What is parsley good for?

Garden parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a flowering plant from the family Apiaceae. Parsley's health benefits include controlling cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, it helps prevent osteoporosis. It acts as a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties and gives relief from gastrointestinal issues like indigestion, stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea while strengthening the immune system. Parsley is superior in helping control high blood pressure, assisting with diabetes control and circulation issues.

Parsley is a flowering plant from the Mediterranean. Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean area (Greece, Portugal, southern Italy,  Spain,  Algeria, Malta, Morocco, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere. The two most common kinds are French curly-leaf and Italian flat-leaf. Parsley is grown from seeds in moist, well-drained soil, with glowing sunlight. Germination of the seed is generally a slow process, taking four to six weeks.

Through the years, parsley was used to treat ailments like hypertension, allergies, and inflammatory diseases.

Today, it's widely used as a fresh culinary herb or dried spice. It has a bright green color and has a mild, bitter taste that pairs well with many recipes. As one of the most effective disease-fighting plants, parsley offers excellent nutritional value and many potential health benefits.

It's widely cultivated as a spice, herb, and vegetable. It's mostly used in two kinds: root and foliage and balances as one of the most indispensable diet food for a healthy lifestyle.

See: Ayurveda treatments to prevent and reverse Diabetes Mellitus

Parsley nutrition facts

Parsley nutrition content

The nutrients found in parsley comprise vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin,  vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, choline, folates, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper. It acts as a crucial source of volatile compounds like myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Its leaves are an excellent source of energy, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

The USDA National Nutrient Database lists 1 cup of chopped parsley to contain:

22 calories

1.78 g (g) of protein

0.47 gram of fat

3.8 gram of carbohydrate

2 gram of fiber

0.51 grams of sugar

984 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K

79.8 mcg of vitamin C

5,054 (IU) of vitamin A

1,230% of vitamin K recommended intake.

See: Heart healthy diet plan to prevent heart disease

Parsley health benefits

Potential health benefits have been linked to swallowing parsley include:

- Protecting against diabetes

The myricetin within parsley has also been analyzed for use in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Research has shown that myricetin can lower glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance. Additionally, it seems to give anti-inflammatory effects and remove extra fat in the blood.

- May boost the immune system

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in parsley are beneficial for strengthening the immune system. Vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and niacin each act on various immune system elements. Parsley contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including flavonoids. Apigenin helps to fight inflammation in the body. Parsley contains healthy levels of vitamin C. The nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system. It includes flavonols, such as kaempferol and quercetin, that fights oxidative stress and cellular damage. Vitamin A acts on white blood cells to increase their activity. The herb has antioxidant properties and antibacterial properties that make it an ideal resource for various home remedies. The chlorophyll in parsley contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

- May prevent cancer

Flavonoids are naturally-occurring plant chemicals that could counter disease-causing agents from the body.

Parsley contains high amounts of this flavonoid called apigenin and unique components in its oil called volatile oil components -- myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene parsley help combat cancer formation, specifically slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting carcinogens from damaging the body and preventing cancers of the breast, colon, skin, and prostate. Myricetin, a flavonoid in parsley and other crops, has been proven to help prevent skin cancer. Parsley comprises among those highest concentrations of myricetin per 100 g.

Studies have shown that parsley, green herbs, and veggies can block heterocyclic amines' cancer-causing effects. These are chemical compounds that have antimicrobial qualities. They're created when meat is grilled at high temperatures.

People who prefer charred steak should pair it with green vegetables, such as parsley, to reduce these potentially harmful results. Apigenin is a natural compound found in parsley. In a 2015 review, it had been demonstrated to reduce tumor size in an aggressive kind of breast cancer. Researchers think that apigenin could be a promising non-toxic cancer treatment in the future.

- May benefit kidney health

Parsley is a natural diuretic. It could help remove germs and toxins from the body. Parsley acts like a diuretic decreasing the fluid volume of the body and increasing volume output. This herb purges excess fluids, holding bacteria, viruses, and toxins. It also flushes out creatinine and urea nitrogen which is always in excess due to poor filtering capabilities in CKD. The herb Parsley reduces the risk of more kidney damage. It decreases inflammation which is very high in CKD. Parsley is high in antioxidants. The antioxidants in parsley, flavonoids, apigenin, and eugenol, have the potential to improve diabetes, heart, and kidney problems. There are many more studies to be done in the future. Rats fed with parsley seed extract revealed more urine output than when they had been drinking only water. Animal studies further indicate that parsley has nephroprotective effects on rats with renal difficulties. Apiol and myristicin are two ingredients in parsley oil connected to the herb's diuretic properties. Parsley has discovered extensive use as a diuretic, which helps check a variety of diseases like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and gallbladder stones. Parsley benefits digestive health as it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and brings excess water from the gut, where it may lead to indigestion.

- May help digestion

Traditionally, parsley is used to treat digestive and gastrointestinal ailments. The fiber content in parsley helps in the digestion process. It aids in transporting the food in the digestive tract and acts as a prebiotic for the gut's good bacteria.

May improve bone health

Parsley contains exceptionally high vitamin K levels that are needed for maintaining bone density, bone strength, and fighting fractures. This mineral, together with magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, promotes bone health. Parsley also inhibits bone resorption. Low vitamin K intake was associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin K can improve bone health by enhancing calcium absorption and reducing calcium excretion in the urine. In a recent meta-analysis, subjects with the greatest vitamin K levels experienced 22 percent fewer fractures than those with low levels. Ten sprigs of parsley are sufficient to achieve the daily intake recommended of vitamin K.

Eating a range of fruits, veggies, and herbs are linked to a reduced risk of health issues. A diet with high quantities of organic foods and fewer manufactured foods is more likely to better overall health. One chemical or vitamin isn't likely to supply the same health benefits by itself or supplement form. It provides an additional benefit to consuming meals in its original form.

- May help skin health

- Anti-Aging: The vitamin C parsley will help in slowing down aging. It helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It assists in cell repair and stimulates collagen production. This action also helps the skin look supple and youthful.

- Evens Skin Tone And Boost Pigmentation: The vitamin C in the herb can brighten the skin and reduce uneven spots. Vitamin C may also help lessen hyperpigmentation.

- Anti-acne: The antimicrobial properties in parsley might assist in fighting bacteria and reducing acne.

- Anti-inflammatory: Parsley includes antioxidants that may help in reducing irritation and redness of their skin.

- Nutrient-rich: Parsley is full of nutrients, such as copper, zinc, manganese, calcium, and potassium, critical for healthy skin.

- May help eyes health

Parsley includes vitamin A, a nutrient that may help in improving eye health. Parsley also comprises carotenes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, that help in protecting the eyes. These pigmented antioxidants help keep the eyes healthy by preventing oxidative damage. They also reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

- Helps night blindness

Night blindness is often due to a deficiency in vitamin A. parsley, being rich in this vitamin, can assist in the treatment of the problem. It's two antioxidants - pro-vitamin A carotenoid and beta-carotene that protect the retina and retina from harm as someone ages, helping to prevent eye disorders like macular degeneration cataracts.

- May help in anemia

Parsley is rich in vitamin C that promotes better iron absorption, which, in turn, helps treat anemia.

- May help heart health

Parsley is an excellent source of folic acid, among the most essential B vitamins needed by the body. Elevated homocysteine levels, when within the human body, significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in people with diabetic heart disease. Parsley can help convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Parsley can be a fantastic low-salt addition that helps to keep the heart-healthy.

- Supports gland health

Parsley intake can reduce swollen and enlarged glands. Besides, it can eject watery poisons and surplus mucoid matter from the body. The origin of parsley comprises calcium, iron, and B-complex vitamins, all of which nourish the parathyroid glands and help keep overall healthier gland health. The herb can also calm adrenal glands.

- Antibacterial properties

Parsley exhibits antibacterial properties, particularly against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The essential oils from organic parsley provide antibacterial (and antioxidant) properties. Parsley plants may be used for medicinal purposes.,

- May improve ear health

Parsley is one of those herbs which could help clear inner ear fluid and supply better hearing. Parsley moves mucous throughout the body, and so it can assist the fluid flow from the ear more efficiently.

- May support liver health

Parsley could modulate cholesterol and have a protective effect on the liver of rats. Other studies have found that parsley helps in the regeneration of liver cells and regulate enzymes in the liver in mice with diabetes.

See: Natural liver & detox cleanse

Parsley uses

Parsley leaves help treat diarrhea and edema, enhance hearing conditions, wrinkles, acne, and dark circles. Additionally, it nourishes hair for improved hair development by blood circulation processes. Parsley can be used in the diet as a garnish.

Fresh chopped parsley has a spicy, peppery taste and pairs nicely with salads, seafood, potatoes, curries, tomato-based sauces, poultry dishes, and virtually any dishes.

See: Arms pain, plantar fasciitis, hay fever, and skin rash with Bisoma acupuncture and Sasang herbs.

Parsley side effects & precautions

The consumption of large amounts of parsley herb can cause uterine contractions during pregnancy. The use of parsley leaves isn't safe for women who are breastfeeding. It can make skin sensitive to sunlight, which might cause the rash and inflammations on the skin. Additionally, parsley might cause the body to hold onto sodium (salt), increasing water retention. It's important not to abruptly alter the quantity of vitamin K in the diet while taking blood-thinners like Coumadin, or warfarin. The complete diet is the most important in disease prevention and attaining good health. Eating a varied diet for a pathway to healthy living is more critical than focusing on specific foods.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for immune system

References

1. Nabavi, S. M., Habtemariam, S., Daglia, M., & Nabavi, S. F. (2015). Apigenin and breast cancers: From chemistry to medicine [Abstract]. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 15(6), 728-735 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738871

2. USDA National Nutrient Database. (2016, May) https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3045?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=parsley&ds=

3. Parsley, raw nutrition facts and calories. (n.d.) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2513/2

4. Yong Li, Ye Ding. (2012, December). Minireview: Therapeutic potential of myricetin in diabetes mellitus. Food Science and Human Wellness, 1(1), 19–25 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453012000031

5. Zheng, W. & Lee, S. (2010, January 1). Well-done meat intake, heterocyclic amine exposure, and cancer risk. Nutrition and Cancer, 61(4), 437-446 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769029/

6. Farzaei MH, Abbasabadi Z, Ardekani MR, Rahimi R, Farzaei F. Parsley: a review of ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2013 Dec 1;33(6):815-26. [Cited 26 June 2019]. Available from:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254627214600182

7. David Stauth. (2012, January 12). Chlorophyll can help prevent cancer - but study raises other questions http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/jan/chlorophyll-can-help-prevent-cancer-study-raises-other-questions

8. Jayakumar, P. J. K., Nirmala, B. A., Kumar, P., & Kumar, A. P. (2014, April-June). Evaluation of protective effect of myricetin, a bioflavonoid in dimethyl benzanthracene-induced breast cancer in female Wistar rats. South Asian Journal of Cancer. 3(2), 107–111 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014640/

9. Webb, D. (2011, October). Powerful prostate cancer fighters - from arugula to wasabi, Cruciferous veggies pack a powerful punch http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/100111p20.shtml

10. Duthie GG. Parsley, polyphenols, and nutritional antioxidants. British Journal of Nutrition. 1999 Jun;81(6):425-6. [Cited 26 June 2019]. Available from:https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/433009EDE74E28286CE7EF7C8B3DFC15/S0007114599000768a.pdf

11. Charles DJ. Parsley. handbook of Herbs and Spices 2012 Jan 1 (pp. 430-451). Woodhead Publishing. [Cited 26 June 2019].  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780857090393500244


See: Ayurveda treatment for GERD and Acidity

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email