Parsley or commonly known as garden parsley is a flowering plant species. The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Parsley is the world’s most popular herb.
Parsley can also provide nutritional benefits to the bones and immune system. The most powerful health benefits of parsley include anticancer potential and managing diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, it helps prevent osteoporosis and acts as a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties. It also provides relief from gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, stomach cramps, bloating, and nausea. It is also a highly nutritious plant and has ample vitamins and antioxidants, which can greatly improve our health.
The other health benefits are:
- Rich Source of Antioxidants
Parsley contains several flavonoid antioxidants including luteolin, apigenin, lycopene, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene. That protects from many diseases.
- Promotes Kidney Cleanse
Parsley has anti-inflammatory properties due to its antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C.
Additionally, parsley may help keep your kidneys healthy by reducing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for kidney disease.
Parsley is high in nitrates that help dilate blood vessels, which improves blood flow and lowers high blood pressure. Research indicates that nitrate-rich foods like parsley can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
The anti-inflammatory properties of parsley, along with its ability to regulate urinary pH and reduce blood pressure, may help keep your kidneys healthy and lower your risk of kidney stones. kidney-cleanse can be done, under medical supervision, through the intake of the herb in dishes, parsley tea, parsley juiced with other vegetables, or parsley lemon water. The roots of the herb are also very useful in counteracting kidney stones.
- Reduces Water Retention (Edema)
Parsley contains potassium which provides relief from bloating, edema, or water retention. It also reduces the side effects of hormone imbalance.
Parsley is a nutrient-dense herb, which is low in calories. A research conducted on the effects of parsley on cadmium neurotoxicity suggests that it also helps boost metabolism. A healthy metabolism paves way for a quicker and healthy weight loss. Moreover, parsley also removes excess water from the body and cleanse the kidneys and livers. This, in turn, keeps the body’s functioning at its optimal level and helps in weight loss.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
Parsley has anti-inflammatory and anti-hepatotoxicity properties that help reduce internal inflammation and also help cleanse the liver.
- Skin Care
Parsley, abundant in vitamin C and antioxidants, has potent collagen producing and skin lightening properties. The herb helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars. It also has the ability to balance oil production and hence, is an excellent remedy for acne. Vitamin A also fights signs of aging on the skin, protects eyes and skin from UV light damage, and may be able to help prevent skin cancer.
Few herbs are as cleansing as parsley, which is packed with vitamins and potent flavonoids. It can detox the body from heavy metals as well as other toxins. Adding its roots to boiling water and drinking it on a daily basis is also known to be an effective general cleanser for the body. Also, parsley cilantro juice is widely used as a detoxification drink.
- Controls Diabetes
Parsley contains a flavonoid called myricetin, which can lower blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance thus helps in controlling diabetes.
- Boosts Digestion
Including parsley in your diet helps stimulate digestion because of its enzyme and fiber content. The herb also helps cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and maintain overall health.
- Reduces Symptoms of Rheumatoid
Parsley has also been particularly effective against rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C and beta-carotene found in the herb possess anti-inflammatory properties that help in controlling arthritis and reducing arthritic pain.
- Anticancer Properties
Apigenin, a flavone in parsley, prevents the progression of cancer and halts tumor growth. According to research published in Oncotarget, apigenin inhibited an enzyme, which caused the multiplication of cancer cells. The herb was found especially helpful in preventing prostate, colorectal, and colon cancer. Both, fresh and dried parsley, have high levels of apigenin.
Also, parsley oil extract contains a compound called myristicin, which is a phenylpropane. A preliminary investigation into the effects of myristicin on laboratory rats revealed that it has anti-carcinogenic properties as it counteracts free radicals in the body.
- Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis
Parsley, with its high levels of vitamins B-complex, C, and K, and calcium can help boost bone health. It helps prevent osteoporosis and maintain optimal bone health even as we age. The B vitamins also help reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the body, which can weaken bones.
- Relieves Flatulence
Parsley helps to relieve flatulence and colic, due to its carminative action. The root, the herb, as well as the essential oil, can boost bile production and gastric juices. This gives a much-needed boost to the digestion process and cures gas, constipation, bloating, indigestion, and nausea. The essential oil can also be applied to the stomach area for relief from cramps.
- Treats Acid Reflux (GERD)
Parsley has been used as a natural remedy for acid reflux since it settles the stomach and aids in digestion.
- Boosts Immunity
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in parsley are helpful for strengthening immunity and treating fever. Vitamins such as vitamin C, A, K, folate, and niacin, each act on different aspects of the immune system. Vitamin A acts directly on lymphocytes or white blood cells, thereby increasing their effect. The chlorophyll contained in it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well. Studies have also shown that the herb contains antioxidant properties and antibacterial properties, making it an ideal source for various home remedies.
- Improves Brain Health
Apigenin, a potent flavone in parsley, improves neuron formation and enhances brain functions such as memory and learning. This plant compound is being researched for its ability to treat neurodegenerative diseases like schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. The herbal extract is known to increase cognitive performance as well as improve alertness and memory.
- Antibacterial & Antifungal
Parsley has enzymes that are antibacterial and antifungal in nature. It has an inhibitory effect against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause boils, skin infections, cellulitis, and severe conditions like pneumonia and meningitis.
- Pain Relief
Parsley has high levels of vitamin K, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which heals bruises and reduces pain. For a home-made remedy for bruises, you can crush the fresh leaves, spread it over the afflicted area, and secure the salve with a bandage. Also, lactating women use herbal leaves as a poultice to reduce breast tenderness.
The herb also helps reduce joint pain, fatigue, and has the ability to soften stiff muscles, because of the presence of a potent antioxidant, quercetin. It is especially good for people suffering from arthritis and joint problems. You can also use parsley juice to cure toothaches and earaches.
- Cures Anemia
The high concentration of iron in parsley helps treat anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency. Vitamin C in the herb aids in better absorption of iron. People who have a hard time taking iron supplements are often told to have juice or tea.
- Treats Bad Breath
The herb’s fresh flavor and high chlorophyll content help freshen the breath temporarily.Parsley is a natural breath freshener because it kills the bacteria in the mouth that cause odors.
- Heart Health
Parsley is abundant in flavone antioxidants, which can
reduce oxidative stress, thus boosting cardiovascular health. This herb also
contains high levels of vitamin B and folic acid that prevents the thickening
of artery walls. Also, potassium in the herb lowers blood pressure, which helps
prevent heart diseases and strokes. While it plays numerous roles in the body,
one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary
participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into
benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at
high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine
are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke
in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich
in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who
either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical
nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for
cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing
cells—the colon, and in women, the cervix. Because it’s a vital B vitamin that
plays a critical role in protecting your heart, folate deficiency is very
dangerous. Parsley benefits cardiovascular health because we need folate in
order to convert homocysteine, a type of amino acid found in the blood.
Homocysteine is a potentially troublesome molecule that can cause damage to blood vessels when uncontrolled, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
- Balances Hormones
Parsley helps improve the hormonal balance in women, enhances their libido, and boosts the secretion of the estrogen hormone. Intake of the herb helps treat hormonal disorders like premenstrual syndrome, menopause, or delayed menstruation cycle. Furthermore, parsley tea helps reduce menstrual cramps and discomfort.
- Eye Health
Parsley is abundant in vitamin A, and antioxidants like carotenoid as well as beta-carotene, that helps boost eye health. It helps protect the retina from damage and prevents macular degeneration as well as cataracts. The nutrients in the herb also help reduce eye puffiness and dark circles. A carotenoid and beta-carotene — used by the body and that can boost eye health. These antioxidants protect the retina and cornea from damage as someone ages, helping to prevent eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Hair Care
Parsley helps strengthen weak hair, promote healthy hair growth, and stops hair fall. The nutrients in this powerful herb can help increase keratin and collagen production, which protects the hair from free radical damage. Also, a parsley rinse can help retain hair color since it has high levels of copper.
- Acts as Natural Diuretic and Helps
to Relieve Bloating
Parsley benefits digestive health because it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and draws excess water out of the abdomen, where it can cause discomfort and indigestion.
The best time to consume parsley is in morning hours before tiffin on empty stomach. Parsley juice could be a better option. Goes well with one of the herbs of bouquet garni, with bay and thyme. Combines well with all other herbs. Also works well with potatoes, tomato-based sauces, poultry dishes, grain-based salads, seafood, egg dishes.
Ways to use parsley-
Fresh and dried parsley can both be used for adding flavor to various food preparations.
- Garnish: Fresh parsley is a fragile and mild leaf that can be added to any dish as a garnish, such as pasta.
- Soups & salads: It can be added to soups and salads, such as tomato soups and sauces, before serving for added flavor and aroma.
- Parsley juice: It can be made into a juice or
added to your favorite fruit or vegetable juices.
How to buy and store parsley-
- Purchase fresh parsley at a grocery store.
- Choose bright green bunches of parsley that look nice and smell fresh.
- Don’t pick parsley that is shriveled, brown, moldy, or is dried out.
- Carefully cut the parsley with stems still attached, and be careful to not bruise the leaves.
- Choose parsley that is dark green, has firm stems, and looks fresh and crisp.
- Organically grown parsleys are the best as they are not irradiated and are free from potentially harmful pesticides and insecticides residue.
- Avoid buying parsley with wilted or yellow leaves, mold, and dark spots.
- If you dry entire stems of parsley, drying time might take up to a week.
- Place the parsley on the top shelf, keeping it away from any foods that might drip on the parsley.
it in a cool, dry place.
Uses of Parsley-
- Erases dark circles- Just squish a handful of parsley to
release its juice. Mix with a teaspoon of yogurt and apply the mixture to the
regions under your eyes. You can even soak cotton balls in parsley juice and
keep them under the eyes for 10 minutes.
Do this twice a week to reduce dark circles.
- To get clear and glowing skin- Take a bundle of parsley leaves and mash them using a fork to extract the juice. Add distilled boiling water to it and leave it aside to let it cool. Now, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, three drops of tea tree oil, and three drops of rosemary essential oil to it. You can even store it in the refrigerator. When required, dip a cotton ball in the toner and apply it to the face in circular motion.
This toner is highly clarifying. It helps to balance the pH levels of the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. It will also treat oily skin and skin inflammation. Do check with your dermatologist before using parsley for this purpose.
- To prevent Acne and Zit- Take some parsley in a bowl and mash
it using a spoon or fork. Add two teaspoons of honey to it and mix it
thoroughly till the honey turns green. Apply it to the face and wash it off
after 10 minutes. Follow it up with a moisturizer of your choice.
Both honey and parsley contain antibacterial properties that treat pimples and keep the skin smooth and nourished. Use fresh parsley leaves instead of dried parsley for preparing this pack.
- Parsley facial treatment- Take a spoonful of dried parsley
leaves and add them to 200 ml of water. Boil for at least 20 minutes. Remove
from the stove and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
You can use this water to rinse your face once or twice a day. Prepare a fresh rinse daily to obtain maximum benefits.
- To prevent skin discoloration and
A face pack containing parsley, honey, and lemon juice can effectively erase
dark spots and treat skin discoloration.
Take one medium-sized bundle of parsley leaves and soak it in warm water. Chop finely and then crush in a mortar. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of raw honey and mash well. Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and then apply this pack to the face, focusing on the blackheads. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse. This face pack will refresh and revitalize the skin.
- To prevent irritation- Rub dried or fresh parsley leaves on irritated skin or insect bites to soothe skin irritation. When dealing with boils, boil parsley leaf in water and apply it on the affected areas for a few hours. It also helps to fade freckles and spots. Application of parsley seed oil can help to heal bruises.
- Acts as a cleanser- Blend a handful of parsley leaves
with yogurt. Grind thoroughly to form a smooth paste. Add one teaspoon of
oatmeal and a few drops of tea tree oil. Apply the mask on a clean face and
neck and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off and pat dry.
Apply this face pack thrice a week to remove dead skin cells and accumulated dirt from the face.
Season in which parsley is available
Parsley is available all year-round.
How to make Parsley Cumin Parathas-
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus additional for griddle
1/3 cup ghee (Indian clarified butter)
Accompaniment: sweet tamarind chutney
an electric coffee/spice grinder; a well-seasoned cast-iron griddle or large skillet
Grind cumin seeds with salt to a powder in grinder. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in flours, parsley, water, and oil and continue to stir until a dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Several times during kneading, pick up dough and slap it against the work surface 8 to 10 times to relax dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Lightly oiled griddle, then heat over moderately low heat until hot, 10 to 15 minutes.
While griddle is heating, divide dough into 4 portions, then roll out 1 portion on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round. Lightly brush round with some ghee and cut into quarters, then, starting with rounded edge nearest you, fold each quarter in thirds to form a slimmer triangle (bottom edge will still be rounded). Repeat with remaining dough to form a total of 16 slim triangles.
Roll out 1 triangle on a lightly floured surface first to widen it, then to lengthen it into a 9- by- 4-inch triangle, sprinkling with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer to a baking sheet and cover with a sheet of wax paper, then roll out and cover remaining triangles in same manner, layering them between sheets of wax paper.
Cook parathas , 3 or 4 at a time, on griddle until undersides are browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes (parathas will puff, then deflate). Turn parathas over and lightly brush with ghee, then cook until other side of each is golden brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn over and brush once more, then cook until parathas are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer each batch of parathas to a sheet of foil as browned and wrap loosely to keep warm while cooking remaining parathas.
Parathas are best when freshly made, but leftovers can be wrapped in foil and kept at room temperature, then reheated in a 350°F oven.
How to make parsley chutney/ South Indian Style Parsley Thogayal-
1 cup Flat Leaf Parsley loosely packed
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal
3 Dried Red Chilies
1 tsp Salt
2 tsps Tamarind Paste
2 tbsps Water
2 tsps Oil
Chop the onion roughly into small cubes.
Wash the parsley and pat it dry.
Heat a pan and add two tsps of oil.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, and dried red chilies.
Roast till the urad dal turns golden brown. Then set it aside. Take a 1/2 tsp of this tempering and set it aside to add later.
Now in this same kadai, add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes.
Then add the parsley and cook until it wilts.
Allow it to cool.
Grind the onion, parsley along with salt and tamarind paste first.
Then add the urad dal, mustard seed, red chili mixture and grind it coarsely. If required sprinkle some water but not more than 2 tbsps.
Finally, add the 1/2 tsp of tempering and serve it with idli or dosa or rice.
As we grind mustard seeds(it is a natural preservative) along with the chutney, the shelf life of this chutney is comparatively more prolonged than other ones. You can refrigerate it for one week too.
Instead of tamarind paste, you can add betelnut size of tamarind as well.
Adjust salt and spices as per your preference.
You can reduce the parsley or add more onion or coconut if you are trying parsley for the first time.
Consumption of the herb, especially in large quantities, may have side effects and disadvantages. Some of them include the following:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Avoid excess intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Excess intake may induce uterine contractions during pregnancy.
- Oxalate over-consumption: It has a high quantity of oxalates, which can be particularly problematic for people who suffer from kidney stones or gout.
- Rash and other allergies: It may make the skin extra sensitive to the sun and lead to a rash.
- Skin Sensitivity-
Applying parsley seed oil to the skin can make it sensitive to the sun and cause rashes – in certain individuals. Hence, check with your doctor before use.
- High Blood Pressure-
In certain cases, parsley might hold on to excess sodium in the body and elevate blood pressure levels. Hence, practice caution and consult your doctor if you have problems with blood pressure.
- Kidney Disease-
Though parsley does improve kidney health, certain studies show it can worsen the condition. Talk to your doctor.
- Interactions During Surgery-
Parsley might lower blood glucose levels and interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop use at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Other Drug Interactions-
The high vitamin K content in parsley can interact with drugs like Coumadin. Please check with your doctor.
Fun Facts about Parsley-
is a member of the Umbelliferae family, which also includes celery, carrots,
dill, cilantro, caraway, cumin, and the poisonous hemlock.
2. Nobody is certain where parsley originate, though it is said by some to have originated in Sardinia.
3. There are two types commonly used as an herb, curly leaf and flat leaf. Flat leaf is often referred to as Italian parsley.
4. The Ancient Romans loved parsley. In the first century AD, Pliny wrote that no salad or sauce should be served without parsley. He also wrote that all classes of people loved parsley.
5. The Ancient Greeks believed parsley sprung from the blood of the hero Archemorus after he was killed by a dragon.
6. The Greeks used parsley for funeral wreaths and in garlands for the winners of the Nemena and Isthmian sporting games.
7. There was an ancient belief that plucking a sprig of parsley while saying one’s enemy’s name would bring about the death of said enemy.
8. People who looked very sick and near death were often said to be “in need of parsley.”
9. Parsley arrived on British shores in the 16th century.
10. It is said that parsley goes seven times to the Devil and back before it germinates due to the long time it takes to grow. Also because of the difficulty in growing it, it is said that only witches or evil people can grow it.
11. Parsley is a natural breath freshener. It reduces the odor of garlic breath when chewed fresh. This is thanks to parsley’s high chlorophyll levels.
12. Pregnant women should not consume parsley because it is a uterine stimulant and may induce premature labor.
13. Parsley is believed by many to be toxic for birds but there is no evidence that this is true. In fact, it is a good source of vitamins and amino acids for birds.
14. Parsley contains oxalates, substances in some plants that may cause problems for people with kidney or gallbladder problems.
15. Two tablespoons of parsley contain about three calories.
16. Two tablespoons of parsley contain 153% of the Recommended Daily Value of Vitamin K.
17. In the ancient times, corpses were sprinkled with parsley to eliminate the stench.
18.Since parsley is difficult to grow, it was believed that the herb could be grown only by witches or the evil.
19. The early Greeks made crowns of parsley to bestow upon the winners of the Nemena and Isthmian sports games, in the same manner that bay wreaths honored the Olympians.
20. Some historians credit Charles the Great, the Holy Roman Emperor, for making this herb so popular because he had it gown all over his property.
21. The name “parsley” comes from the Greek word πετροσέλινον (petroselinum), meaning rock celery, because it thrives on rocks and walls.
22. There are only 36 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of parsley.
23. Parsley contains less than 0.5 percent essential oil, the principal component of which is a pungent, oily, green liquid called apiol.