniffed at it and the smell alone was enough to make me retch. The rest of the meal was fine but it took me a while to pick out all of the cilantro. I can still taste it, faintly, in my mouth. I read where someone compared it to dirty soap and I think that's a great description of the taste it's left in my mouth.
For the record, I'm a pretty adventurous eater. I've had escargot, sashimi, roe, and even scrapple and I love them. I even like coriander, in small quantities in some dishes. Cilantro is pure evil and should be eliminated from all foods. I can't believe anyone even thought to try eating the crap in the first place. I thought I was the only one who hated it until I found this site. Now I know I'm not alone.

Carol \ Memphis, TN, United States
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 | Carol's profile

My first run in with this stuff was 4 days ago when a friend made me a salad with lots of this stuff spread over and thru the garden salad, and I mean LOTS of it. I didn't care for it that much but to be nice I ate most of the salad before having to just stop. I don't think it was the smell that got to me, it was just a full feeling that it gave me. I cannot be sure at this point, but I truly believe that it was that cilantro that has resulted in my having the hic-ups for the last 3 days. I cannot seem to get rid of them except for short periods of time and then they are right back. I believe it has effected my gastric system somehow and that it lingers on somehow, and who knows for how long this will last. I do not usually get the hic-ups and I do not feel like there is any blockage that could be causing it. I don't know any treatment that will hasten my being rid of the hic-ups, but I shall never knowingly eat that stuff again. It is the only thing different that I have eaten from my usual diet that is why I am most suspicious that it is the culpert.

Allan \ Branson, MO, United States
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Times and again I had to get out of the large office room where my colleagues were eating Thai food on a regular basis at lunch time; I was getting a headache everytime; I thought it might be a fish scent; they said there was no fish in their food; I never new what it was that was causing the headache.

Now, a few years later, I was trying a new recipe; it asked for chopped cilantro on the chicken and rice dish; it is the first time I ever used it; and...then came the headache with the memory of my colleagues having lunch...and that lingering smell.

this morning I threw the rest of the package in the garbage and burned some incense.

quebec, canada

H Morency \ Quebec, Canada
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Please contribute YOUR cilantro story.