Health Benefits Of Parsley

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Parsley is perhaps one of the most commonly used but therapeutically underappreciated herbs. How often do you see a dish garnished with parsley in a restaurant and the waiter leaves the parsley on the serving plate or the guest rejects it as a mere decoration.

Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard vegetable, at 166 mg per 100 g (4 ounces). That’s three times as much as oranges and about as much as black currants. Iron content is exceptional at 5.5 mg per 100 g (4 ounces), and the plant is a good source of manganese (2.7 mg per 100 g) and calcium (245 mg per 100 g). It’s also exceptionally high in potassium, with a full gram of potassium in 100g (4 ounces).

In the Middle Ages, parsley was used for many ailments, including “teeth grinding” (because scurvy, caused by a lack of vitamin C, makes gums spongy and teeth loose) and to “brighten cloudy eyes” (poor eyesight is a sign of lack of vitamin A). The ancient herbalists often achieved good results without knowing the chemistry. The ancient Greeks were in awe of parsley because the herb was associated with Archemorus being eaten by a snake that had been placed on a parsley leaf as a baby by his careless wet nurse. From then on he became the harbinger of death.

On the plus side, they decorated the heroes of the Isthmian games with garlands of parsley, and decorated the many girls who sang at festivals in the same way. This last use can be linked to the great effectiveness of parsley in increasing menstruation and helping the regular flow of monthly periods. This effect is due to the presence of apiol, which is a component of the female sex hormone estrogen. The plant has been used with some success against the effects of malaria and as a diuretic against water retention or dropsy it is one of the most proven of all remedies, Father Kniepp said.

Today parsley is a valuable therapy for kidney stones, as a diuretic, for rheumatism, menstrual weakness and as a general stimulant. It calms the stomach and improves appetite. The high vitamin C content is not only useful in itself, but also supports the absorption of the valuable amount of iron.

Parsley juice, an herbal drink, is quite potent and is typically taken in amounts of about 2 fl oz (50 ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. The leaves can be frozen and easily stored. It’s a good idea to use parsley both in cooking and in the form of juice. Dried parsley is not a very satisfactory alternative to fresh parsley and has a coarser flavor.

Thanks to Kevin Pederson

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