If you have read the previous article on the medicinal properties of aloe vera, you will love this article too. Today, we will tell you about the various health benefits of parsley. The plant has its origin from the Mediterranean region of southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia. Since the time the medical world has announced the benefits of parsley, it has been cultivated and used as a herb, spice and even as a vegetable. Parsley is used more in the Middle Eastern and American recipes. There are many dishes that are garnished with parsley as its top layer.
Cultivation Of Parsley
The plant of parsley grows well if the soil is moist and the area has good drainage. The most important factor is the presence of sunlight. The temperature should be in the range of 22–30 °C (72–86 °F), and the plant grows only from seed. The initial stage is slow with the time taking from five to six weeks because of the tough exterior of the seed coat. These plants also have plenty of enemies in nature. The swallowtail butterflies prefer this plant as their perfect host for larvae; once the little ones are out, they will feed on the plant for at least fifteen days before becoming butterflies. In the case of birds, goldfinch prefers to feed on the seeds of parsley plant.
Beneficial Properties & Health Benefits Of Parsley
Parsley has many vitamins as its components such as Vitamin C, A, K, and B12. One of the best health benefits of parsley is that it keeps your immune system strong and wards off diseases. With regular consumption of parsley, your bones get enough strength to endure vagaries of life while the nervous system stays healthy and up-to-date.
The folic acid in parsley assists in maintaining the health of the vital organ – ‘heart.’ The leaves can also assist in the regulation of blood pressure. The oil made from parsley is said to have healing properties in controlling loss of hair. However, it also depends on the health of the individual and the condition of the scalp. The anti-inflammatory properties of parsley can also help in relieving joint pain. The tea of parsley can relax the muscles of the throat and promote digestion. However, research is still carried out on whether parsley can prevent cancer tumors in the human body.
Components In Parsley
Parsley has Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3 and minerals such as iron, folate, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus. The volatile oils found are limonene, alpha-thujene, myristicin, and eugenol. The other components are flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, crisoeriol, and apiin.
- Myristicin – This oil (phenyl propane) prevents the formation of tumor in lungs, and it also has anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Eugenol – Well-known in dentistry field as an antiseptic for gum and teeth diseases.
- Luteolin – The antioxidant flavonoid prevents damage to cells by combining with oxygen radicals.
- Apigenin – Well-known for its anticancer properties.
- Potassium – The vital component of the body and cell fluids which assist in controlling blood pressure and heart rate by balancing the levels of sodium.
- Iron is necessary for hemoglobin in the red blood cells which can carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Zeaxanthin present in parsley can assist in preventing age-related diseases such as macular degeneration in the retina.
- Chlorophyll found in parsley can assist in the regulation of halitosis (bad breath).
Vitamin Health Benefits Of Parsley
Vitamin A – Parsley contains beta-carotene that is converted to Vitamin A by the human body. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes. Vitamin A gives ample support to white blood cells or lymphocytes thus enhancing their contribution to the health of the body.
Vitamin C – the anti-oxidant is water soluble and can prevent asthma, colon cancer and promotion of diabetes. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent and it is useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Excess of uric acid is removed, which contributed to arthritic pain. The most important – immune system is enhanced, and you do not suffer from simple ailments such as cold or infections.
Vitamin B9 – also called as folic acid, it is necessary for cardiovascular health by converting homocysteine, the molecule responsible for heart attacks to harmless molecules. It is also a vital component for the perfect division of cells. The homocysteine also contributes to the formation of osteoporosis, and you get prevention from two important harmful factors. Parsley is also abundant in calcium, the main component of bones.
The vitamins B-5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B-3 (niacin), Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) and thiamin (Vitamin B-1) assist in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism in the human body. Vitamin K is necessary for strong bones & prevention of Alzheimer disease.
Hope that you have enjoyed reading the health benefits of parsley. The next time, if you see parsley on the dinner menu or the plate, we are sure that you will understand its true worth. If you can gift this valuable plant containing multiple health properties to yourself or a loved one, you would not only be contributing to the health aspects but also a favorite component of many recipes.
Parsley is also known for its diuretic properties. It can prevent various diseases such as gallbladder stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Although this plant is very useful, similar to any other plant, it also has side effects in some situations.
Some Side Effects of Parsley
- It is not safe for women to have parsley when they are pregnant as it can trigger contractions of the uterus. Large amounts are a no-no when you are breastfeeding a baby.
- Some people may suffer from rashes as the skin becomes extra sensitive to sun rays.
- Over-consumption of any food or useful herb can make the body suffer from ailments. Similarly, over consumption of parsley can lead to seizures.
- Though parsley is known as a diuretic, individuals suffering from kidney and gall bladder problems can take dosage only as prescribed by the naturopath doctor.
- For information on medicinal plants, you can give as gifts, click here.