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Parsley Health Benefits

Parsley, which is very popular across the globe as a garnish, is also very nutritious. There are numerous parsley health benefits that are listed in this article. Read on...
Parsley is a herb, that has been cultivated and used by humans for over 2,000 years. Studies show that this herbs has been popular for its medicinal properties from the middle ages itself. The word parsley is derived from a Greek word that means 'rock-celery', as it is related to celery. It is believed that this herb was used by the ancient Greeks to decorate tombs, as they considered it sacred and were also aware of its healing properties. It was the Romans, who started using parsley for garnishing food items. However, nowadays, people consider it only as a garnish and often discard it after use, as they are unaware of parsley health benefits and its nutritional value.

Types

There are many varieties of parsley and among them, two types are the most popular ones. They are, flat leaf ones and the curly leaf type. While the latter is tightly curled with a green mossy look, the former has deeply divided, flat leaves (like celery) and is otherwise known as Italian parsley. Health benefits of this variety are also well recognized and it is very widely used for medicinal purposes. There is one more variety that is used in the Central and Eastern European cuisine. This variety, known as Hamburg parsley, has large, white, turnip-like roots and also sports tall, fern-like leaves. The leaves have a celery-like flavor and the roots are used in salads and soups. Among all the varieties, Italian parsley has a much stronger flavor and is more widely used.

Nutritional Value

It is a very rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, iron and folate. Apart from these, it contains a fair amount of other vitamins and minerals and is also very low in calories. The volatile oil compounds in parsley include myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Flavonoids like apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol and luteolin are also present in this herb. These compounds offer unique health benefits, which will be discussed in the next few paragraphs.

Health Benefits

Apart from garnishing soups, meats and a wide range of dishes, parsley, which is full of various nutrients and other beneficial compounds can offer numerous health benefits too. Parsley tea is used as a remedy for various health problems. This herb was used in ancient Greek medicine and in Ayurveda, to treat flatulence, dyspepsia and menstrual disorders. Almost all parts of this plant are used for medicinal purposes, especially the leaves, roots and seeds. It has also been observed that usually, it is the Italian parsley that is used for medicinal purposes.
  • It is good for the heart, as it contains folate, which promotes cardiovascular health. Folate is useful in converting homocysteine (a dangerous molecule, which at high levels can damage the blood vessels) into harmless molecules and for reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
  • Regular consumption of parsley is beneficial for lowering blood pressure and it thereby lessens the risks of diseases that can be caused by this condition.
  • One of the important parsley health benefits is that it is good for the healthy functioning of the kidneys and aids excretion of sodium and water through these organs, thereby preventing the retention of water and salt in the body and the constriction of blood vessels. This herb is also good for strengthening the urinary bladder and preventing kidney stones.
  • It is said to be good for cleansing of blood vessels, as it can dissolve the sticky deposits in the veins. It is also good for maintaining the elasticity of the blood vessels.
  • The high levels of vitamin C in parsley prevent the occurrence of osteoarthritis and inflammatory polyarthritis, a type of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Enhancing sexual functions is also one of the parsley health benefits. It is also used as a herbal medicine for treating menstrual problems.
  • Intake of this herb is useful for preventing tumor, as folate in this herb plays an important role in proper cell division. So, it prevents the abnormal and rapid cell division that causes cancer, especially in the colon and cervix. The antioxidants and flavonoids in parsley are also beneficial in preventing tumor and cancer.
  • Parsley can also ward off bad breath or halitosis. The chlorophyll content in this herb is responsible for counterbalancing the breath odor.
  • It is also used to treat deafness, ear infections, bruises, digestive problems, anemia, diarrhea, gallstones, gout, insect bites, liver congestion, for strengthening the teeth and also for achieving weight loss.
Even the dried form of this herb is also used to treat various health problems. Dried parsley health benefits include its use for treating gastrointestinal disorders and urinary tract infections. So, don't throw away this herb, the next time you use it for garnishing.
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Last Updated: September 19, 2011
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Comments
can i get parsley in south india,chennai if so in what name - bhimesh [March 9, 2014]
To reap the benefits... clean then break up put in pan
Add water and bring to a boil... then for 10min more..
Fill juice in class and put in fridge to cool..
Then drink for true miracles
- lee [January 20, 2014]
Can parsely be cooked in stew, soup, vegetable for food? - grace [March 6, 2012]
does parsley help with being a diabitic? - lois [January 24, 2011]
I am very thankful that we have these kind of information in the internet. I learned so much of this ITALIAN PARSLEY. It's so beneficial for the health.
I have some medical problems that I can use this herbs for daily consumption from now on.This is excellent for its health benefits, nutritional value. etc. My heartfelt thanks to the internet and also a friend who advised me to drink the herbal for my urine problems,possible gallstones, that gave me an idea to look into the internet. Thank you again, so much.
- Betty PUNSALAN [February 3, 2010]