Herb Highlight: Parsley

The other day, my mom asked me what I knew about parsley for weight loss, because Dr. Oz recommended it. Now, I’m not an officionado on Dr. Oz’s work, but as seen on this page, 6 cups of parsley tea are recommended in addition to some other ideas for “fat busting”. It got me thinking as to what purpose he chose parsley and I was inspired to research it. Botanical medicine has become one of my more favorite modalities to learn, so I will be posting herb features to educate you guys on what wonderful benefits can be obtained from plants! So thank you Dr. Oz for inspiring today’s post on the oh-so wonderful parsley


Parsley, Petroselinum crispum
Family: Apiacea, includes celery and carrots

Compounds found in Parsley:
Essential oils

Phytochemical: monoterpenes
Actions: antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, expectorant, and carminative

Carminatives also promote digestion and can relieve bloating and gas by increasing blood flow to the intestines, relaxing smooth muscles (especially the sphincters), and restore peristalsis (intestinal motility) over time. Carminatives mostly come from terpene oils. Terpene oils have local anti-inflammatory effects. Expectorants assist in eliminating phelgm stuck in the throat/chest during a cough

Phytochemical: Sesquiterpene
Action: antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, bitter, carminative

Bitters can stimulate appetite, promote digestion, and they tonify the gastrointestinal tract (which simply means it send Qi [pronounced “chi”] to that organ). 

Phytochemical: Phenylpropene
Action: antimicrobial, carminative


Phytochemical: furanocoumarins
Action: photosensitizing

Due to the photosensitizing nature of furanocoumarins, they are used in treatment for people who have leukoderma (vitiligo) and psoriasis. However – ingesting large quantities of this can cause extreme blistering of the skin after being exposed to sunlight or tanning beds. This compound is also found in celery. Moral of the story: don’t consume a bunch of parsley or eat a celery soup then go tan!

Phytochemical: pthalide
Action: relax smooth muscle (sphincters), lower blood pressure

The ability to relax smooth muscles, specifically sphincters, means that this is great for people who are bloated and cannot have bowel movements or pass gas

Okay. So parlsey seems to be great in reducing inflammation, defending against microbes, aiding in digestion and potentially burning skin if we are not careful. What else should you know about parsley?pars2

Well, firstly it is an abortifacient which means that it induces labour. Great if you’re ready to enter labour, not so great if you’re a pregnant woman with a craving for tabouleh. It would be wise to generally avoid parsley during pregnancy but it could be consume in large quantities. It is also a diuretic, which makes it ideal to include during a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or when detoxing. I suppose it also might make it good to lose excess water weight aka “weight loss” according to Dr. Oz. Finally, it is also an emmenagogue which means it induces or regulates menses by stimulating the uterus. If you have ammenorrhea (lack of menses), dysmenorrhea (painful menses), and/or oligomenorrhea (infrequent/light menses), parsley may be a herb you might want to include parsley on a more regular basis. Again – due to the uterine stimulation you want to avoid this while pregnant

There are many ways to enjoy parsley. I include it in my smoothies every morning, sometimes I sneak it into my eggs, or if I’m really wanting a parsley experience I enjoy some tabouleh. You can add it to salads, entrees, probably anything!

So as the wonderful world of parsley comes to a close, I hope you include more of this herbacious wonder in your diet. It’s packed full of vitamins K, C, and A making it a benefit to heart disease, immunity, and eyesight.

Enjoy friends!





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