How does it feel?
Parsley is a perennial plant from the carrot family, Umbelilferae, native to the Eastern Mediterranean but is now naturalised throughout Europe. It can grow to heights of 1 meter and forms rosettes of bright green tri-pinnate leaves with numerous leaflets. The flowers form characteristic umbels from the top of the plants stem. The whole plant produces a pungent, slightly bitter scent that is transferred to the plants taste.
What can I use it for?
The essential oil present in parsley contains apiole which is responsible for the majority of the plants medicinal activity. Apiole has demonstrated relaxant effects upon the nervous system, particularly within the digestive tract. Apiole also stimulates the urinary tract and the kidneys, acting as an effective tonic and diuretic. Parsley is a natural source of Vitamin C, and can support an underactive immune system.
Into the heart of Parsley
The medicinal uses of parsley are indicated primarily within the urinary tract and the kidneys. It is an effective diuretic, encouraging the elimination of excessive water and toxic heat from the body. The stimulating properties of apiole also indicate parsley in conditions such as kidney stones and jaundice, where the flow of blood and bile is in some way inhibited, influencing the buildup of inflammation within the urinary tract.
Parsley also stimulates a delayed menses and the production of breast milk; however, its strong stimulation of the uterus makes it contra-indicated in early stages of pregnancy.
Parsley will calm an over-active digestive system, acting as an anti-spasmodic and relieving symptoms such as flatulence, colic and digestive spasms.
Urinary and kidney: Indicated in toxic heat and inflammation seated within the urinary tract and kidneys and in conditions such as kidney stones, jaundice and excess fluid retention.
Digestive: Indicated where there is pain and muscle cramping within the digestive tract, relieving nervous based indigestion, flatulence and colic.
Female reproductive: Parsley is a stimulant to the uterus, encouraging a delayed or absent menses. Also acts as an emmenagogue, encouraging breast milk production during breast-feeding.
Antimicrobials are herbs that interfere with the proliferation and life-cycle of microbes; bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Examples include Thyme leaf (Thymus vulgaris), Echinacea (Echinacea species), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).Carminatives
Carminative herbs are high in essential oils and help ease digestion by relieving gas, spasms and cramps. Examples include Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum), Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare) and Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperita).Diuretics
Diuretics are herbs that stimulate the flow of urine, and help remove fluids from the body. Common examples are Dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinalis), Burdock root (Arctium lappa) and Corn silk (Zea mays).Emmenagogues
Emmenagogues are herbs that stimulate and promote menstruation. Examples include Marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis) and Chaste Tree fruits (Vitex agnus-castus), Turmeric root (Curcuma longa).Expectorants
Expectorants are herbs that assist the body in expelling mucus from the upper respiratory tract. Examples include Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Elecampane root (Inula helenium) and Thyme leaf (Thymus vulgaris).Laxatives
Laxative herbs are those that stimulate or promote bowel movements. There are different types of herbs; gentle aperients, like dandelion root (taraxacum officinalis), that have a mild effect; bulk-forming laxatives, like Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), that increase the water and bulk of the stool; stimulant laxatives is Senna leaf (Senna alexandria) that invigorate the muscles of the lower bowel to create a stronger motion.
Did you know?
The essential oil present in parsley is a photo-sensitiser and can increase an individual’s sensitivity to light when consumed in high quantities.
Caution with diuretics, Lithium, Warfarin. Serum levels of medications may be increased as herb inhibits several cytochrome liver enzymes.
Tincture: 1-2ml three times daily (1:5, 40%).
Dried: 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water.
External uses: A poultice or fomentation for conjunctivitis, mastitis, swollen breasts, bruises, sprains, insect bites & stings. Lotion for skin problems including acne & eczema.
- Rasa (taste) Pungent, bitter, salty.
- Virya (action) Heating.
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect) Pungent.
- Guna (quality) Light, dry, sharp/ penetrating (leaves), oily/unctuous.
- Dosha effect KV–P+.
- Dhatu (tissue) Rasa/plasma, rakta/ blood, mamsa/muscle.
- Srotas (channels) Mutra/urinary, anna/ digestion, artava/female reproductive, rasa/lymphatic.