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
Parsley Root is an old-time remedy for digestive disorders, kidney and liver problems, menstrual irregularities, as well as cleansing the blood and body of toxins. Don't forget to take Parsley for a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Its rich chlorophyll content makes it a wonderful breath freshener.
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 be counteracted only 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 a circulatory aid and an important means to improve digestion. 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 (iron, potassium, calcium and manganese), folic acid , beta-carotene, essential oils (including eugenol and apiole), flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, rutin), chlorophyll and healthy doses of B-vitamins and vitamins A, C, E and K. Parsley actually ranks higher than most vegetables in histidine, an amino acid that is said to inhibit malignant growths. The leaves, roots and seeds cover a wide spectrum of ailments similarly, but Parsley Roots and seeds are more potent than the leaves and are more effective for more severe conditions.
Parsley Roots and leaves have been used to regulate blood sugar and are thought to be effective in cases of low blood sugar, if there is occasion of adrenal malfunction.
Preparations made from Parsley Roots have their major influence on the liver and spleen, and for the last one hundred years, clinical physicians have claimed that Parsley Root has been effective in treating liver diseases, helping to dissolve and pass gallstones and kidney stones, if they are not too large.
Parsley has been used since ancient times to improve both the digestion and assimilation of food and is said to settle the stomach after a meal. The volatile oil in Parsley helps to increase circulation to the digestive tract, easing stomach problems, indigestion and flatulence.
Rich in many nutrients, Parsley contains apigenin, a flavonoid that helps to reduce allergic responses and is also considered an effective antioxidant.
Parsley Root is an effective natural diuretic that helps to purify the blood and accelerate the excretion of toxins from the body.
Parsley may also ease bloating, reduce excess water weight, relieve painful urination or improve urination when it is incomplete. Because of its diuretic properties, Parsley is believed to lower blood pressure, reduce the heart rate and relieve hypertension. Parsley is also considered a mild laxative.
Parsley is a highly nutritious herb and contains more vitamin C than oranges by weight and also provides 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).
Considered an emmenagogue, Parsley Root helps to stimulate delayed menstruation and regulate its flow.
Although pregnant women should not use Parsley, because it stimulates uterine contractions, in normal circumstances the herb is said to have a toning effect on the uterus and is also thought to similarly affect the prostate in men.
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 Root is thought to make an excellent and nutritious tonic. The root may be cooked and added to soups to improve the health of invalids or weakened people.
Parsley Root 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.