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 vitamin, K, C, 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.
In fact, it has been shown to have a wide range of pharmacological activity verified to modern medicine’s satisfaction, including: antioxidant, hepatoprotective, brain protective, antidiabetic, spasmolytic, immunosuppressant (great for allergies!), anti-platelet, gastroprotective, cytoprotective, laxative, estrogenic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial and antifungal activities. Pretty cool, huh?
So, let’s break it down: what are parsley’s main benefits, you ask?
Here are 3 Ways Parsley Can Benefit You Particularly:
1. It Strengthens Your Lungs and Removes Free Radicals
Remember how we were talking about myristicin above, and you were probably wondering “Why?!” — well, it’s been shown to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs.
While ancient medieval physicians would have chosen it for its shape (it looks like the bronchial fingers in the sponge like tissues of our lungs) modern studies know it as an anti-parasitic agent, and 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 a “chemoprotective”, for its ability to neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like 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 acts 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, adding it to your juicing ritual could be really beneficial for your lung tissue.
And parsley, in particular 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..
2. 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. It’s diuretic effect is cleansing, and also helps 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, it’s juice promotes water excretion without a loss of electrolytes! This is called aquaresis.
So, parley’s great for your spring cleansing goals, or for just draining excess weight for your special events.
3. 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 helps prevent both cardiovascular disease and stroke. It 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.
When you eat or juice parsley, you’re also getting eugenol, which is yet another potent volatile oil (it’s also in cloves and tulsi — aka ‘holy basil’). So, when you juice or blend it, you’s giving yourself the tools your body 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, and mental function, and protect against chemical damage in the liver, cells, gut and more.
Here’s Where YOU Can Help, Dear Reader . . . become a health detective
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 or anyone I know has been able to locate sources of research or anecdote to backup the claim.
So, 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 you — and almost everyone you know — is setting to the side as just another pretty green ornamentation. I suggest you start adding parsley, regularly, to your diet!