The next time you go to a restaurant, don't neglect the parsley on the side of your plate. Eat it!
Herbalists have been aware of the medicinal properties of parsley for 2,000 years. The Ancient Greeks used the seeds and roots as a diuretic. During the Middle Ages, parsley wine was recommended as a remedy for poor circulation. Traditional folk medicine has used parsley to regulate menstruation, ease kidney stones, relieve stomach cramps and nausea, and to bring new life into dull, limp hair.
Parsley is a carminative which soothes the digestive tract, stimulates peristalsis, and reduces gas. It contains volatile oils which stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, and improve metabolism.
Parsley contains an essential oil, called apiole, which stimulates the kidneys and promotes the elimination of uric acid.
Due to its strong diuretic action, parsley is an excellent herb to use for detoxifying the liver, relieving bloating, and cleansing the urinary tract.
Parsley contains many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A nd C, iron, folic acid, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorous.
Used regularly, parsley may lower heart rate and blood pressure and help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Parsley is an excellent breath freshener, especially when eaten after a meal. Histidine, an amino acid found in parsley, is believed by researchers to fight tumors.
Pregnant women should avoid eating large amounts of parsley because it contains elements which may stimulate uterine contractions. After childbirth, however, those same elements help to contract the uterus to its normal size and to increase lactation.
Parsley is most commonly used in cooking as a garnish. It may be added to sauces, pasta, and salads; or sprinkled over potatoes and fish. The best choice for cooking is fresh Italian parsley.
Dawn Pisturino, RN
May 31, 2007
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