Scientific name: Petroselinum crispum
Family name: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
Garden parsley is a bright green, hairless, biennial, herbaceous plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas. Parsley is the world’s most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery” (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established. Parsley, the Indian herb, is an aromatic biennial umbelliferous herb, which can often last up to 4 years, producing a rosette of finely divided radical leaves in the first year and a flowering stalk, up to 100 cm high in the second year. It has rich green compound leaves; two or three pinnate. Flowers of Parsley are yellowish green in compound umbels; fruits (commonly known as seeds) 2 to 3 mm long, crescent shaped, conspicuously ridged, consisting of two mericarps. Seeds and leaves are used as spice. The color of the dried herb is green. Its aroma is pleasant, characteristic, fragrant and spicy. Dried herb is available as rubbed, whole or ground form. Parsley herb is popularly used as a culinary spice; however, it has many health benefits that most of us are unaware of.
Parsley health benefits
Parsley is rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A as well as Beta Carotene. Apart from the above listed vitamins this herb is also a good source of folic acid as well as iron. The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is the chief component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium. Iron is essential for the production of heme, which is an important oxygen-carrying component inside the red blood cells.
Parsley herb has some volatile oils such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol as well as alpha thujene which are antioxidants in nature. The above mentioned oil counterbalances the effects of some carcinogens (such as benzopyrenes found in cigarette fumes) and reduces the chances of getting cancer. Myristicin, an organic compound found in the essential oil of parsley helps the molecule glutathione attach to, and ﬁght against the oxidized molecules.
Parsley herb is found to be diuretic in nature which promotes healthy workings of the kidney. The diuretic found in parsley helps in getting rid of sodium and other harmful elements from the human body. Parsley works on the gall bladder and will remove gallstones if used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily.
Along with luteolin, the vitamin C found in parsley serves as an effective anti-inﬂammatory agent within the body. When consumed regularly, they combat the onset of inflammatory disorders, such as and rheumatoid arthritis.
Healthy Immune System
The vitamin C and vitamin A found in parsley serve to strengthen the body’s immune
system, though in different ways. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen, the main
structural protein found in connective tissue. This essential nutrient will not only accelerate the body’s ability to repair wounds, but also maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Parsley is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse, and as such should be part of every medicinal garden. Indoors, it adds greenery and makes an attractive, edible garnish for the kitchen shelf during the winter. It is also used to start menstrual flow, to cause an abortion, as an aphrodisiac, and as a breath freshener. The medicinal benefits of parsley also include it being to control the levels of blood cholesterol as it is rich in anti oxidants. Thus parsley is also known to be very effective in maintaining good blood pressure and promoting good health of the heart. One the other hand there are certain side effects of parsley because of which it should not be given to pregnant women as it may result in muscle contractions of the uterus as well as uterine bleeding. It must be taken in moderation otherwise it can cause headache and loss of body balance. If you are allergic to this herb, you must avoid its supplements also. Except this, it is overall healthy herb you can rely upon!