5 things you should know about Parsley
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a plant from the Mediterranean region that is commonly used as a garnish or ingredient in a wide number of recipes.
Parsley contains compounds that have specific health benefits.
Parsley is a natural diuretic (a stimulant to pass urine). Parsley reduces the absorption of sodium, and with it water, by the kidneys. The water then flows out as urine. Diuretics are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Parsley then could be used as a supplement to pass urine. If you are taking pills to help pass urine, avoid taking them with parsley as your blood pressure may drop and you may feel dizzy.
One of the most interesting compounds found in parsley is a flavonoid (plant metabolite) known as apigenin. While its mechanisms of action are still poorly understood, a number of studies have shown that apigenin has anti-cancer effects. It disrupts the formation of blood vessels serving a growing tumor (‘anti-angiogenic’), and therefore contributes to reducing the growth of the cancer cells (cell growth inhibition). It also reduces absorption of glucose by cancer cells (glucose is one of the main energy source for cancer cells). It is not considered a treatment for cancer but the regular intake of apigenin in the diet could potentially contribute to cancer prevention.
Interestingly, apigenin has also been found helpful in the treatment of cancers by reducing the resistance of some cancer cells to various anti-cancer drugs.
Parsley can potentially reduce high glucose levels. In Turkey, diabetics commonly used parsley to reduce high blood sugar. Scientific studies using diabetic rats have shown that glucose levels in the rats are lower after being fed parsley. It does this by its action on enzymes involved in the breakdown of glucose.
Parsley extracts also contain antioxidants as well as specific compounds that have demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory effects (apigenin, myristicin and carnosol). This property makes parsley an interesting ingredient with potential benefits when inflammation is present (for example, inflammation of the skin or joints).
5. Blood clotting
Parsley contains high levels of vitamin K which has a very important action in blood clotting. Parsley therefore can aid clotting of the blood. Therefore, people taking blood thinners (Warfarin) should be cautious as parsley can reduce the effect of blood thinners.
6. And also....
While still poorly documented, scientific investigations have suggested that parsley has potential properties as a liver protector (antihepatotoxic), as an antibiotic, as a laxative, and of potential use in the treatment of amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods).
All these potential beneficial properties brand parsley an ingredient you should consider introducing into your diet to enjoy its many health benefits.
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Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley.
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