Parsley, a medicinal and culinary herb that is sold year-round, may not get as much attention as superfoods or other popular natural supplements, but it is a powerful curative therapy for a range of ailments. This herb has been around for more than 2,000 years and is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Algeria, southern Italy, and Tunisia. It is considered a tropical plant, needs lots of moisture and sunlight and comes in flat leaf and curly leaf varieties. Greeks and Romans had many medicinal and food uses for parsley as an herb, spice or green, leafy vegetable. Both the leaf and the root are used in Mediterranean and European cuisines for garnishing, on sandwiches, in salads and when making stocks. Root parsley has only been around for about 300 years and was first cultivated in Hamburg, Germany. Roots are cubed or sliced and cooked like carrots.
Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
Parsley has been known to fight bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus. This is true for parsley oil, which protects against fungal infections, and leaves and roots. Parsley’s antibacterial effect is good news for skin conditions, which often require topical remedies to remove rashes and blemishes. For this reason, many manufacturers include it in soaps, detergents and hygiene products. It also promotes good dental health. There is a caution for using parsley oil. It is potent and can create a skin reaction is used in large amounts. Physicians recommend mixing it with a carrier oil, including almond, olive or coconut oil, before applying it to the skin.
There are a number of gastrointestinal conditions that parsley and parsley oil can help to ease or cure, including constipation, indigestion, gas, nausea and bloating. When the oil form of parsley is in the digestion system, it increases bile production and the gastric juices or enzymes that aid in absorbing food and nutrients. Additionally, the high fiber content helps food pass through the digestive tract while controlling blood cholesterol, which supports the heart. Those who prefer topical remedies can apply the oil in a diluted form to the stomach area or add it to bath water to be soaked up through the pores and bring relief.
Minimizes Kidney Stones and Gall Bladder Infections
The best way to use parsley to help dissolve kidney stones is to create a fresh juice mix. It is considered a superfood juice and is too potent to have by itself, so it is essential to mix it with other fruit or vegetable ingredients. Some of these include watermelon, beets, celery, lemons, cucumber, and carrots. To use this remedy for specifically reducing the risk of kidney stones, choose lemons to make a syrup. Lemons have a high citric acid content that removes salt and toxins from the body, and they remove excess water from tissues.
Reduces Urinary Tract Infections
Parsley tea is a typical way to treat or prevent urinary tract infections. This is especially true for people who develop UTIs when they drink cranberry juice. It is best to use the entire plant, including the root when making a tea. The combination of all parts is strong enough to cure the UTI in a short amount of time. Parsley tea can also be used to cure gas in both the stomach and bowels. The best approach is to drink 4 cups per day for seven days.
Improves Ear Health
Raw parsley juice can also help when there is a lot of inner ear fluid. As this natural herb moves mucous through the body, it is also can push inner ear fluid out of the ears. There are a few precautions that should be followed when taking it, however. Some people who drink the juice raw have experienced upset stomachs. A doctor can help determine the amount and frequency that is safe.
The apigenin compound found in parsley has impressive anti-cancer properties. Its effects have been noted in reducing advancing colon cancer when apigenin is taken with green tea. It has also been found an effective treatment for breast cancer and killed up to 86 percent of lung cancer cells in embryos. People who have been on cancer-fighting drugs have found this compound effective for cleansing their bodies of toxins. Parsley’s volatile oils neutralize carcinogens and are a source of carotenoids, which defend against the cellular damage that causes cancer.
Acts as an Antioxidant
Most people know parsley as that herb sprig or sprinkle that brings fresh color and flavor to food. It is tempting to think that it does not matter which herb brings the decor to a plate. Parsley brings an antioxidant effect that cannot be ignored, though. Parsley contains myristicin, an essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties. In studies, myristicin has proven to inhibit the formation and growth of tumors. It is best to choose firm stems with vibrant green leaves to chop and add to food. Refrigerating it upright in a container filled with water and covering it with a plastic bag will preserve it.
Acts as a Pain Reliever
For people living with arthritis, parsley can improve health conditions in a couple of ways. First, placing a teaspoon of parsley in a cup of boiling water helps to relieve the joint stiffness and inflammation associated with the disease. Parsley contains both vitamin C and beta-carotene to speed up the body’s excretion of uric acid, which can increase joint stiffness and pain when it stays in the body too long.
Bone health, particularly osteoporosis prevention, gets a powerful boost from parsley. Osteoporosis happens when calcium levels are depleted, and the body experiences a harmful increase in the amino acid known as homocysteine. Dairy products, vegetables, and parsley are the best source of calcium and help to break down homocysteine in the body.
Strengthens the Immune System
Parsley has nutrients like vitamin A, C, and K, as well as niacin and folate, that each act in different ways on the immune system. Vitamin A, for example, increases the effectiveness of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, which help fight infection in the body. This helps boost the overall strength of the immune system.