Have you ever wondered how valuable a commonly growing plant in the backyard called, “Parsley” could be? The importance of vibrantly colored, deliciously tasting and highly nutritious parsley is often left ignored and so are its countless benefits.
This relative of celery derived its name from the Greek word, “Petroselinon” meaning “Rock Celery”. In ancient times the Greeks used its wreaths to adorn the tombs and crowned the victors at the Isthmian games with garlands made up of parsley.
Parsley is the most commonly used herb and is available year round, where the most common is curly- leaf, the most pungent is Italian parsley (flat leaf) and the uncommon one is” Parsnip rooted” also known as Hamburg parsley; however, the pungent one is preferred more for cooking. There are almost 30 varieties of parsley. Mediterranean and European cooking are popular for the use of this herb.
The herb cum spice cum vegetable is rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, E and K also it is rich in Calcium, Iron, Manganese, Phosphorous, Folic Acid and Potassium.
The benefits of parsley can be analyzed by Turner’s statement, ‘if parsley is thrown into fishponds it will heal the sick fishes therein.’ Let’s see what it can do for you!
Contained in this magical herb are some essential oils such as limoene, myristicin, eugeno and alpha thujene; all of these work as antioxidants. These oils help counterbalance the effects of various carcinogens (like benzopyrenes found in the smoke of cigarettes) and thus reduce the chances of developing cancer.
Heals your Heart
Using parsley as a garnish on (a) regular basis can help keep a healthy heart. The amino acids called Homocyteine when increases, threatens the blood vessels of the body but have no fear since parsley is here! It contains folate or vitamin B9 that neutralize the effects of these dangerous molecules. It can also ward off chronic heart diseases such as stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Essential for curing menstrual problems
Women having menstrual problems such as amenorrhea (absence of periods) should have a regular intake of this herb as it help increasing the blood flow. It regulates the release of various hormones such as estrogen, and is also helpful in menopause and premenstrual syndrome. It also reduces cramps during menstrual cycle.
Pregnant women can use it as well, as it is rich in folic acid but too much intake of the herb may cause early contractions that could result in abortions.
Cure for Hypertension
Adding a little bit of parsley to the daily diet reduces the risk of high blood pressure and related problems like hypertension. It also lowers the blood sugar and helps in blood cell production.
Blessing for healthy Kidneys
Parsley is a blessing for kidneys due to its diuretic nature. It regulates healthy working of kidneys by helping them to get rid of sodium and other elements that are harmful for the body. Fresh parsley juice can also help get rid of kidney stones, without the involvement of other medicines.
Remedy for Bad Breath
Can’t get rid of that bad breath? Just chew some parsley leaves and the odor will be gone within seconds. The secret lies in its chlorophyll that contains anti-bacterial properties.
Beauty secrets hidden in Parsley
Hair loss is a common problem now a day, but don’t worry! Give parsley oil a try. It has proven to be beneficial for curing hair loss and increasing its volume. Moreover, the oil is also good for maintaining soft smooth skin and removes dryness. It also prevents wrinkles from appearing.
Treatment for Partial Deafness
Today many herbal medicines are being made out of parsley, that are beneficial for treating ear related problems such as ringing in the ear, ear infections and partial deafness.
Vitamin C Enriched
Loads of Vitamin C and Iron are found in Parsley that helps in curing anemia and reduces fatigue. It improves the elasticity of blood vessels and also helps repair blood cells, as a result blood quality is improved and immune system is strengthened. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of developing arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Parsley as an anti-inflammatory
Parsley tea maintains the body’s acid and alkaline balance and reduces inflammation along with other types of pain occurring from bruises, cuts and insect bites. It also helps in healing broken skin and also stops bleeding.
What can you do with the parsley? There are a variety of dishes you can make as it goes well with chicken, mushrooms, mussels, lentils, peas, fish, potatoes, rice, tomatoes, lemons and countless other foods. You can use it as a garnish for almost every dish and even the stalks are useful for adding flavor to soups, stew and stocks.
Don’t know how to store it? Simply rinse, wrap in paper towel, seal in a plastic bag and keep in refrigerator, it will last for 3 days or just chop and freeze if you like.
It is easy to grow parsley and once you sow this aromatic biennial plant it will keep on growing year after year, but the leaves that appear for the first time are the best as they are fresher and crisper. A German poet described its beauty by saying that if we combine the fragrances of all the plants and soil and turn it into a new plant, we would get parsley.
Image courtesy: Flickr, Alice Henneman