14. Treats Edema
Being a natural diuretic, parsley flushes out excess water from the body. It also flushes out excess salt from the body, which otherwise leads to edema.
One Iranian study suggests that parsley can even help treat renal disorders caused by an extreme case of edema (20).
It is also important to talk to your doctor about fluid retention as it can be caused by different conditions. Parsley sure can help with sodium and water retention, but exercise caution before taking any kind of supplements (21).
15. Improves Kidney Health
Since parsley is a diuretic and helps flush fluids out of the body, it sure can have a beneficial effect on the kidneys – as it can also flush out germs in the process. Two ingredients in parsley oil can be credited for the herb’s diuretic properties – apiol and myristicin.
The herb can also help rid the body of kidney stones and gallstones.
But keep in mind that excessive use of parsley oil can put your kidneys at risk.
16. Improves Liver Health
Parsley can exhibit excellent hepatoprotective effects, especially in the case of diabetic individuals. In one Turkish study, diabetic rats treated with parsley showed significantly lower levels of blood glucose and enhanced liver health (22).
According to another nutritional report, parsley helps open the obstructions in the liver and spleen (23).
17. Treats Menstrual Problems
The two volatile oils in parsley, apiol and myristicin, are responsible for its emmenagogue effects. Though there is no strong evidence that says if parsley can stimulate menstrual flow, one study of a Russian drug containing 85% parsley juice states that it could be used for inducing labor. However, numerous herbalists and practitioners of alternative medicine use parsley for treating menstrual issues.
18. Treats Night Blindness
Night blindness is caused by a deficiency in vitamin A, and parsley, being rich in this vitamin, can aid in the treatment of the condition. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, retinol, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, combines with opsin to form rhodopsin. Opsin is a pigment in the eye retina and rhodopsin is a chemical involved in night vision (24).
19. Improves Oral Health
Though more research is required, certain studies have shown that parsley can help reduce bad breath through a process called enzymatic deodorization. Another set of studies says that parsley might be a temporary cure for bad breath, but it may not offer a permanent solution.
More interestingly, bad breath is also caused by a number of intestinal disorders. Some of these include systemic diseases like gastrointestinal or upper respiratory tract disorders and microbial metabolism from your tongue – and parsley might help treat a number of these conditions, indirectly improving bad breath too (25).
20. Good During Pregnancy
Parsley is a good source of iron, a mineral important during pregnancy (26). The herb also can ease pregnancy.
What Are The Benefits For Skin?
The skin care properties of parsley are not much recognized and are highly underrated. The skin benefits of this herb can be attributed to its antioxidant properties and high amounts of vitamin C it contains. The herb helps heal wounds, has anti-aging benefits, and even helps prevent acne and zits.
21. Reduces Wrinkles, Fine Lines, And Scars
Since vitamin C is not naturally present in the body, we need to consume it in sufficient amounts through food. The high amount of vitamin C in parsley nourishes the skin from within to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
Consuming parsley stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and promotes cell reproduction and repair. This leads to faster growth of new skin, which results in blemish-free, even, and smooth skin – and more importantly, elimination of wrinkles and fine lines.
Parsley also contains a high amount of antioxidants, which protect our skin from free radical damage and delay the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
22. Improves Wound Healing
Parsley contains beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A for proper maintenance and skin repair. Thus, eating parsley improves the skin’s elasticity, which delays wrinkles and speeds up the wound healing process.
23. Erases Under-Eye Dark Circles
Parsley works wonders to erase under-eye dark circles. It contains a high amount of vitamin C, chlorophyll, and vitamin K, which help to lighten the skin under the eyes and even reduce puffiness. Using parsley for this remedy is quite simple.
Just squish a handful of parsley to release its juice. Mix with a teaspoon of yogurt and apply the mixture to the regions under your eyes. You can even soak cotton balls in parsley juice and keep them under the eyes for 10 minutes.
Do this twice a week to reduce dark circles.
24. Provides Antibacterial And Antifungal Protection To Skin
The volatile oils in parsley, eugenol particularly, provide antibacterial and antifungal effects that are useful for treating acne, pimples, and skin infection and disinfecting pores. Parsley oil is easily available in the market. Never apply parsley oil directly to the face as it can burn the skin.
Dilute it with a carrier oil like olive or almond oil and then apply it to the face. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse off.
25. Offers Clear And Glowing Skin
Consuming parsley abundantly helps to balance excess sebum secretion in oily skin. It further helps to clear the pores, which might otherwise lead to acne outbreaks. The zinc in parsley controls skin inflammation and promotes skin regeneration. It also reduces redness and diminishes acne blemishes.
You can also prepare a parsley toner to get glowing skin.
Take a bundle of parsley leaves and mash them using a fork to extract the juice. Add distilled boiling water to it and leave it aside to let it cool. Now, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, three drops of tea tree oil, and three drops of rosemary essential oil to it. You can even store it in the refrigerator. When required, dip a cotton ball in the toner and apply it to the face in circular motion.
This toner is highly clarifying. It helps to balance the pH levels of the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. It will also treat oily skin and skin inflammation.
26. Improves Overall Skin Health
Parsley contains minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, and zinc – which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. Extract the juice from the leaves and mix it with 200 ml of water. Drink this concoction daily to get healthy skin.
27. Prevents Acne And Zits
Individuals with combination and oily skin types can prepare this homemade toner to prevent acne and zits.
Take some parsley in a bowl and mash it using a spoon or fork. Add two teaspoons of honey to it and mix it thoroughly till the honey turns green. Apply it to the face and wash it off after 10 minutes. Follow it up with a moisturizer of your choice.
Both honey and parsley contain antibacterial properties that treat pimples and keep the skin smooth and nourished. Use fresh parsley leaves instead of dried parsley for preparing this pack.
28. Can Be Used As A Homemade Facial Treatment
You can also use dried parsley as a facial treatment.
Take a spoonful of dried parsley leaves and add them to 200 ml of water. Boil for at least 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
You can use this water to rinse your face once or twice a day. Prepare a fresh rinse daily to obtain maximum benefits.
29. Prevents Dark Spots And Skin Discoloration
Parsley is beneficial in reducing the appearance of dark spots and skin discoloration. A face pack containing parsley, honey, and lemon juice can effectively erase dark spots and treat skin discoloration.
Take one medium-sized bundle of parsley leaves and soak it in warm water. Chop finely and then crush in a mortar. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of raw honey and mash well. Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and then apply this pack to the face, focusing on the blackheads. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse. This face pack will refresh and revitalize the skin.
30. Acts As An Effective Cleanser
Blend a handful of parsley leaves with yogurt. Grind thoroughly to form a smooth paste. Add one teaspoon of oatmeal and a few drops of tea tree oil. Apply the mask on a clean face and neck and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off and pat dry.
Apply this face pack thrice a week to remove dead skin cells and accumulated dirt from the face.
31. Soothes Irritated Skin
Rub dried or fresh parsley leaves on irritated skin or insect bites to soothe skin irritation. When dealing with boils, boil parsley leaf in water and apply it on the affected areas for a few hours. It also helps to fade freckles and spots. Application of parsley seed oil can help to heal bruises.
What Are The Benefits For Hair?
32. Controls Hair Loss
Parsley is rich in other important nutrients that address a number of nutritional deficiencies that lead to hair loss or weak hair. Parsley has been traditionally used as a hair tonic to disinfect the scalp and control hair loss. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant flavonoid that controls hair fall through the regulation of TGF-beta1 gene.
Puree a handful of parsley sprigs and add 100 ml of water to it. Apply this tonic to wet scalp, wrap your hair in a towel and allow it to sit for an hour. Wash it off with shampoo.
33. Helps Maintain Natural Hair Color
Parsley contains a high amount of copper, which helps to retain the hair’s natural color. It can be applied topically or can be added in large amounts to your diet.
34. Promotes Hair Growth
Parsley is highly beneficial in promoting hair growth.
Rub powdered parsley seeds on the scalp and massage your scalp gently with it. This will stimulate scalp circulation and promote hair growth. Repeat this method twice a week for two months to get long and straight hair.
35. Helps Treat Dandruff
Wash your hair with an infusion of parsley leaves to get rid of dandruff.
You saw the ways parsley can make your life better. But what about selecting the right kind of parsley? How about storing it?
How To Select And Store Parsley
Both fresh and dried parsleys are available throughout the year in all supermarkets. Choose fresh parsley over the dried one as fresh parsley is superior in flavor and aroma. Choose parsley that is dark green, has firm stems, and looks fresh and crisp. Organically grown parsleys are the best as they are not irradiated and are free from harmful pesticides and insecticides residue. Avoid buying parsley with wilted or yellow leaves, mold, and dark spots.
It is very important to store parsley properly. Otherwise, the herb can become slippery and wilted. Do not store parsley under direct sunlight as it can dry its leaves. Wash the leaves under running water thoroughly to remove pesticide residue, dirt, and yellow leaves. Repeat the washing process again and then shake excess water off the leaves. Lay them on a kitchen towel and gently dab them to remove the remaining water. Place the leaves in a ziplock or plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. This will keep the leaves crisp, and they will easily last for 10 days. Whenever you require it, just open the bundle, take out the parsley you need and then rewrap it and keep it in the refrigerator.
You can also keep it immersed in water in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for a longer period. All you need to do is cut off the small section of the parsley stem. Take a glass of water and place the leaves in the water with the leaves standing upwards. Do not wash the parsley leaves before immersing them in the water. Replace the water every 2 to 3 days to prevent bacterial growth.
Wash the parsley thoroughly before using it every time. Place it in water for a while to allow the sand and dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the bowl and then wash them with clean water. Parsley can be stored for around two weeks in the refrigerator.
Selection and storage are one part. Using parsley in cooking is another.
How To Use Parsley For Cooking
Parsley is commonly used in soups, salads, savory and baked dishes to add flavor and aroma. It can add color and flavor even to the most ordinary and basic dishes. Parsley is an essential component in French cuisine as it is extensively used to prepare soup, stew, and stock. It is also used as a garnish in Middle Eastern cuisine like hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh. It is a staple in Italian cuisine and is used in the preparation of pizzas, pasta, and lasagna. Parsley leaves are also added to homemade spaghetti and salsa sauce. It makes the food look more appealing and appetizing and brings out the flavor of fresh vegetables.
Flat leaf parsley is mainly used for garnishing purpose as they have a stronger aroma, while curled parsley is used for adding flavor to soups and stews as they blend easily with any type of soup. Curly parsleys are also added to salads and sandwiches because of their crunchy texture. Discard the stems and finely chop the leaves before adding it to your dish. Parsley should be added towards the end of cooking process to retain its taste, color, and nutritional value. It is one of the only herbs that taste worse when cooked.
What Are The Side Effects Of Parsley?
Parsley can have side effects if consumed in excess. Following are the side effects.
Applying parsley seed oil to the skin can make it sensitive to the sun and cause rashes – in certain individuals. Hence, check with your doctor before use.
Though safe in normal amounts, excess intake of parsley during pregnancy or breastfeeding can cause complications.
In certain cases, parsley might hold on to excess sodium in the body and elevate blood pressure levels. Hence, practice caution and consult your doctor if you have problems with blood pressure.
Though parsley does improve kidney health, certain studies show it can worsen the condition. Talk to your doctor.
Parsley might lower blood glucose levels and interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop use at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.