Parsley properties

Health benefits of parsley (Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss)

Characteristics of Parsley

Common noun: Parsley

Scientific noun: Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss

– Synonyms: Petroselinum hortense Hoffm. = Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. = Apium petroselinum L. = Carum petroselinum (L.) Benth. & Hook. f. = Petroselinum vulgare Lagasca.

Family: Carrot family – Umbelliferae

Habitat: Cultivated plant, sometimes naturalised in many places of Europe. It can be found in cool places by the walls and rocks.

A detail of the plant

Description of Parsley

Perennial scented plant of the Carrot family – Umbelliferae – up to 1 m. Bent stems. Leaves below tripinnate, with wide cuneate leaflets, curly in cultivated species; upper leaves with three lobes. Flowers in umbels till 5 cm wide, flat above. Ovate fruits, till 3 mm.

Composition: Active components of Parsley

The main components are:

– Amino acids: lysine.

– Acids: Ascorbic (vitamin C); folic, nicotinic (it plants), oleic, palmitic, petroselinic (seed)

– Essential oil rich in: apiole (leaves and especially seeds) furocoumarins: bergapten and xanthotoxin (mainly in the tender buds), alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, beta – cariofilene, beta-phelandrene, myrcene (seed)

– Alkaloids: myristicin.

– Rutin (leaves)

– Fats (especially in the seed)

– Fibers (plant)

– Minerals: potassium, calcium, match, phosphorus, iron, zinc,…etc. (plant)

Medicinal properties of parsley

Internal use remedies with parsley


Parsley leaves

– Carminative, tonic and digestive: It favours digestion, contributes to expel the flatulence and opens the appetite. Very appropriate in intestinal spasms. (Infusion of a small spoonful of seeds for each cup of water. 2 cups a day) (in the event of inappetence take a cup of the infusion half hour before the meals)

– Diuretic: It is one of the best diuretics because of the the action of the apiole that favours the elimination of corporal liquids, being very appropriate in cases of gallstones, kidney stones, jaundice, obesity, rheumatic and heart illnesses, associated with the accumulation of water in the body. (Take 3 spoonfuls of juice a day, obtained when mashing the plant or buy it in a specialized store)

Very useful for renal insufficiency (Decoction of one teaspoon of dried root. Let stand for one quarter of an hour and take a couple of cups a day) (Squeeze the tender plant and take a couple of tablespoons a day. The juice is also sold in pharmacies and herbalists)

This property has a depurative action for blood, being suitable for diseases such as psoriasis or urticaria.

Black eyes: It protects the capillary walls making it more resistant so as they could not so easily broken. It also has analgesic properties, therefore it helps reduce pain sensation. It is useful for the treatment of bruises on your eyes, and any kind of cardinal or or black marks appearing in your legs. It is also interesting to improve the symptoms of the blows suffered by athletes.

Anorexia: Parsley favors digestion and contributes to expel flatulences and it whets the appetite. (In case of lack of appetite, take a cup of the infusion half and hour before the meals)

– Emmenagoge: It favours the menstruation and alleviates the pains associated with it. The influence of the myristicin and of the apiole are responsible for this property. In superior doses to those allowed, both are toxic (See toxicity) (Decoction 25 gr. of root for half a liter of water during 10 minutes. Take a cup a day.)

Menopause: It increases the production of estrogens which is particularly useful in menopause. (Soak for 45 minutes a couple of glasses of parsley in a litter of boiling water. Turn off the cooker and let it rest for one hour. Drink a glass before intercourse) See the contraindications in the complete information on this plant.

– Urinary tract disorders: Parsley is useful to prevent kidney stones formation, allowing the expulsion of the sand through the urine before it has settled and compact in the form of a calculus. (Decoction of one teaspoon of dried root. Let stand for one quarter of an hour and take a couple of cups a day) (Squeeze the tender plant and take a couple of tablespoons a day. juice is also sold in pharmacies and herbalists) You can use this treatment for urinary tract inflammations, such as in nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) or cystitis. (inflammation of the gallbladder)

External use preparations with parsley

Eyewash: It alleviates the irritations of the tired eyes (Squeeze the tender plant and apply some juice with a gauze on the eyes)

– Vulnerary: It diminishes pain (Apply a cataplasm with the juice diluted in alcohol on the area where the pains are presented) The ascorbic acid and the zinc are responsible for this property.

Earache, otitis or tinnitus: Make a small ball with parsley and olive oil, add a little salt and introduce the mixture into the ear.

– Relaxing: Pour an infusion of a couple of liters of water with 50 gr. of fruits in the water of the bath) This will produce a remarkable effect of relax to our body.

– Galactofuge: To stop the excess of production of milk in nursing mothers (Squeeze the tender plant and apply some juice with a gauze on the chests)

– Halitosis: You can combat bad breath or halitosis chewing some leaves of parsley.

Insect bites or stings: (Apply the fresh plant juice)

Lice and crabs: (Decoction of the dried plant. Wash the affected parts to keep off flies and crabs.)

Skin spots: It has bleaching properties, so it is ideal for clearing skin blemishes of any kind. (Crush a sprig of parsley and apply the juice with a gauze on freckles, skin spots produced by the sun, bags under your eyes, etc.)

Acne signs: Parsley cleans skin pores from grease and disinfects them (Infusion of tender grass. Apply for 1 / 4 of an hour a compress soaked with the resulting liquid on the affected zone of the skin)

Hematomas: It protects the capillary wall making it more resistant to shocks and not so easily broken. Very useful for swellings in the legs of women. It is also interesting to improve the symptoms of the blows suffered by athletes. (Make a mixture with parsley and olive oil. Apply this same mixture in the form of plaster on the painful area)

Nosebleed: Parsley juice strengthens the walls of small blood vessels in the nose and helps prevent breakage. (Soak a cotton ball with parsley juice and insert into the nose)

Other uses of Parsley: Seasoning

Eaten fresh, parsley is ideal to give favour to many dishes from soups, to vegetables, salads, meats….In the same way way seeds and dry roots are used as species.

Toxicity of Parsley

The essential oil, mainly for their composition in apiole, myristicine, bergapten and xanthotoxin. The apiole, in appropriate dose, acts as emenagoge, facilitating the menses and avoiding the pains associated to it. In superior quantities to those allowed (more than 10 drops of essence a day) it is abortive.

In higher dose it produces intoxication of the liver, circulatory paralysis and death, preceded of diarrhoea, vomiting, alteration of the heart rhythm..etc. in the event of not producing the death, the lesions on the liver and the kidneys are important.

Essential oil should not be used during the pregnancy!

Another toxic component of the essential oil is the myristicine, a narcotic that affects to the central nervous system, and that can produce convulsions.

The xanthotoxin and the bergapten are especially phototoxic that react in contact with the light, in very sunny atmospheres specially in high mountain, producing lesions in the skin.

Given the danger that sup poses the ingestion of the essential oil, it is recommended not to use this product, taking advantage of the rest of preparations to get the beneficial effects of this plant.

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Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.