Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

ParsleyJust about everyone is familiar with parsley as a culinary herb.  It is often placed as a garnish on the plate and is used in salads, soups and other recipes.  A member of the Apiacea family (which makes it a relative of celery, carrots and parsnips), parsley is easy to grow and harvest for home use. Native to Europe and the eastern Mediterranian, parsley is rarely found in the wild. 

Parsley is a very nutritious herb. It contains vitamins A, C and E and is also a source of iron and calcium. The leaves also contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids and are a rich source of sodium and potassium salts, which is one of the reasons parsley is a good remedy for the kidneys.  It also contains a volatile oil that is about 20% myristicin and about 18% apiole.  Both of these compounds stimulate kidney function, giving parsley a mild diuretic action. This is why it is an ingedient in JP-X, Kidney Activator and Urinary Maintenence.

Parsley also helps to stimulate menstruation and has been used to ease menstrual pain.  The volatile oil is a strong uterine stimulant and helps ease cramps.

Because of its rich aromatic-based chlorophyll content, parsley is used with garlic to neutralize the pungent smell of allicin, also an aromatic compound. This is why it is included in NSP’s Capsicum, Garlic and Parsley formula and the circulatory formula GC-X.

A little freshly juiced parsley can be mixed with other vegetable juices to aid liver and kidney function and help flush toxins from the system. Of course, the leaves can also be used as a vegetable in salads and soups to improve their health-giving benefits.

The leaves aren’t the only parts used in herbal medicine, however.  The root and seeds are also used. Parley seeds have similar properties to celery seeds, and are a stronger diuretic than the leaves.  The seeds of both celery and parsley help the kidneys to flush acid waste more efficiently, making them useful for gout, rheumatism and arthritis.

Parsley is a non-toxic herb, safe for regular use.  However, excessive quantities of the seeds can be toxic, so the seeds should not be used during preganancy or if a person is suffering from kidney disease.  You should also exercise care when using this herb after giving birth, since parsley tends to dry up a lactating mother’s milk.

General use is two capsules two or three times daily.

Selected References:

A Modern Herbal, Vol. II by M. Grieve
Indian Herbology of North America
 by Alma R. Hutchens
Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics
 by Albert Y. Leung 
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier
Herbal Medications by David G. Spoerke Jr. 
The Honest Herbal by Varro R. Tyler, Ph.D.

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