Botanical: Petroselinum crispum (also known as Petroselinum sativum)
Family: Umbelliferae (carrot) - Apiaceae (parsley)
Other common names: Common Parsley, Rock Parsley, Garden Parsley, Rock Selinen, Persil
Bad breath? Try highly nutritious Parsley Leaf, and at the same time, you'll get rich doses of chlorophyll,
vitamins C, A and D, as well as potassium (important for lowering blood pressure), calcium (good for osteoporosis) and folic acid (which may help prevent cardiovascular disease). Parsley Leaf also acts as a mild laxative and remarkable diuretic.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Parsley is a biennial or perennial herb that originated in the eastern Mediterranean region as a wild plant, but is now found in cultivation everywhere. The leaves are dark green and shiny and packed with nutrition. For more than two thousand years, it has been highly regarded as a medicinal herb to treat gastrointestinal disorders, and ancient Greeks also valued Parsley for its soothing and diuretic effect on those with kidney and bladder ailments. Galen even recommended Parsley for epilepsy ("the falling sickness"), and the Greeks also adorned victors at the Isthmian games with wreaths of Parsley Leaves. Used as a tomb decoration in ancient Greece and Rome, Parsley was thought to possess magical powers and was also associated with the underworld and death. In one legendary Greek myth, the son of King Lycurgus, Opheltes, was left for a short time by his nurse who pointed out the location of a spring to thirsty soldiers. When she returned, the child had been killed by a snake, and Amphiarus, the seer and soldier who viewed the incident, said it was a bad omen and correctly predicted his own death in the upcoming battle. He gave Opheltes the surname, Archemorus, meaning "the first to die," and the child became the symbol of impending death. From his blood the first Parsley plants were said to have sprung. What is now an indispensable and nutritious addition to our dinner table was never brought to the table of old, being held sacred to the dead, and it continued to be associated with death through the ages. Although the plant remained an important part of the herbalists' repertoire, it remained associated with magic and the underworld through the Middle Ages as one of the Devil's favorites and could only be counteracted by sowing the seeds on Good Friday. Another medieval belief advocated the sprinkling of Parsley Seeds on a bald head three nights a year to grow hair, but it was also used during that time as a poison antidote. Nonetheless, it continued to be used in herbal medicine as an important digestive and circulatory aid. Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a Medieval German herbalist, prescribed Parsley wine to improve blood circulation and help heart conditions; and when Charlemagne had it planted in his garden in the Middle Ages, its cultivation was ensured, although its association with the underworld and the Devil continued for some time. Parsley supplies important minerals, beta-carotene, essential oils (including eugenol and apiole), flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, rutin), chlorophyll and healthy doses of B-vitamins and vitamins A, C, D, E and vitamin K. Parsley actually ranks higher than most vegetables in histidine, an amino acid that is said to inhibit malignant growths.
Parsley Leaves have been used to regulate blood sugar and are thought to be effective in cases of low blood sugar, if there is adrenal malfunction.
Parsley Leaf is believed to stimulate and strengthen the activity of the digestive system, easing flatulence and indigestion. Its chlorophyll content is essential to healthy digestion, and it increases circulation to the digestive tract. The seventeenth-century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote that Parsley was "comfortable to the stomach and good for wind." The herb is said to stimulate the appetite, as well as metabolism.
Parsley Leaf is a natural diuretic that helps to purify the blood and accelerate the excretion of toxins from the body. The herbalist, Culpeper, also commented that Parsley "removed obstructions from the liver and spleen," and it is said today that Parsley helps to expel gallstones and kidney stones. The herb is believed to ease painful urination or improve urination when it is incomplete and may help prevent the body's re-absorption of salt and rid the body of excess mercury. As a diuretic, Parsley can also reduce excess water weight and ease bloating that some women experience before their periods.
Used as a garnish with meals, Parsley Leaf is a highly nutritious herb. The leaves contain more vitamin C than oranges by weight and also provide a good source of iron (important for the proper formation of red blood cells), potassium (good for lowering blood pressure), calcium and manganese (helpful for osteoporosis) and folic acid (which may help prevent cardiovascular disease).
In 2009, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that increased intake of the flavonoid apigenin, found in Parsley (and celery and cooked tomato), may reduce the risk of malignant ovarian disease by twenty percent in a large, population-based study. The mechanism included an inhibitory effect on endogenous estrogen activity or a reduction on circulating estrogen levels via competition for estrogen receptors or suppression of estrogen biosynthesis.
Parsley Leaf is a superior breath freshener because of its rich chlorophyll content.
When applied externally, the ancients believed that Parsley Leaf was an effective treatment for skin problems, insect bites and stings, and would also dispel skin tumors suspected to be malignant. In addition, Parsley Leaves were used to relieve inflamed and swollen eyes.
Considered an emmenagogue, Parsley Leaf is believed to help stimulate delayed menstruation and normalize its flow.
The high mineral salt content in Parsley is thought to help restore the body's overall health by neutralizing acidic conditions.
Parsley Leaf is reported to be a mild aphrodisiac.
Parsley Leaf Herbal Supplement is not recommended for pregnant women in large amounts, as it may cause uterine contractions, but used after delivery, it is said to tone the uterus. Parsley should also be avoided by those who suffer from kidney infection.