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Home :: Parsley :: Herbs

Parsley Herb Information - Parsley Benefits

Botanical Name: Petroselinum sativum

The ancient Greeks made funeral wreaths from parsley and sprinkled the herb on dead bodies to help mask the smell of decomposition. Today, parsley serves mainly as a culinary herb and garnish. Small amounts of parsley leaves and oils are used in baked goods, sauces, stews, packaged meats, soups, and other processed foods.

Parsley comes from Petroselinum crispum, a wild plant found in parts of the Mediterranean area and cultivated in herb gardens worldwide. Herbalists use the leaves and, less often, the roots, seeds, and oil. Germany, France, Belgium, Hungary, and California are the largest parsley oil producers. Parsley grows well in Zones 3-10. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate light shade. Plant in a rich soil amended with manure or compost.

Common doses of parsley

capsules (430, 450, and 455 milligrams)

  • liquid extract (1 ounce made from 1: 1 in 25% alcohol)
  • tea

Some experts recommend the following doses:

  • As a tea, 1 to 2 grams of the leaf or root steeped for 10 minutes in 1 cup of hot water. Drink two or three times daily.
  • As a liquid extract, 2 to 4 milliliters taken orally three times daily.

Use of parsley herb

Parsley is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Mouse Moth and The Nutmeg.

In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia, many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is essential to several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups and sauces .

Side effects of parsley

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of parsley:

  • change in pulse rate
  • sensitivity to sunlight
  • skin rash.

Parsley oil can cause:

  • congested blood vessels in the lungs
  • digestive tract bleeding
  • kidney damage
  • liver problems
  • low blood pressure
  • smooth muscle contractions in the bladder, uterus, or intestine.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care
practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking, especially drugs that reduce blood pressure

Don't use parsley while taking:

  • antidepressants
  • cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan
  • Lithobid
  • narcotic pain killers.

Important paints to remember

  • Don't use parsley (especially parsley oil) if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Avoid this herb if you have multiple health problems.
  • If you have heart problems, low blood pressure, kidney failure, a peptic ulcer, or liver disease, consult your health care practitioner before using parsley.
  • Know that parsley sometimes is labeled Apium petroselinum, Carum petroselinum, or Petroselinum sativum.
  • Be aware that little clinical evidence supports medicinal parsley use.

What the research shows

Although parsley has shown some useful effects in animals, no studies on people have been done. Consequently, medical experts advise against eating more parsley than the amounts normally found in food.


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