Parsley is a common herb mostly found in kitchens and is widely used in cooking. This herb comes in a number of varieties. The parsleys are differentiated primarily by the appearance of their leaves. They could be curly, flat or divided. Flat-leafed variety is the most popular for medicinal purposes. The ancient Greeks used parsley medicinally in ancient times. Homer recorded that warriors used parsley to feed on their horses. Romans were also credited for being the first ones to use it as food. They ate parsley in large quantity. They also made garlands out of parsley to banquet guests to combat strong odors and discourage toxicity.

Parsley is aromatic albeit mildly and has a sweet taste. It contains starch, mucilage, sugar, volatile oil and Apiin. Apiin is white, inodorous, tasteless and soluble in boiling water. The most popular use of parsley is as a flavoring to sauces, soups, stuffings, rissoles, minces and many others. They are also used in vegetable salads. For medicinal purposes, the two-year old roots are used. The leaves could be used too for medicinal purposes. The dried leaves and roots are used in making parsley tea. The seeds are used to extract oil called Apiol which is known for its curative value. The best kind of seed that can produce Apiol is from the Triple Moss curled variety. Those in the whole sale drug business usually obtain its seeds from the farmers on the East coast. Formulations for parsley are teas, juices and fluid extracts which are made from herb’s fresh or dried leaves, roots and in some cases seeds. All these forms are popular in Germany. They take parsley to prevent and cure urinary tract infections, control indigestion and gas and to aid in digesting. As an antidote to bad breath you can pluck parsley from the dinner plate and chew it until the odor is gone. Parsley herb is good source for iron and minerals. Parsley is a wonderful detoxifier. It has properties than can flush the kidneys and soothe the bladder including the digestive tract. Parsley also have high Vitamin A & C content.

Image courtesy of Kelley Boone

Parsley also does the following functions:

Lower blood pressure

Detoxifying and cleansing the body

Acting as a natural antibiotic

Has strong deodorizing properties

Parsley does not have any known drug or nutrient interactions. It is generally safe to use in recommended amounts in cooking and medicinal purposes. But care should be exercised in consuming huge amounts of the herb especially the seeds for extended periods. The high concentration of essential oil in the seeds could irritate the stomach, kidneys and other organs.

Parsley dosages include fluid extract root, ½ to 1 drachm. Fluid extract seeds ½ to 1 drachm. Apiol oil 5 to 15 drops in capsule. The roots are collected for the medicinal purposes in the second year usually in autumn or late summer when the plant has flowered. The oil is extracted from the seeds or rather fruits when fresh. Then they are supplied to druggists.


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