Herbal Supplements
Parsley: a Treasure for Herbalists

Biological Description

Not everybody knows that Parsley is not just a spice with very pleasant flavor, but also an herb that contains plenty of beneficial nutrients and properties that herbalists all over the world have been using for long time. Parsley is general name for Petroselinum genus from family Apiaceae that contains over 30 varieties.

In herbal medicine mainly two types of parsley are used: Petroselinum crispum and Petroselinum neapolitanum, commonly known as parsley with curled leaves and Italian parsley (with more flat leaves). One more type of parsley is cultivated for its root - Hamburg parsley, or its biological name Petroselinum crispum, that is also used in cuisine and herbal medicine.

Parsley is a biennial herb with bright green leaves with rather strong flavor (Italian parsley has much stronger flavor due to its chemical compounds). The plant grows up to 30-40 cm, all the stem grow from the centre, having lots of small bright green leaves, outer leaves are generally bigger than those that are near the stem. The flavor of parsley bush is spread all over it, especially after the rain (or watering).

Growing                   

Parsley is a plant that grows well either in deep pot indoors or in gardens near houses. Prefers sunny locations or partial shade and grows in all kinds of soils. It needs moist soils and sun only for parsley seed to germinate, that can be better achieved indoors in pots; and then parsley plant can be placed into your garden. To achieve better growth keep the soil wet and pick out the outer leaves of parsley, so the new ones can grow instead.

Parsley is native to South Europe and is very popular in all European countries and America as a spicy flavor (its herbal properties very often are underestimated).

Parts Used

Two kinds of parsley – Italian and curled leaves parsley is used for its leaves in herbal medicine. Also seeds are used. Hamburg parsley is cultivated for its root, which is also used both in herbal medicine and in cooking.

Market

Parsley leaves should be picked all over the summer, so other leaves may mature. Parsley is available in several forms on the market:

· Fresh parsley

Fresh parsley is the best choice for you (avoid yellow leaves or those, that do not look fresh)

· Frozen parsley

Other storage option, that also keeps maximum nutritional elements and beneficial properties, is freezing in refrigerator (you can cut leaves, but the whole bunch of leave is better). After you buy parsley or collect it from your garden, rinse it, put it in a glass of water (use it in the next 2-3 days) or in a plastic bag and freeze.

· Dried parsley

You can also dry parsley, for that you need to rinse the leaves, chop them thoroughly and let it dry in your window- sill, then store in small amounts in closed containers. If you buy dried parley in market – buy it also in small amounts as it looses its flavor when opened. Of course, make sure you buy organically grown parsley.

· Parsley is also available as an oil (from its seeds)

Action

Parsley has lots of components that make it very beneficial in treating different ailments. The plant is a huge source of vitamins: three times more vitamin C than in orange, vitamin A (beta-carotene and carotenoid), vitamin K and folic acid (one of B vitamin). Parsley is rather rich in iron content and folate.  

Parsley has a nice flavor thanks to high content of essential oil, especially apiol (flat leave parsley has more of it). In addition, it is high in volatile oil content and in flavonoids (gives antioxidant properties). Parsley clear toxins and free radicals from the body and stops (or elevate) inflammation processes. All the components make parsley a true treasure to herbalists all over the world.

Health Benefits

Due to its unique components usage of parsley has following health benefits:

  • Parsley is a general tonic
  • It helps control high blood pressure and is very good for heart – it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack
  • In case of digestive problems
  • In case of Parsley as an oil, root, leaf problems with urinary tract (also used in therapeutic purposes to reduce the possible infection)
  • Used for preventing cancer – components of parsley (volatile oils, especially myristicin; and folic acid)help to reduce tumor formation (especially cervical, colon cancers and cancer of the lungs)
  • Helps in case of  mosquito bites, it reduces itching when rubbed in that area of skin
  • Freshen bad breath (due to high content of chlorophyll) and cleanse your breath after your meals (reduces garlic, meat and even cigarette smell)
  • In stimulating uterine contractions during labor
  • Reduces rheumatic pain and treats rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (thanks to vitamin C content)
  • Reduces pain during menstruation
  • Parsley is used in treating kidney and bladder stones (thanks to apiol content)
  • Improves bronchitis and asthma (due to high levels of vitamin C and A) and reduced risks for such diseases as atherosclerosis, diabetes and colon cancer
  • Is used as an anti-oxidant (due to the flavonoids content, especially luteolin)
  • Relieves toothache
  • Strengthen the immune system of the body and prevents colds and different infections (rich in vitamin C)
  • Strengthen hair (to rinse hair after wash)
  • Good for face (especially for dry skin) as a facial steam
  • As one of the active ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics (for its unique flavor)
  • Improves eye sight and risks of different diseases due to vitamin A (especially beta-carotene) content (osteoarthritis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)
  • Neutralize in some way the damage from cigarette smoke (a real help to passive smokers)

Usage of parsley is a great benefit. If you use it in cooking, try to add it at the very end of cooking process. Parsley Tea is very useful.

The only caution is to carefully use it while pregnancy (as parsley is rich in vitamin A, is a diuretic and can stimulate the uterine contractions). Also, avoid eating parsley if you have problems with gallbladder or kidney, as it can increase the amount of oxalates that increases the risk of occurring health problems in these areas.

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Testimonials
cleotonkin
2016-11-28 17:48:43
I AM ADDICTED to parsley!! i eat a bunch multiple times each day. i love the taste. its so fresh in your mouth. I wonder is my addiction is due to myristisin traces in parsley
Parsley Addict
2014-08-14 23:16:23
Yes! Me too! I love PARSLEY! I can eat a bunch every day! I get grouchy when I don't have my fix or it's been a couple days without it... Is over eating this stuff bad for you?
Confessions of a Parsley Junkie
2013-09-12 20:56:46
I too am addicted - office staff bring in their parsley (my plants never grow enough for me to pick a bunch) and when people don't bring it in for me, I purchase it fresh from the supermarket. I too wonder about what is lacking in my diet to feed the craving but am thrilled to find others with the same parsleyfeti fetish.
Jenniferaleysia333
2012-12-03 00:02:27
I crave it too!Im not Vitamin k deficient. I buy it weekly and can eat a whole bunch. This article is informative.
Curious
2012-01-26 21:39:19
I crave parsley every day...I could survive on a parsley diet...I get a kick out of the taste or just the thought of the fresh herb in my mouth...What is wrong with me...Obviously, I am not the only one with this addiction...Am I lacking or missing something in my diet...Or...Maybe, it is as simple as the fact that I like the taste...I am confused...
Chicago Lady
2010-08-23 21:21:03
Thank you so much! This is one of the most informative summaries about Parsley that I have ever seen. I often crave parsley and will wash an entire bunch and consume a lot of it. Maybe I am craving something I am missing!
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