Parsley Seed
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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

Nutritious Parsley Seed is a natural way to good health. This herb helps to relieve indigestion, fluid retention, halitosis and gas and also helps to promote liver, kidney and bladder health.  A high dose of vitamins and minerals adds to its all-round healthful benefits.

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 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 Seeds and roots are more potent than the leaves and are more effective for more severe conditions.

Beneficial Uses:
Parsley is a natural diuretic that purifies the blood and accelerates the excretion of toxins from the body.  The herb can also ease bloating, reduce excess water weight, ease painful urination or improve urination when it is incomplete.  Parsley Seeds have been valued since ancient times for their soothing, diuretic effect on those with kidney and bladder ailments and are believed to help expel gallstones and kidney stones.

Because of its diuretic action, Parsley is thought to lower blood pressure, reduce the heart rate and relieve hypertension.  Parsley is also considered a mild laxative.

As an herbal digestive aid, Parsley strengthens and stimulates the normal activity of the digestive system, easing flatulence, indigestion and other stomach problems. The herb is also believed to stimulate the appetite, as well as metabolism.

Parsley is considered an herb rich in calcium, and as such, has been used in the fight against osteoporosis. When high doses of calcium are taken in supplement form, it may impair the body's absorption of manganese, which helps build bone, but Parsley enhances manganese absorption.

Parsley Seed has a drying effect on the respiratory system, thus improving asthma, allergies and bronchitis.

Used externally, Parsley is thought to make an excellent dry skin facial when used with steam and is also a fine hair rinse.  A tea made from Parsley Seeds was known to kill scalp vermin.

Parsley is said to improve blood circulation, and it is also a blood purifier, providing the healthful nutritional material necessary for tissue maintenance.  It is considered useful in treating cellulite.

The high histidine (an amino acid) content in Parsley has been thought to inhibit the growth and multiplication of tumor cells.

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.

As an emmenagogue, Parsley helps stimulate the onset of menstruation and helps ease painful menses.  Its constituent, apiole, stimulates uterine contractions and has been used in Russia to promote uterine contractions during labor.  Consequently, Parsley should not be used in large doses by pregnant women. (After delivery, it is said to tone the uterus.)  It is also thought to tone the urinary tract, reducing the possibility of infections.

Parsley is said to be a mild aphrodisiac.

Parsley Seed 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.

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