The parsley , whose scientific name is Petroselinum sativum , is a herbaceous plant edible , which belongs to the family Apiaceae and can be found in the wild in Europe and in Asia. Its etymology comes from the Greek, and means “stone”. It refers to the terrain in which it usually grows, such as inhospitable, rocky areas, and not very fertile land .Parsley is an herb that can grow naturally on paths, hillsides, gardens, forest clearings, parks, and even walls. Generally, it occurs biennially , although its cultivation can also be annual. Its size can vary between 15 and 60 centimeters high, thanks to its flowery stems.Its leaves, very leafy, can be smooth or curly, which depends on the variety of parsley in question; There are also, for example, varieties that differ by the thickness of the root. This plant is fully used , from the stem to the leaves, flowers, seeds and roots. Its qualities are applied in the ornamental, gastronomic and medicinal aspects .

What is parsley good for?

Parsley is an herb that has been used for centuries, having a predominant place in medicine. During the Middle Ages, magical and healing powers were attributed to it. Currently it is a ” herb of smell “, widely used in the gastronomy of many countries, for the preparation of stews, salads and sauces.

Parsley is used to:

  • Be included in food
  • Take nutrients
  • Diuretic purposes
  • Consume chlorophyll
  • Relieve pain and inflammation
  • Antioxidant functions
  • Benefit the digestive system

Seasoning food

The gastronomic use of parsley dates back to the times of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Writers such as Plinio describe its use as a condiment in sauces , and its medical properties were recorded in texts such as those by Dioscorides, who describes its diuretic and menstruation-promoting effects.

The edible plant that is usually used to season food is not the same as the ” giant parsley “, Heracleum mantegazzianum , which although some North American tribes consume its tender stems cooked, is a toxic plant , which usually causes diseases like hives and blindness .

Giant parsley, foreign to the parsley that is added as a condiment to food, is an invasive plant that collapses the growth of native vegetation, but is usually used as an ornamental plant due to its flowers and its large size, from 2 to 4 meters high.

Take nutrients

Parsley is an herb that provides us with a variety of nutrients. Among them we can find:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Vegetable proteins
  • Vitamin B Complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9)
  • C vitamin
  • Vitamina K
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc
  • Flavonoids: They are powerful antioxidants
  • Furocumarinas: bergapteno, xantotoxina, alfa-pineno, beta-pineno, beta-cariofileno, beta-felandreno, mirceno
  • Chlorophyll

Diuretic purposes

Parsley is an herb whose chemical composition contains a substance called apiol , which has diuretic qualities , which helps the body get rid of excess water.

The components of parsley stimulate kidney functions, promoting the expulsion of metabolic waste . Therefore, an additional consequence is that the formation of kidney stones is prevented .

Consume chlorophyll

Parsley contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, which is why it is beneficial for the oxygenation of the blood and later of our body. Chlorophyll helps improve physical and mental performance , and fight bad breath, thanks to its antibacterial effects.

Relieve pain and inflammation

Parsley has analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is recommended:

  • Chew some parsley to relieve mild dental pain.
  • Apply parsley poultices to bruised or inflamed areas
  • Apply to relieve menstrual cramps
  • Consume as a tea to counteract intestinal pain

Antioxidant functions

Parsley plant

Parsley contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids, which help cells stay in optimal condition. The luteolin , for example, is a flavonoid protects cell membranes, chemically acting against free radicals and helping to prevent premature cellular aging .

Benefit the digestive system

Whether it is added as a condiment in foods, such as salads, side dishes or soups, parsley provides us with a significant amount of fiber, which speeds up the digestive process.

In addition, it regulates the population of the intestinal flora and helps to dissolve calcium oxalate stones, which are produced by the body itself to counteract the effects of excessive gastric acid.

Side effects of parsley

Like other edible plants, parsley is safe if eaten in moderate amounts. However, its consumption must be restricted in:

  • Patients allergic to apiol
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women

In such people, the use of parsley should be avoided, especially its essential oil and its infusion or tea. It contains apiol , a chemical that can be abortifacient , and can seriously harm the baby and the mother.

This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical information.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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