Parsley health benefits and therapeutic value

Health benefits of parsley

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), both flat-leafed or curly-leafed, is an herb native to the Mediterranean and very common in Europe.

Used for thousands of years in cooking, this plant with high vitamin, mineral and trace element levels and has been used for centuries for its health benefits and impact on the body.

Health benefits of parsley

  • Fresh parsley leaves are full of minerals and vitamins. Their antioxidant properties make them excellent health-supporting spices, since they contribute to preventing cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and other diseases related to cell aging.
  • Parsley known to be a good diuretic and appetite-enhancing agent. It is particularly effective as a decoction (1 ¾ oz (50 g) of parsley for 1 quart (1 liter) water), to drink within the day.
  • Parsley has positive effects on the liver, spleen, intestines and the entire digestive tract. It helps treat intestinal disorders (bloating, constipation, indigestion), soothes renal colics and fights urinary tract infections.
  • Parsley prevents chronic and seasonal respiratory tract diseases: cough, asthma and bronchitis.
  • Parsley also has antianemic and anticoagulant properties. It is effective in case of irregular, painful, or difficult menstruation. It has high vitamin K contents, but is not recommended for persons who are already taking anticoagulant drugs.
  • Be very careful: high doses of parsley could result in heart problems, irritate kidneys, and induce abortion. Generally, it is not recommended for pregnant women and for persons who have kidney problems.
  • Used externally, parsley leaves soothe insect bites, skin rashes, sprains and bruises.

Growing parsley for its health benefits

  • Parsley doesn’t like warm places. It needs rich soil that stays shaded and cool even in summer.
  • You can easily grow potted parsley in a sheltered spot, for example in a garden box. Do not place it on a windowsill in direct sunlight, it would quickly turn yellow. Try to keep the soil moist, and feel free to add a little fertilizer.
  • Water regularly over the entire summer.
  • Watch out for carrot flies, aphids and slugs which love young, tender parsley shoots.

Use parsley in your cooking to reap its health benefits

Soup, broth, bouquet garni, fresh herb sauce… fresh parsley delicately spices all your culinary preparations.

Albeit few are aware of it, dried seeds can also be used. They are convenient and tasty condiments.

Keep your parsley leaves in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer, in a plastic bag with holes in it. To extend their keeping a bit longer, place the leaf stems in a container partly filled with water, and place in your refrigerator.

Nutritional content of parsley

30 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g). Parsley leaves are rich in vitamin C, potassium, iron and in copper. Parsley nutrients don’t often influence the body, since it is usually consumed only a couple pinches at a time. However, when eaten in larger quantities, for example in Lebanese tabbouleh, parsley becomes a particularly interesting foodstuff from a nutritional point of view.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Burlap and herbs by Cornelia Gerhardt under Pixabay license