Parsely, More Than An Herb!
Parsley. Let’s be honest. Do you even think about this herb aside from recognizing it as a garnish on your plates when you dine out? Exactly!
And yet, it’s one of the most popular herbs in the world, used throughout the Mediterranean, Levant and Middle East. In Greek, parsley means “rock celery” and they are, in fact, relatives. But hang on! Parsley energizes, cleanses and refreshes the body!
Not only is it an excellent source of vitamins K, C, and A and folate, it’s filled with volatile oils like myristicin, which is also high in anise, nutmeg and dill. It’s a very powerful essential oil, and, in fact, has hallucinogenic properties if used in high amounts.
Note: do not use parsley this way! No matter what the substance, if you’re hallucinating, your likely poisoning your body. But in culinary amounts, and in amounts that you’ll use for juicing, parsley has tonic (‘enlivening and strengthening’) effects.
Parsley has been shown to have a wide range of pharmacological activity verified to modern medicine’s satisfaction, including antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties, as well as an ability to protect the brain. Oh, wait, there’s more! It also has antidiabetic, spasmolytic, immunosuppressant (great for allergies!), anti-platelet, gastroprotective, cytoprotective, laxative, estrogenic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial and antifungal activities. Pretty cool, huh?
That’s a lot to take in, so let’s break it down. What are parsley’s main benefits, you ask?
3 WAYS YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM PARSLEY
- It Strengthens Your Lungs and Removes Free Radicals
Remember how we were talking about myristicin above, and you were probably wondering “What’s that?!” Here’s the deal. Myristicin has been shown to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs.
While ancient medieval physicians would have chosen it for its shape because it looks like the bronchial fingers in the sponge-like tissues of our lungs, modern studies know it as an anti-parasitic agent, and it is used to treat chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and dyspepsia.
The activity of myristicin has led medical researches to qualify foods that contain it as “chemoprotective” for their ability to neutralize particular types of carcinogens such as those in cigarette and charcoal grill smoke.
Plus … get this: a 2013 study indicates that parsley (in particular) carries a certain compound — apigenin — proven to both kill lung cancer cells (up to 86% in lab test), and act as a cancer preventive. Simply put, apigenin is a naturally occurring, plant-derived, cancer cell-killing flavonoid.
If you have a history of inhaling carcinogens, for example, consider adding parsley to your juicing ritual. It could be really beneficial for your lung tissue.
And parsley, when used or ingested along with the active enzymes of glutathione-S-transferase, attaches to oxidized molecules (known to cause damage to our tissues and speed up the cellular aging process – also known as free-radicals) and removes them.
- It’s Excellent for Urinary System, Bladder and Kidneys
Parsley also provides the healing compound apiole, which helps to increase urine flow. And this can remove infection-causing bacteria from the urinary tract. Its diuretic effect is cleansing, and it also helps to prevent kidney stones and various other issues in the urinary tract.
According to Ayurveda, if you are in search of such a diuretic – then parsley is surely an exceptional choice because unlike other diuretics, which waste your minerals through your urine, its juice promotes water excretion without a loss of electrolytes! This is called aquaresis.
You can add parsley to your spring cleansing ritual, or you can just add it to juice occasionally to drain excess weight for your special events so you can slip into that size 6 dress.
- It’s a Blood Purifier
Chlorophyll in parsley helps to alkalize the body, form new red blood cells and purify the blood.
The polyacetylene found in parsley contains anti-platelet aggregation properties, which help prevent both cardiovascular disease and stroke. Parsley also contains a host of beneficial flavonoids that neutralize free radicals and strengthen the heart.
Interestingly, it’s is used by diabetics in Turkey to reduce blood glucose, too.
When you eat or juice parsley, you’re also getting eugenol, which is yet another potent volatile oil (eugenol is also in cloves and tulsi aka ‘holy basil’). So, when you juice or blend it, you’re giving your body the tools it needs to fend off undesirable foreign bacteria in the gut such as candida.
Additionally, other volatile oils in parsley may help to balance blood sugar, boost immunity, improve mental function, and protect against chemical damage in the liver, cells, gut and more.
HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP…
For two years, I’ve scoured the internet seeking sources that can back up the health and benefit claims of fruits, vegetables, and supplements (sometimes called “boost”).
In the chart below are the health claims I and others have discovered about parsley. Where you see a footnote, you’ll find a link to the source. If there is not a footnote, then that means that the specific health claim is made, but neither I nor anyone I know has been able to locate sources of research or credible anecdotes to back up the claim.
If you are aware of a direct source of research or anecdotes to back up the claims, please post them in the comments. I’ll check them out and if they meet our standards, I’ll make sure that they’re included in the next edition of the blog and give you a shout-out!
Reported Health Benefit Claims of Parsley:
That’s quite a powerful health package for something that you — and almost everyone you know — is removing from your entrée and setting to the side of your plate as just another pretty green ornamentation. I suggest you start adding that parsley, regularly, to your diet!