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Parsley Benefits and Uses

Parsley Benefits and Uses

Consumer demand for novel or "superfood" ingredients often overshadows culinary herbs. However, flying under the radar, these spice rack staples have earned their place in every cook’s kitchen across the globe due to a long history of use in trade, folk medicine, and cuisine. In fact, congregated evidence suggests that societies with diets rich in spice were historically and are at present less likely to experience long lasting health concerns (Kunnumakkara A. B. et al, 2018).  

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is one such spice. A common additive to many stable dishes worldwide, parsley is so much more than a garnish. Traditional Herbalists have employed parsley for millennia because if its natural diuretic action, its essential oil content, and its antioxidant properties. It is found in many of Doctor Morse’s formulas including Kidney’s & Bladder Drain, Kidney Tea, Liver Detox Tea, Parasite General, and Metal Detox 

Parsley as a Natural Diuretic 

The list of herbs that make you pee is extensive. If you are an avid herbal tea drinker, this comes as no surprise. Research shows that parsley's potassium content contributes to its diuretic action.

In this study it appears that parsley works by slowing down a specific pump in the kidneys that usually helps remove potassium (K+) while absorbing sodium (Na+). When this pump slows down, more sodium and potassium stay in the kidney tubule instead of being absorbed into the body. This causes more water to be left behind in the tubule, leading to increased urination, or a diuretic effect. However, exactly which part of the kidney parsley affects and what specific substance in parsley is responsible for this effect needs further research.* 

It should be noted that these findings do not place parsley in the same category as any existing class of synthetic diuretic drugs but do suggest that parsley has diuretic action.* 

Nettle, dandelion leaf and parsley are all great examples of natural diuretics that can be drunk as a tea or taken as dietary supplements for this diuretic action. Many traditional Herbalists believe that their abundance of potassium may make them somewhat potassium-sparing when used as diuretics.* 

High Volatile Oil Content of Parsley 

A trait that most of our culinary herbs share is that they have a strong flavor. This flavor is often contributed to their essential, or volatile oil content. In nature, many plants use volatile oils as a protective and/or attractive mechanism. These aromatic/volatile oils do as they say; they are light molecules that emanate from the plant, hitching a ride on air currents to call in pollinators. Contrarily, these volatile oils may manifest as concentrated flavors that repel grazers. 

Parsley contains volatile oil from a class of compounds known as terpenoids, which are responsible for the plant’s characteristic flavor and aroma. One well-known terpenoid found in parsley is apiol. Apiol is the primary constituent responsible for the distinctive taste of parsley and other plants in the Apiaceae (carrot) family, such as celery (Apium graveolens). It contributes to the aromatic profile of these plants and is often associated with their culinary uses. 

The apiol content in parsley is what gives it the therapeutic classification of a carminative herb. Carminative herbs are usually high in volatile oils which contribute to their aromatic flavor and support healthy digestion. Considered warming, this volatile oil content relaxes smooth muscle along the GI tract and helps dispel occasional gas and bloating.* 

High Flavonoid Content of Parsley 

Parsley leaf, root and fruit contain a form of flavonoid known as apigenin, which is also found in chamomile, celery, thyme, basil and oregano. Flavonoids are known for their potent antioxidant properties and contribute to the color, flavor, and health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods.  

The apigenin content in parsley makes this herb a useful tonic supporting reduced oxidative stress and healthy inflammatory levels throughout the body.  

Besides its antioxidant content, parsley is a nutrient rich powerhouse, providing vitamins A, C and K, potassium, iron, calcium, folate and phosphorous (USDA).  

Parsley Detox 

The general concept of using a natural diuretic like parsley for detoxification is based on the action of diuretic herbs in supporting an increase in urine production and flow. Increased urine output essentially flushes the kidneys and may potentially support the clearing of any excess waste build in both the urinary tract and the blood (Yong Jin Lim et al, 2021).* 

Beyond general detoxification, parsley is traditionally used to support the removal of heavy metals from the body (Saleh N. Maodaa et al, 2016; Adrian Justin Cimafranca Go, 2018). This traditional use dates back centuries and is rooted in various herbal traditions, with much of its recorded use based in traditional European Herbalism.*

A 2018 study entitled Coliform Removal and Lead Biosorption Ability of Parsley (Petroselinum crispum Mill.) in Water filtered water through fresh parsley leaves and stems gathered from the mountainous areas of Cebu in Central Visayas, Philippines. The study concluded that “parsley [showed] coliform removal and lead biosorption abilities in water purification, which are seen to be beneficial in future water purification tests.” Although this study was focused on water purification, one can conjecture why parsley is traditionally used for supporting the removal of trace elements from the body. 

Doctor Morse’s has included parsley in our Metal Detox formula to support the body in removing excess metals via the urinary eliminatory pathway.  

Parsley Juicing Recipe 

A great way to enjoy the benefits of parsley is to juice the whole plant. For this recipe, a juice press is recommended (grinds then presses), but a masticating juicer or centrifuge juicer will also work well.  

Recipe (provided by Clean Eating Kitchen, C. Forrest) 

1 bunch flat leaf parsley (whole plant, ideally in its fruiting stage)
1 apple (red or green), sliced 
1 English cucumber, cut into long slices that will fit into your juicer 
1 lemon, skin removed and slice 

Directions 

  1. Wash your produce well! 
  2. Quarter the lemon and put it directly through a juice press - rind and all 
  3. Process the grapes, pears and herbs (cleavers, nettles, dandelion leaf, chickweed, parsley, etc.) press.  
  4. Enjoy! 

         

        *FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

         

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