Herb of the Month: Parsley

Have you been spring cleaning at home? Don’t forget yourself! We all could use a little “dusting off” from time to time, and it feels so good to do during the spring season! I think we all can relate to how good it feels to do that yearly deep clean once we can open the windows and let the fresh spring breeze into our homes. Our bodies deserve that same breath of fresh air, too! Let me introduce you to our April herb of the month, Parsley. This nutritive herb will have you feeling refreshed, lighter, and give you that healthy glow from cleansing you head to toe! 

Parsley, or Petroselinum crispum, is a common kitchen staple in everyday households and is shared across many different cultures. It’s a fun herb to cook with because it combines so well with other herbs and spices and easily elevates any dish. The taste is mildly bitter and peppery. From sandwiches and salads to soups and meats, parsley is an easy herb to incorporate into your daily cooking routine for an effortless dose of nutrition! 

The cultivation of this herb dates back to 2000 years ago. It is native to the Mediterranean, with its earliest use documented in Ancient Greece and Rome. There is a lot of folklore surrounding this herb. Ancient Greeks believed Parsley sprouted from the blood of Archemorus, the “Herald of Death”. Due to its association with death, ancient Greeks adorned tombs and gravestones with wreaths of parsley. Other lore states there was a time when it was believed that parsley could only be grown by pregnant women or witches! In time, however, its popularity and folk use spread to monasteries and royal gardens throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and transitioned to a common herb.

This plant loves the sun! In fact, this herb prefers at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. How perfect for us to honor this herb while the hours of sunlight begin returning to the Northern Hemisphere! While this herb is grown mainly for its nutrient-dense and aromatic leaves, the root of parsley is also used medicinally and in cooking. All parts of Petroselinum crispum are edible and medicinal. 

Parsley has a wide range of uses due to its incredible spectrum of medicinal benefits. The herb is loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and sulfur. These help to strengthen our immune system, cell restoration, and overall wellness. Parsley leaf gently cleanses the body and also supports kidney, heart, brain, gut, and liver health to name a few. Many diets and detoxes feature Parsley for its cleansing and diuretic properties. This special herb gently detoxes the bloodstream by expelling toxins and heavy metal build-up. Ingesting parsley may increase urinary flow and help flush the bladder and urinary tract. Parsley helps to reduce water retention, bloating, and expel gas. It’s no wonder so many healthy diets and cleanses utilize parsley! Not only for the cleansing and carminative properties but also because it provides our bodies with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants at the same time. Parsley is the all-in-one herb for cleansing, restoring, and protecting our bodies at the deepest cellular levels. Prepare to glow from the inside out!  

Antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal, it's a great plant ally for improving oral health and treating bacteria-related skin conditions such as cellulitis and fungal complications like athlete’s foot. Some studies note that parsley may assist in treating symptoms of diabetes thanks to a present flavonoid “myricetin”, which can lower blood sugar levels and balance insulin resistance. Other studies support evidence that parsley may soothe autoimmune conditions and prevent the onset of disease. While parsley is known to support menstrual cycles by balancing estrogen levels, alleviating cramps, and promoting an overall healthy cycle, parsley is an emmenagogue. Therefore, this herb may not be suitable for those with heavy menstrual flows and may not be safe during pregnancy as it stimulates uterine contractions. This emmenagogue however may be a useful herb for those with irregular or absent periods, or for those needing to induce menstrual flow. For individuals with low iron levels or anemia, parsley helps to boost iron levels naturally due to its high iron and vitamin C content. As if that wasn’t enough for an herb to do, parsley also fights inflammation and supports eye health, hair, bones, and joints. 

For a glow that shines from the inside out, add a little parsley to your life! 

You can find parsley in our house-made blends such as; Spring Greens Salad Dressing Blend, Spring Greens Sipping Vinegar, No Salt All-Purpose Herbal Seasoning, Herbal Dip Blend, Immune Boosting Soup Blend, and our Perfect Popcorn seasoning. 

Sources:

González, C. P. (2022, October 9). The possible medicinal properties of Parsley. Step To Health. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://steptohealth.com/parsleys-medicinal-properties/

Kumar, K. (2022, July 15). 21 impressive health benefits & uses of Parsley: Nutrition Facts. MedicineNet. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://www.medicinenet.com/21_impressive_health_benefits_and_uses_of_parsley/article.htm

Mahr, S. (n.d.). Parsley, Petroselinum crispum. Wisconsin Horticulture. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/parsley-petroselinum-crispum/#:~:text=This%20plant%20is%20probably%20originated,with%20wreaths%20of%20this%20herb.

Nagdeve, M. (2021, June 10). Parsley: Nutrition, benefits, and uses. Organic Facts: Let's Get Healthy Together. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-parsley.html

The parsley - A little history and some growing instructions. Harvesting History. (2016, March 2). Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://harvesting-history.com/the-parsley/

Svet, H. (2022, June 13). Parsley Herba Svet. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://herbasvet.com/en/medicinal-plants/parsley/#:~:text=As%20it%20promotes%20microcirculation%20in,it%20lowers%20high%20blood%20pressure.

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