Parsley (petroselinum crispum) is an important culinary herb belonging to the apiaceae family and originating from the Mediterranean region. It possesses small and dark seeds with volatile oil content. It is now planted throughout the world due to its usage in food industry, perfume manufacturing, soaps, and creams. The word “parsley” is a merger of old English petersilie (identical to contemporary German) and old French peresil, both derived from Medieval Latin petrosilium and Latin petroselinum.
Nutrition: Rich in polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids (apigenin) and alkaloids (antioxidants). Very high in potassium and calcium, rich in sodium, phosphorus and magnesium, contains traces of iron and zinc. Vitamins: highest in C, followed by B3, E, B2, B6, B1, folate with traces of K, A. Contains alpha and beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and a small amount of fatty acids.
Folk Medicine: Parsley has been used as anti-inflammatory, carminative, diuretic, gastro tonic, laxative, for menstruation problems amenorrhea, dysmenorrhoea (missing and painful periods), in urinary tract as antiseptic and preventing stone formation; for the treatment of allergy, autoimmune, cardiac disease, diabetes, dermal disease, gastrointestinal disorder, hypertension, otitis (ear inflammation), sniffle and urinary disease.
Modern Science Shows a wide range of pharmacological activity: analgesic, anti-anaemic, anti-bacterial, anti-coagulant, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-platelet, anti-spasmodic, diuretic, estrogenic, immunosuppressant, laxative; lowering of cholesterol, uric acid, blood sugar; protective of brain, cyto (internal chemicals), gastro, liver and menstrual activities.
Anti-Cancer: chemoprotective due to flavone apigenin, abundant in fruit, vegetables, parsley and reaches human circulation; also due to results with anti-inflammatory phytochemical carnosol in prostate, breast, skin, leukaemia, liver, colon cancer, androgen/estrogen receptors.
Anti-Microbial: antibacterial against natural microflora, coli forms, yeast and moulds and in Kareish cheese; may contribute to the development of new and safe varieties of Kareish cheese.
Anti-Oxidant: due to flavinoids (apigenin), phenolic acids and alkaloids; protects against mitochondrial oxidative damage in mouse brain and DNA damage.
Cardiovascular: anti-platelet activity of aglycone flavonoids decrease thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetes: anti-oxidant properties of parsley extract protect against liver toxicity in diabetes.
Diuretic: rats eliminated more urine from drinking aqueous parsley seed extract than water.
Gout: anti-oxidant properties of parsley reduced serum uric acid levels in hyperuricemic rats; not as much as allipurinol drug, which does not change oxidative stress.
Immune: parsley essential oil may be a proper suppressant for different applications.
Kidney: reduced number of calcium oxalate deposits and stones in rats.
Laxative: parsley reduced water absorption from the colon.
Animals: take care due to toxicity in large doses.
Pregnancy: excessive consumption should be avoided as it can cause contractions.
Toxicity: leaf extract hepato and nephro toxic (liver and nerves) at continued oral doses of 1000 mg per kg.
Warfarin: parsley interacts and may increase the risk of bleeding.
Adding Parsley to your Diet: Use as a garnish you eat, add to salads and steamed vegetables.
Brazil cheiro-verde “green aroma” has freshly chopped parsley as the main ingredient. Used as seasoning for meat, chicken, fish, rice, beans, stews, soups, vegetables, salads, condiments, sauces and stocks.
English parsley roux-based sauce is served over fish or gammon.
French persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and parsley; parsley is also in bouquet garni.
Italian salsa verde, a mixed condiment of parsley (as main ingredient), capers, anchovies, garlic, and bread soaked in vinegar; served with stew or fish. Gremolata, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest served with stew.
Lebanese tabbouleh has parsley is a key ingredient.
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