What is so great about parsley?

parsleyWhat is so great about parsley?

I was thinking about that this morning as I admired it popping up all over the garden like a weed.

Many people consider it an afterthought, a garnish pushed aside after you eat your real meal.

But the fact is, what is so great about parsley is that it is far more real nutrition than much of what people eat today.

Parsley is rich in many vitamins, including C, A and K. Vitamin K aids in bone health, and C is a fine immune booster. Parsley’s rich supply of beta carotene protects the body against free radical damage and fights the effects of aging.

The pretty little herb native to the Mediterranean is big in health benefits. A daily dose of parsley helps relieve joint pain, relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.

It is effective in treating and relieving urinary tract infections, kidney stones and gastrointestinal disorders.

It helps flush out excess fluids from the body, thus supporting normal kidney function.

Studies suggest that parsley—especially its essential oil—may play a role in inhibiting cancerous tumor growth. Scientists refer to parsley as a “chemoprotective herb.”

Parsley is among the richest in chlorophyll of all the chlorophyll-containing  green herbs and vegetables. Chlorophyll has been repeatedly shown to be effective in blocking carcinogenic development.

So all of those above snippets hint at what is so great about parsley, which (in the summer at least), is as important to me as the lettuce in our daily salads, and many other dishes.

Parsley’s chlorophyll-containing health benefits make it a vital ingredient in the delivery system of most quality whole food supplements, along with alfalfa leaf, wheat grass, oat grass, barley grass, broccoli, cabbage, kale and dandelion leaf, etc.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) has been appreciated for over 2000 years. The ancient Greeks not only used it internally for general well-being, but crowned their brows with the special herb to honor weddings, births and even funerals.

In later medieval times, parsley was used for stomach ailments, flatulence, joint pain, cough and snake bite. An infusion of the young leaves was used as an eyewash, and today we know that parsley’s rich content of vitamin A is excellent for the eyes.

It’s amazing to ponder the contrast of the trial and error health knowledge of the ancients with the scientific ‘proof’ of what we are just learning today about nature’s gifts.

One warning about too much parsley: Parsley contains oxalates, which may be problematic for those with existing kidney and/or gall bladder dysfunctions.

Sources: Care2.com,  Folklore and Odysseys of Food and Medicinal Plants