Parsley is an erect, biennial or short lived perennial herb. It is rich in ascorbic acid and hence is a good blood cleanser. The herb has a fleshy aromatic tap root and dark green shiny leaves which rise from a short stem. There are two groups of parsley. One group is with plain leaves and the other with curled leaves, commonly known as moss curled.
Parsley consist of moisture 74.6 percent, protein 5.9 percent, fat 1.0 percent, minerals 3.2 percent, fiber 1.8 percent and carbohydrates 13.5 percent per 100 grams of edible portion. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, iron, phosphorus, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C.
The herb contains a glucoside apiin and an essential oil which contain apiol. The fruits contain coumarin.
Botanical Name: Petroselinum crispum
Indian Name: Prajmoda
Below are some of the medicinal properties of parsley:
- It aids digestion and helps prevent the formation of gas within the stomach and intestines. It is a valuable remedy for indigestion. A couple of springs of the fresh herb or a quarter teaspoon of the dried herb can be taken with a glass of water in this condition. As fresh parsley is sometimes rather tough, it should be well masticated.
- The elements in parsley help to maintain the blood vessels, particularly the capillaries and arterial system, in a healthy condition, it is thus very useful in high blood pressure. It may be taken as a beverage by simmering it gently in water for a few minutes, several times daily.
- The herb is also beneficial for the genitor urinary tract, being of great assistance in the calculi of the kidneys and bladder, albuminuria, nephritis and other kidney troubles. It has been used as an effective for remedy for dropsy.
- Parsley is a valuable remedy for scanty menstruation. It also assists in the regularization of the monthly periods. This action is due to the presence of apiol, a constituent of the female sex hormone – estrogen. Cramps as a result of menstrual irregularities are relieved and frequently corrected by the regular use of parsley juice, especially when combined with beet, carrot and cucumber juices.
- Bruised parsley is good as an application to the bites and stings of insects. Likewise, it is beneficial when applied on bruised and inflamed joints. It is a most cleansing suppuration when applied to open wounds.
- Raw parsley juice, mixed with carrot juice, is useful in all ailments connected with the eyes and the optic nerves. It is good for weak eyes, ulceration of the cornea, cataracts, conjunctivitis and opthalmia or sluggishness of the pupil.
- It is a useful remedy for bad breath. Boil 2 cups of water with coarsely chopped parsley springs and 2 or 3 whole cloves or a quarter tablespoon ground cloves. The mixture has to be stirred frequently while cooling. It is then strained and can be used as a mouthwash or gargle several times a day.
- It has also useful in the treatment of boils. It should be steeped in boiled water till it is soft and juicy. It can be applied to the boils when comfortably hot and wrapped with clean muslin or linen.
It can be added to salads and soups. Uncooked parsley is palatable and easy to digest when used by itself of cooked with other green vegetable like cabbage or roots. It can also be dried and used. Parsley can be taken as a beverage, simmering it gently for a few minutes and partaking of the water.
Raw parsley juice is an extremely potent remedy. It should never be taken in quantities exceeding 60 ml at a time, especially when mixed with a larger quantity of carrot or other raw vegetable juices such as lettuce, celery or spinach.