(NaturalNews) Parsley, that little piece of leafy green garnish that seems to decorate every plate in restaurants all across the U.S., is actually a serious herb which packs a powerful punch. Most people smile and ask sheepishly, "Are we supposed to eat it?" If it is certified organic parsley, then the answer is "yes." Parsley leaf is loaded with antioxidants and is a fantastic diuretic. The herb is a wonderful kidney aid, helping to get rid of kidney stones and edema (swelling), as well as healing any urinary tract infection or inflammation. Parsley root is high in calcium, iron, and B complex vitamins.
The antioxidants in parsley are able to combat oxidative stress in vivo
The British Journal of Nutrition published a medical study to measure the antioxidant capabilities of parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Fourteen people ate a restricted diet for two weeks which was high in parsley, but low in other foods containing flavones and other natural sources of antioxidants. Urinary excretion of the flavone apigenin was measured before and during the ingestion of parsley. Apigenin levels were noticeably higher when parsley was added to the diet. The researchers noted that when the subjects were on the restricted diet, their oxidative stress markers rose. However, when the people added parsley during the second week of study, the parsley was able to reverse these numbers somewhat.
Parsley is a scientifically proven diuretic
In 2002, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study confirming the diuretic effects of parsley, as claimed for years in folk medicine literature. Rats were given parsley seed tea to drink. Over a twenty-four hour period, the rats had a marked increase in urinary volume. The scientists believed that parsley works as a diuretic due to a mechanism in the herb which blocks the re-absorption of sodium and potassium. This causes more water to flow via osmosis, and hence, a greater urinary volume.
Herbalists use parsley for kidneys, joint problems, nerves, and more
Dr. John R. Christopher, one of the greatest master herbalists of the twentieth century, used parsley in a variety of ways. He used the herb not only for all kidney and bladder issues, but also for jaundice and sexually-transmitted diseases. Dr. Christopher used parsley for water retention (edema), and suggested parsley root tea for stiff fingers and other joint issues. He said gallstones could be removed by drinking a pint of fresh parsley tea every day. The herb is also calming to the nerves and adrenal glands. Dr. Christopher recommended at least two quarts of strong parsley tea per day for these issues, or even up to a cup of tea every hour. To make fresh parsley tea, add a large handful of parsley to a pint of boiling water. Cover, steep, and drink the tea throughout the day.
According to Dr. Christopher, fresh parsley juice is a very potent healer. Parsley juice is an effective blood tonic, but it should be diluted with some other kind of fresh, organic juice, such as carrot juice. No more than an ounce or two of parsley juice should be taken at any one time.
Sources for this article include:
Pubmed.gov. "Effect of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) intake on urinary apigenin excretion, blood antioxidant enzymes and bio-markers for oxidative stress in human subjects," S.E. Nielsen, et al. British Journal of Nutrition June 1999; 81(6): 447-55. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10615220