(NaturalNews) Parsley is a well-know herb that most people think of as just a garnish. But there is more to parsley than meets the eye. It can lower our risk of cancer, enhance our immune system, reduce inflammation and so much more.
Lower your risk of cancer
Parsley is rich in a flavonoid known as apigenin which has been shown to reduce certain cancers, such as skin, breast and prostate cancer. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Enhance your immune system and conquer inflammation
Parsley's essential oils have been proven to suppress overstimulated immune responses, which makes it a crucial player in the fight against allergies and autoimmune and persistent inflammatory disorders. Eugenol, one of the oils found in parsley, has been shown to have anti-arthritic properties. This oil, combined with the anti-inflammatory benefits of parsley, can significantly reduce joint swelling. Parsley can help protect us from many disorders such as diabetes, colon cancer and asthma.
Improve your heart
Parsley contains a significant amount of the B vitamin folic acid, also known as folate, which reduces homocysteine (an amino acid that can damage blood vessels) in our bodies, thus lowering the risk of stroke, heart attack and atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls).
Ease urinary tract infections
Along with drinking cranberry juice, homeopathic experts list parsley as an antibiotic alternative to be used at the first signs of urinary tract infection. Be sure to check with a doctor if symptoms persist for more than a few days.
Two compounds found in parsley, apigenin and myristicin, boost the production of a liver enzyme which can detox our bodies. Additionally, a report on apigenin found that the compound also improves the effects of some drugs used to treat colon cancer. This is in line with a study published in February 2011 in the journal Clinical and Experimental Metastasis.
Fight bad breath
Parsley is chock full of chlorophyll, which has antibacterial properties. That is why people eat the parsley sprig from their plates after a meal. It fights oral bacteria that causes bad breath.
Possible side effects
Parsley can cause some side effects. Headaches can occur when first using parsley but often pass as your body becomes accustomed to the compounds. Also, higher levels of parsley can cause loss of equilibrium, so show care when walking until this side effect passes, should you experience it.
Watch for signs of kidney damage when taking parsley supplements. These signs can include severe pain in the flanks, back pain, fever, abdominal swelling and blood in the urine.
In rare cases, seizures can occur when using high amounts of parsley supplements. Seizures can be either convulsions (writhing or jerking movements) or simply loss of awareness.
If any of these problems occur, visit a doctor or emergency room as soon as possible.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.