Parsley properties

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

Characteristics of Parsley

Botanical illustration of the plant with the stems, branches, leaves, inflorescences and fruits.

– Common English name: Parsley

Common name in other languages:

  • Spanish/Español: Perejil
  • French/Français: Percil
  • Catalan/Català: Julivert, juliverd
  • Basque/Euskara: Perrexila
  • Galego/Galician: Perexil, pirixel
  • Portuguese/Português: Salsa, salsinha, perrexil
  • Italian/Italiano: Prezzemolo
  • Romanian/Româna: Pătrunjelul
  • Maygar/Hungarian: Petrezselyem
  • Dutch/Nederlands: Peterselie
  • German/Deutsch: Petersilie
  • Polish/Polski: Pietruszka zwyczajna
  • Danish/Dansk: Persille
  • Icelandic /Íslenska: Steinselja
  • Norwegian/Norsk bokmål: Bøk
  • Finnish/Suomi: Persilja
  • Swedish/Svenska: Persilja
  • Russian/Русский: Петру́шка кудря́вая
  • Turkish / Türkçe: Maydanoz

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.

Etymology: Petroselinum means “celery of the rocks”, since “petro “derives from the Latin root of “stone” and “selinum” is the name given in Latin to celery. Some theories explain that “petro”  refers to the property of the plant to dissolve urine stones. The diuretic properties of this plant have been known since ancient times.

Family: Carrot family – Umbelliferae

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

*  Related  information: Parsley cultivation

Description of Parsley

Perennial scented plant of the Carrot family – Umbelliferae – up to 1 m. Bent stems, green, with longitudinal stretch marks and quite branched. Inside they contain a kind of fluffy white medulla. 

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.

Collection and conservation of parsley

Roots will be collected in early spring;  leaves can be collected in early summer and seeds in early autumn . Roots and leaves should be dried in the shade, although it is better not to dry the latter. The former should be stored in airtight containers in a dark place; The leaves should be eaten fresh. The seeds must be dried in the sun and kept in an airtight container in a cool, shaded place.

Composition: Active components of Parsley

parsley leaves
Parsley is an aromatic herb widely used in cooking, which also brings healthy properties to recipes.

The main components are:

Medicinal properties of parsley

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a plant widely known for being a herb with aromatic properties. Its use as such dates back to almost immemorial times. However, the medicinal properties of this plant are not as popular.

In internal use, parsley is mainly used in the form of infusions, decoctions or juices, since it has carminative, antispasmodic, diuretic, emenagogue, expectorant, antirheumatic and antimicrobial properties.

The tender plant can also be used as food-medicine. Used in this way, parsley herb preparations have the following healing properties.


Parsley for the digestive tract

Parsley is a carminative, stomachich and digestive tonic plant. It is traditionally used in cases of flatulence, bloated belly, cramps and poor digestion.

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)

Parsley leaves

Diuretic properties of parsley

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)– 

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)]

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.

How to take parsley for diuretic purposes?

There are the following recipes:

  • Decoction of a teaspoon of dried root. Let stand for ¼ hour and drink a couple of cups a day
  • Juice: Squeeze the tender plant and take a couple of tablespoons a day. The juice is also sold in pharmacies and herbalists
    It will also be useful to detoxify the body and release it from those products that cause abnormalities such as hives.

Parsley to wet your appetite

Parsley is a very suitable condiment to introduce in all the dishes of people with anorexia or lack of appetite, since it is a vegetable very rich in folic acid and vitamin C, important vitamins for the correct assimilation of iron.

In addition, parsley is a plant with a moderate iron content, so it reinforces the dose of this mineral in the diet for anemia. (Eat a diet rich in iron, and add a sprig of chopped raw parsley at meals or at the end of cooking)

Other remedies with parsley in internal use

  • 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.
  • Halitosis: The bad smell of the mouth or halitosis can be fought by chewing parsley leaves.
  • Remove bad taste in your mouth: Parsley is a valid remedy to counteract the bad smell of mouth caused by the ingestion of certain foods such as garlic, onions, sausages, fermented cheeses, fish, etc. (Chew some parsley leaves after meals)


A drawing of parsley with the different parts of the plant,  by courtesy of © Dibujos para pintar
  • Eyewash: It alleviates the irritations of the tired eyes (Squeeze the tender plant and apply some juice with a gauze on the eyes)
  • Anesthetic: 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.  Very useful in case of earache, otitis or tinnitus (Make a small ball with parsley and olive oil, add a little salt and introduce the mixture into the ear)
  • 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.)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Insect bites or stingsmosquitoes, tiger mosquito, ticks, etc. (Apply the fresh plant juice)
  • Lice and crabs: (Decoction of the dried plant. Wash the affected parts to keep off flies and crabs.)
  • Fungi: Parsley juice contains fungicidal properties. It is suitable in the treatment of nail fungus , or those of the hands or feet.
  • 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)
  •  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.
parsley properties
Summary of parsley properties

Parsley in the kitchen: 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.

punto rojo More information on parsley

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

12 October, 2020

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

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.