Drinking parsley tea has many health care benefits. We take the beautiful green garnish on our plates for granted. It is a packed full of nutrients and powerful antioxidants.
Parsley, is also known as Petroselinum crispus, is one of the most easily identifiable of the herbs. Its name comes from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (it is a relative in the celery family). It is considered a very potent disease fighting herb.
This bright green plant is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, folic acid, iron and potassium. Parsley is natures most concentrated multi vitamin and mineral, immune enhancing herb.
Parsley contains two types of unusual nutritional compounds that provide some very unique health benefits. The first compound found is a volatile oil that includes: myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. The second compounds found are the flavonoids: apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin
The component, myristicin has been shown to be effective at preventing tumor formation, especially in the lungs. These studies were done on animals and more extensive research will need to be done, but, the results look promising. In fact, the oils in parsley have been shown to be very effective in neutralizing particular carcinogens, such as benzopyrenes found in cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke.
Parsley is also abundant in chlorophyll. This purifies and inhibits the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll in parsley has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that act to enhance the immune system. The chlorophyll component in parsley is high in oxygen and assists the body in fighting viruses as well. Drinking parsley tea helps the lungs to eliminate residues from environmental pollution, enhances the immune response to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and asthma.
Research studies done in Morocco on herbs used in folk medicine to treat high blood pressure found that parsley was very effective as an herbal tea remedies. It is very effective diuretic.
Hungarian researchers have recently released a study that investigated the potential antioxidant effects of parsley. The study showed that flavonoids found in parsley are very effective at scavenging free radicals. Free radicals in the body are responsible for the development of many medical conditions: atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon and cervical cancer and asthma.
There is an incredibly large amount of iron in this powerful little plant. In fact, it is great for treating anemia as one quarter cup of fresh parsley in a cup of tea is equivalent to 10 percent of the daily requirements according to the FDA. Parsley also contains the vitamin C that is necessary for the absorption if iron.
Vitamin K is necessary for the body to promote bone health by promoting the absorption of the minerals to make strong bones. When heated, the vitamin K in parsley nearly doubles.
Parsley contains apiol which is a component of the female sex hormone estrogen. As a tea, women drink it to regulate their menstrual cycle and after childbirth it is given to promote uterine contractions. Pregnant women should avoid drinking parsley tea.
The heart healthy component to parsley tea comes from several different actions on the body. It was used in World War II to successfully treat soldiers with kidney and bladder ailments. It helps the body to increase the elimination of waste by preventing salt from being reabsorbed into the body. It is effective to decrease swelling and general water retention.
The powerful antioxidants in parsley tea make homocysteine, a potentially dangerous molecule to the body ineffective. Homocystine causes damage to blood vessels that significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The next time you see this bright green garnish in your garden or served on your plate, think of how this tiny herb is a nutritional powerhouse. To enjoy the health benefits of drinking parsley tea take a handful of fresh parsley, about one quarter cup and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes then strain. Add your favorite sweetener, honey or stevia, add a touch a lemon and enjoy. Here’s to your good health.
By Connie Bednar